Life Insurance

How to Get Your Life Insurance Policy

Published on July 10, 2014

Share

steps to get life insuranceMost people qualify for life insurance. In general, it is easier for a young person in good health to get life insurance at an affordable rate. But since there are so many different types of life insurance policies, you can probably qualify for life insurance no matter what stage of life you are in.
To get the life insurance that you can afford, you should understand how life insurance companies process your application. Life insurance companies use a process called underwriting to determine your risk for dying. Each company has different ways of assessing your risk; some are more involved than others. Most companies ask you to complete certain steps to determine if you qualify for their life insurance policies.

Step 1: Fill out an application

What life insurance companies ask on the application:

  • Name
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Health history
  • Family health history
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Annual income

It is very important to answers these questions honestly because the company can cancel your policy and keep any premiums you have paid if they find out you lied on your life insurance application.

Step 2: Undergo a physical exam (for some policies)

Some life insurance companies just ask health-related questions on their application. But others may require you to undergo a medical exam to evaluate your overall health. What might be included in the medical exam:

  • Review your medical history and family’s medical history.
  • Review your habits (such as smoking, drinking, exercise, diet).
  • Check your height, weight, and blood pressure.
  • Take a blood sample.
  • Take a urine sample.
  • Perform additional tests (such as EKG, treadmill test, chest X-ray).

Step 3: Pay the premium for your desired policy

To get life insurance, you have to select a death benefit that is equal to your potential lost income. You also have to select a life insurance policy that you can afford, meaning the premium is something you can pay on time for the duration of the policy. You will probably not qualify for a life insurance policy if you try to get a death benefit that is too large in comparison with your risk level. If you select a premium you can’t afford and then stop making premium payments for the policy, then your policy will be canceled.

What if you don’t qualify?

Things that might make it more difficult for you to get a life insurance would include:

  • Pre-existing conditions (such as cancer or heart disease)
  • Major heart attack
  • High-risk occupation (such as military service)
  • Dangerous habits (like frequent sky diving or bungee jumping)
  • Lying on your life insurance application

If you fall into one of the above categories, you may still be able to get life insurance, but you will pay a higher premium. And there may be a limit on how much coverage you can get. If you are a cancer survivor or have experienced other health issues in the past, you may qualify for life insurance, as long as a certain amount of time has passed and you are currently in good health.
And remember, being denied life insurance from one company does not automatically mean you won’t qualify for life insurance from another company. It’s important to shop around.

Join Our Newsletter

Get healthcare news, wellness tips, and coverage resources