When you apply for a life insurance policy, insurers need to gain an understanding of your current and past health before they can quote you. On occasions, they achieve this via a medical exam. The decision on whether a medical exam is required is dependent on the information you provide during the application process.

WHEN is a MEDICAL NEEDED?

It is important to understand that every insurance provider employs different criteria to decide whether a medical is necessary. Generally speaking, however, you will require a medical if:* You have disclosed pre-existing medical issues* You have been refused cover previously* You are requesting a large amount of cover* There is a history of serious hereditary diseases in your family. However, it is possible to acquire life insurance without a medical. There are 2 common scenarios where you can secure life insurance without the need for a medical, (the second is more relevant to us over 50s):1) If young and healthy, with no history of medical problems you are highly unlikely to require a medical. However, in order to secure term-based cover, you will need to answer some health-related questions during the application. (So, if you are under 50, it is a good idea to arrange your cover as early as possible, locking in those very low premiums).2) If you take out over 50 life insurance, (sometimes referred to as an over 50s plan). These policies guarantee acceptance and do not require a medical. In fact, they do not even involve answering any health-related questions. Therefore, if you are older and/or in ill health, an over 50 plan could be the best option. It also ensures you do not have the inconvenience of having to attend an exam.

The waiting period

A feature of over 50 life insurance that you need to know about however is the waiting period, (sometimes referred to as the qualifying period).This is a set period of time at the beginning of the policy, usually 1 or 2 years, in which a successful claim cannot be made. (Please note; although a payout will not be issued during the waiting period, your beneficiaries will receive back the premiums which you have already paid in).If you are in your 50s or 60s and in excellent health, a whole of life policy may be a better alternative, potentially allowing you to secure more policy cover for a similarly priced premium.

In summary

In conclusion, you can secure over 50 life insurance without the need for a medical. However, if you are over 50 years of age and wanting either traditional term-based cover or a whole of life policy you are very likely to have to undergo a medical.That said if you are in good health there really is nothing to fear from a medical exam. In fact, an exam could reassure your insurer that you are in good health, which may result in cheaper monthly premiums!