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Insurance 101

Life insurance, no medical exam—what’s not to love?

Insurance 101

Life insurance, no medical exam—what’s not to love?

Digital underwriting is powering new ways to get coverage.

Many factors come into play when deciding what kind of life insurance policy to buy. You want to make sure that, whatever policy you choose, you’ll be able to not only protect your family but any assets you may leave behind. Things can get tricky though. Many traditional companies have drawn-out processes that can include a trip to the doctor to determine if you even get coverage. What if you want no-medical-exam life insurance?

There’s options for life insurance, no medical exam needed? Absolutely. You’ve got options. Let’s explore the pathways you can take, what you should be looking out for, and which choices make the most sense for your needs.

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  1. What is no exam life insurance?
  2. How does no exam life insurance work?
  3. Types of no exam life insurance
  4. Who should consider no exam life insurance?
  5. What to expect from a health questionnaire?
  6. Online life insurance, no medical exam, lots of options
  7. TL; DR

What is no exam life insurance?

A no-exam life insurance policy is just that—it’s a policy that doesn’t require a physical medical exam or even a trip to the doctor to get. That’s pretty neat, right? No-exam life insurance came about through a number of ways. Some options arose so that more people, such as those with chronic conditions like diabetes, could still be covered. Others may have anxieties or fears surrounding medical environments and may lose out on coverage. Then there are the people who simply don’t feel the need to do a medical exam for immediate or short-term coverage. 

In addition, advancements in insurtech (insurance + tech) have gotten to a place where medical exams themselves aren’t always necessary during the underwriting process. During underwriting, insurance companies can access your public medical records and additional third-party documentation to make an assessment on your level of risk. If your health data is good enough, you may be able to get life insurance, no medical exam needed. 

How does no exam life insurance work?

You can skip the doctor’s office in part because of insurtech powering the digital underwriting process. Underwriting is the process where an insurer tries to assess your risk as a policyholder—in other words, how likely it is that you’re going to die during the length of the contract. The process helps the company determine eligibility, coverage amount, and of course, cost. They look at the health information you provide as well as additional third-party sources to make the determination.

Some no-exam life insurance policies don’t ask you health questions at all. They simply provide coverage at a lowered amount. It all comes down to the type of policy, the company, you as an applicant and your needs. It’s important to shop around and do research before fully committing to a policy. Now let’s discuss the specific types of no-exam life insurance so that you can make a more informed decision.

Types of no exam life insurance

It’s true that “no exam life insurance” is just that. There are, however, different types of life insurance policies that don’t require a medical exam. Each type is different in coverage amount and process, so it’s important to be aware of them. The three we’ll be discussing are: guaranteed issue life insurance, group life insurance, and simplified issue life insurance.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of no-exam life insurance that reads like its name; it’s guaranteed. As in you can’t be denied coverage. There’s no medical exam and the application doesn’t ask you any health questions. This type of no-exam life insurance came about to offer coverage to people who generally couldn’t be covered by other companies. Often that means people with a chronic condition. So if you’re looking for life insurance for diabetics, guaranteed issue life insurance may be something to look into.

There are some drawbacks. For example, because you don’t have to answer any health questions and skip the medical exam, coverage for guaranteed issue life insurance tends to be rather small. Coverage tends to run, on average, up to $25,000. If you’re looking for immediate coverage, have a chronic condition, or just don’t need that much coverage, guaranteed issue may be right for you.

Group life insurance

Group life insurance or employer-sponsored life insurance is a no-exam life insurance policy that policyholders often get through their job or an organization. You can designate one or more beneficiaries, though your employer or org will be considered the policyholder and plans typically provide up to $50,000 in coverage. 

However since the policy is tied to a job or org, you won’t be able to take coverage with your should you start working somewhere else or if you’re fired. You’ll only have coverage if you’red tied to that group. 

Simplified issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance can come in either term or whole life policies, which gives it some flexibility. It came about because insurance companies saw that the old way of approving policies could get lengthy. With simplified issue life insurance, insurers use a more streamlined underwriting process to assess your risk. That includes a health questionnaire to gather information about things like your medical history, your family’s medical history, prescription drug history, and even things like hobbies, lifestyle and driving record. Underwriters will then pair the information you provided with your publicly available health information, usually from third-party sources. 

During the application questionnaire, it’s important to be as honest as possible. If you're not truthful on your application it could affect your premiums, your coverage, and even whether or not your beneficiaries receive your policy’s death benefit.

Who should consider no exam life insurance?

Life insurance no medical exam policies can be good for a number of people. Guaranteed issue life insurance can be great for people with a chronic condition or those who are okay with lower coverage. Some consumers may want a policy to take care of funeral or other final expenses, but may have other financial protection options for their loved ones. Others may feel secure in their workplace and so group life insurance works perfectly well for them. Their jobs are stable, they aren’t planning to leave any time soon, so that kind of coverage may work for them.

Simplified issue life insurance often works well for people who might want or need more coverage but don’t want to go through a medical exam. The application process also tends to be quicker than traditional application processes. If you’re looking for a life insurance no medical exam no waiting period policy, this might work out well for you.

What to expect from a health questionnaire

You’ve decided to avoid a medical exam and select a no-exam life insurance policy. But the company requires you to provide a little bit of medical information. What can you expect to provide? Remember, digital underwriting is about calculating risk. Companies will compare what you tell them against what’s on record. You may be asked about:

  • Your age
  • Personal and family medical history
  • Drugs & prescriptions
  • Mental health
  • Lifestyle & hobbies
  • Driving history
  • Criminal history 

The company takes this information and provided you were honest, they calculate your risk to either approve or deny coverage. If you’re denied coverage, it’s not the end of the world. It may mean the company doesn’t want to risk covering you, but as we’ve discussed, some companies are more willing to take risks than others. 

You may even have the option of waiting for a certain amount of time, making positive changes to your health and reapplying. With your new and improved health, you may get the coverage you’re looking for.

Online life insurance, no medical exam, lots of options

The best life insurance no medical exam choice comes down to your needs and your situation. While there’s variations to choose from, the most important thing you can do is be aware of your situation, the companies you’re applying to and what kind of protection is right for you. Applying from a place of knowledge can give you confidence to navigate the marketplace, even if it takes a bit longer than you may hope. 

Take, Wysh, for example. Our free Wysh Builder tool lets you craft the perfect policy that’s right for your needs. Head on over to check it out and see where your protection needs fall. Best part is—Wysh doesn’t require a medical exam, just a few health questions. If you’re looking to avoid the doctor’s office (or needles) you can start building your perfect policy with Wysh today.


  • No exam life insurance policies don’t require a medical exam for coverage
  • No exam life insurance may be best for people who have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, don’t want to go through a medical exam process or who want more immediate coverage
  • Types of no exam life insurance include: Guaranteed issue life insurance, Group life insurance, & Simplified issue life insurance
  • Coverage for no exam life insurance policies, such as Guaranteed issue and Group life insurance, may be more limited than traditional life insurance policies.
  • Guaranteed issue and Group life insurance policies don’t require exams and don’t require you to fill out a health questionnaire.
  • Simplified issue life insurance may require you to fill out a health questionnaire as part of the underwriting process.

The opinions we expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.