How to Ace Life Insurance Medical Exam and Save Money

I recently switch my life insurance from Liberty Mutual to Genworth. The first time I got my term life policy, it was difficult for me to get a decent policy because I ran into a shady agent who somehow got me into a poor health bracket and recorded the information in the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). Fortunately, the agent at Liberty Mutual helped me worked through it and got me a decent policy with $500,000 coverage.

However, my life situation changed over the past 12 months and I wanted to increase my policy to a 30-year term life with $1 million coverage. After asking a few friends about who they carry a policy with, I settled on working with Genworth. Turn out this was a good move since I am only paying about $10 more per month for the extra $500,000 in life insurance coverage.

Anyway, I just want to share this email I got from my agent when I was going through the application process. I think it has a lot of useful tips to help you get the best possible rate:

Money Saving Exam Tips

Your exam affects your life insurance rate, so it’s important to prepare. We need to have you fresh and fasted, so be sure to schedule your exam for first thing in the morning. You only have one chance to get the best lab results and the following tips below will help make that happen:

5-7 Days Before Your Exam

Stick to a healthy diet the week prior to your exam. Minimize the use of salt and avoid sugary and excess fatty foods.

3 Days Before Your Exam

Do not drink any alcohol products for 72 hours prior to the exam. Alcohol is processed by the liver and can cause liver enzymes to become elevated.

1 Day Before Your Exam

  • Stay away from ALL caffeine products . Caffeine can elevate blood pressure.
  • Avoid nasal decongestants and pain medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen (unless directed otherwise by your doctor).
  • Do not participate in any strenuous exercise . No jogging, weight lifting or swimming. This can cause elevated protein in the urine.
  • Fast 8-10 hours prior to the exam-taking place. If your exam is scheduled for 8:00am, begin your fast the night before at 10:00pm. Do not eat or drink anything except for water until you complete the exam the next morning.
  • Get a good night’s sleep .

The Morning of Your Exam

  • Don’t eat breakfast or use tobacco .
  • Have a list of your doctors, including addresses and phone numbers on hand.
  • Relax . If you followed these exam tips you have nothing to worry about.

Obviously, you should or should not be doing some of these things on the list in the first place. For example, you should be eating healthy diet regardless of insurance medical examination, and stop smoking for 7 days is not all that useful either. I hope these tips help you save some money.

Get your life insurance quotes now, or you can also check out these list of insurance companies that can provide you with free quotes:

About the Author

By , on Aug 20, 2010
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance. He is a licensed Realtor specializing in residential homes in the Northern Virginia area. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, and financial literacy author.

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Leave Your Comment (5 Comments)

  1. Denise says:

    Not just your medical exam, but a lot of other factors will also determine the rate class you belong to. Age is one of the primary determining factors of life insurance premium rates. The younger you are at the time of buying a policy; the lower will be your premium.
    Family history also plays a crucial role in deciding your life insurance premium. You may have to pay a higher premium if your family has a history of cardiovascular disorders because that would put you at a higher risk of developing such a condition.
    Other determining factors include your lifestyle. Smokers have to pay higher premiums and so do people who have risky hobbies or hazardous jobs.

  2. I thought you should mention that unless you have not been smoking for the past three years, you are a smoker in the insurance company’s eyes. That being said, the nicotine won’t show up in your urine after 72 hours of non-smoking and non-tobacco use. There may be trace amounts attributable to second hand smoke. Consider that if you smoke, your medical records probably say so. Make sure your doctor knows you quit smoking to be sure your records show the truth of your situation. Smokers can pay three-times the rate of non smokers.

  3. Kathy Brown says:

    I wasn’t judging you, I was asking out of curiousity how an agent could have impacted what the underwriters gave you. He wants to sell you a policy, so I don’t understand why he would jack up the price to where you won’t take it.

    He sounds unprofessional and you might want to contact his manager. I’m sure they want to know how he treats potential clients. He also is irresponsible if he quotes preferred rates at the outset. Agents are instructed to quote nonsmoker (average) rates so that clients are not shocked by the premiums that are produced. Unfortunately the internet is full of teaser rates that you have to be an olympic athlete to actually receive.

    Clearly he made empty threats. Insurance agents can’t report anything to the MIB on their own.

    If you want a copy of your lab results, there is a form to request it. Or, you can write a letter. Either way, you are entitled to them.

    I’m super surprised to hear this out of New York Life. They have an intense 3 year training program for their agents and they are the largest mutual insurer in the country. Even more reason to contact his manager.

  4. Kathy Brown says:

    What do you mean you had a shady agent who got you a bad rate? Agents can’t see your records or be present during the exam at all. How did the agent impact the rating?

    Your Medical Information Bureau file only contains a record of all medical insurance claims made with your social security number. Nothing an insurance company does is reported to the MIB, they only access the records there.

    The reason you got a lower rate this time around is most likely due to your continued good health as well as the new underwriting standards that were implemented over the last 2 years. The average life expectancy was lengthened, and for term insurance that means lower rates. All insurance companies had to conform to the new standards as of 2009.

    You really should research how the underwriting process works before you slam agents or recommend specific companies.

    • Pinyo says:

      @Kathy — You didn’t deal with this agent so you shouldn’t judge. (1) he used the F word as part of his response to my inquiry, (2) he was the one who told me that I will not be able to get life insurance ever again because he made sure my medical exam result was recorded with the MIB, and (3) he basically threaten me to insure with him or else.

      Professional? No. Shady? Yes.

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