Getting life insurance when you’re younger usually isn’t a problem. The statistics bear out your thoughts of being invincible. Barring unforeseen issues, younger people are less likely to die of the leading causes of death with the exception of accidents and suicides. Age is a common risk factor for many conditions. That makes a no medical exam life insurance for seniors desirable.
No Medical Exam Life Insurance For Seniors Is No Problem!
There’s one inescapable factor when it comes to insurance and age; none of us get out of here alive. And the risk of death increases with age. That is what makes getting life insurance at all so hard. When you buy term life insurance as a young person, the odds are with the insurance company that it will not have to pay out on a claim. That isn’t the case with a senior.
Leading Causes of Death
The leading causes of death provide some clues that explain why seniors have difficulty getting insurance. For the top ten causes, age is a major factor in eight of them. Generally, the risk increases precipitously sometimes after age 55. The exceptions are accidents and suicide where the risk is fairly even across the board. The next high-risk threshold is after age 75.
Accidents and Seniors
Accidents represent a special scenario when it comes to seniors. About one-third of American adults over 65 fall each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly three million seniors end up in the emergency room as a result. The falls come with a high price. The economic costs of falls are a staggering $31 billion a year with hospital costs the main expense.
Hip fractures are one of the major risks that can occur because of a fall. About 314,000 older Americans suffer a hip fracture each year. The vast majority occur in individuals over age 60. That risk doubles every five to six years between the ages of 60 to 85. A hip fracture is devastating on its own. However, it also carries serious physical and psychological costs.
Its toll is greatest with seniors. The estimated overall mortality rate in the year following a hip fracture is up to 36 percent. The statistics paint a clear picture of the costs to insurance companies and the heightened risk that they assume when covering seniors. Remember, insurers are businesses that must minimize their risks. Their viability depends on it.
Risks Identified by a Medical Examination
To put the value of no medical exam life insurance for seniors, let’s review the tests an underwriter may request to identify the risks. The main causes of death include heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases. Diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease are among the others where age is a factor. All of these causes affect your insurability.
Major Causes of Death
An exam that includes blood pressure screening and a cholesterol panel identifies some of the risk factors associated with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These are typical tests you undoubtedly receive as part of your annual physical. The difference, in this case, is that it can affect your insurability and perhaps, your premium rather than your medications or treatments.
A nicotine-cotinine test can determine if you are an active smoker. Smoking, as you may know, is, in turn, a risk factor nearly all the leading causes of death. Underwriters often request additional tests such as an EKG or treadmill stress test that may also identify a smoker. Cancer is probably the one exception to the risk identification that insurance companies can do.
Most cancers are sporadic, meaning they occur as the result of a lifetime of stressors and exposures. Screening for most types isn’t possible. However, an underwriter may request a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for male applicants. A result over 4.0 ng/ml may indicate a heightened risk of prostate cancer.
What You Can Expect with No Medical Exam Life Insurance
The essential thing you need to remember with no medical exam insurance is to read the fine print. While you may forgo the physical, your insurer may request other information that can affect your premiums or insurability. There exists a risk for applying for insurance especially if there is a chance you may be denied. In either case, it will become part of your MIB record.
The outcome of your application will stay in your permanent record for seven years. That means every time you apply for insurance, insurance companies that are part of the MIB will have access to your health background. If you’re a senior that can have serious consequences for future applications for obtaining life insurance.
If an underwriter intends to conduct a search, they must give you a pre-notice. As a general rule of thumb, you should request your free copy of your MIB records to check it for accuracy. You’ll see your application history, searches of your records, and what insurance companies have your information. If you’ve applied before, you should get your record prior to your next application.
And you may not be off the hook just because you don’t have to undergo a medical exam. An underwriter may ask to review your prescription medication and medical history with your primary care physician. That can be enough to identify potential red flags for an insurance company or underwriter.
Most major insurance companies are members of the MIB. It is an information exchange among insurers. In addition to your application and pertinent medical history, your file may also contain information about any risky lifestyle activities in which you engage. If you race cars or go skydiving, your insurance company will take an interest regardless of your age.
Your driving history can also come into play especially if you are a senior. Age can affect your ability to drive and respond to dangers on the road. Nearly 60 percent of car accidents involving older adults occurred with a senior behind the wheel. That figure represents a serious concern given the fact that their fatality rates are 17 times higher than younger individuals.
You’ll likely find that life insurance coverage for a no medical exam policy has limits. To get the most out of your insurance, you should consider adding benefit rider that covers things such as chronic or terminal illness and emergency burial. While it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s essential to consider these issues so your family is covered if you should pass suddenly.
Play It Smart
Before you apply for no medical life insurance for seniors, step back so you can make an informed choice. Take the time to research potential insurance companies. Research its offerings and plan options. Consider its customer service reputation too. And finally, you should also look into information regarding the insurer’s financial health and stability.
Consult the major players in the financial analyst sector including AM Best, Fitch, and Moody’s. Standard and Poor’s is also an excellent resource. Their ratings will tell you its long-term viability and its ability to meet its financial obligations—including your claim. The research you do now will ease the burden your family will assume in case you pass.
Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t purchase life insurance. A no medical exam policy offers a great option to get insured without the hassle of tests and blood work. However, weigh your choices carefully. Even if there isn’t an exam, an underwriter may request other information that can affect your premium and insurability.