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We know no one asked us, but our editors at want to talk about the top trends of 2022 — there was ’90s fashion, vacationing in Italy and our personal favorite … no-medical-exam life insurance. (Hey, we’re insurance nerds.)

While in the past, no-medical-exam policies offered minimal coverage at a high cost and were generally reserved for people who couldn’t get a traditional policy due to health or age, insurance companies are starting to catch up to the times. The onset of COVID-19 and an uptick in online shopping have created widespread availability for no-medical-exam life insurance policies that offer the same high coverage as a traditional term policy at the same competitive price — or less. 

No-med policies offer life insurance buyers an affordable and quick way to get covered. Policies catered toward people who may not otherwise be eligible for coverage are also still available. 

We can’t tell you if you should be wearing cargo pants or not, but when it comes to no-medical-exam life insurance, we have the scoop.

What is no-medical-exam life insurance?

No-medical-exam life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that doesn’t require a physical during the application process. Traditionally, term or whole life insurance policies require a medical exam so that insurance companies can determine your health and decide how much you pay in premiums, which can make the application process last weeks or even months.

But no-med policies skip this and use your previous medical records and personal history to figure out how much you should pay — which can shorten the application process significantly. Some policies will even offer you immediate coverage. 

How to get life insurance with no medical exam

Getting a no-medical-exam life insurance policy is as easy as it looks. 

When you’re applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, you’ll generally have to take a phone interview and medical exam in order to get coverage. No-medical-exam policies, on the other hand, make the process completely contactless. 

You’ll still have a phone interview, but after the insurance agent understands your needs and background, they’ll let you know that you are eligible for coverage without taking an exam. Instead, you’ll consent to a review of your previous health records, labs and prescriptions. Using this data, insurers will decide what you’ll pay for coverage and offer you a policy.

For those who would like to shop for coverage at 2 a.m. or from the airport lounge, there are some no-med policies that don’t require a phone interview at all. These policies will conduct the interview process completely online and most offer instant approval. 

To get a no-med policy, talk to an insurance advisor who can help you find the right company. 

Types of no-medical-exam life insurance

There are two main types of no-medical-exam life insurance:

  • Term life insurance: Term no-med life insurance is similar to a traditional term life insurance policy. It offers coverage for a certain term length and doesn’t come with any frills, like a cash value component. Coverage for term no-med policies can go into the millions. 
  • Whole life insurance: Whole no-med life insurance policies are not the same as traditional whole life policies. They are actually burial insurance policies, which offer low coverage amounts that are meant to cover final expenses, such as end-of-life medical expenses or the cost of a funeral. There are two types of burial insurance policies — simplified issue and guaranteed issue

The type of no-med policy you get depends on your profile. Healthy individuals should get term no-medical-exam life insurance. But if you’re generally ineligible for coverage, you’ll need to get a whole no-med policy.

How much does no-medical-exam life insurance cost?

How much you pay for a no-medical-exam life insurance policy depends on the type of policy you get. Term no-med policies cost the same — and sometimes even less — as traditional term policies. When getting a term no-med policy, there’s really no downside, especially when it comes to cost.

Whole no-med policies, however, are a lot more expensive than any traditional life insurance policy. This is because burial insurance policies are generally meant for people who are too old or unhealthy to get a traditional policy. While a burial insurance policy offers very low coverage amounts, it costs a lot more. 

Who should get no-medical-exam life insurance?

No-med life insurance is a good choice for people in both good and poor health. Basically, it’s for everyone — but your health status and profile will determine what type of no-medical-exam life insurance you’re eligible for. 

  • Term life insurance: People in their 50s or younger who are in good or average health and don’t have what insurers would consider a “risky” profile.
  • Whole life insurance: People who are older or are in poor health which disqualifies them from getting traditional life insurance may opt for this type of coverage. 

Generally, only someone who isn’t eligible for any other type of life insurance should get a whole no-med policy. Whole no-med policies come with little coverage at a high cost, and people who are able to get a more affordable policy will get more bang for their buck elsewhere. 

Even as more and more insurers begin to offer term no-med policies, it’s still easy to find a policy that offers comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. Talk to a life insurance advisor to figure out your options. 

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Nupur Gambhir
Managing Editor


Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.