When it comes to writing insurance policies, the decision is all about risk. Based on what you tell the insurer, the actuaries estimate the chances you will have an accident the next time you drive, or that your home will be flattened by a tornado, or that you will catch the H1N1 brand of influenza. It’s the most scientific form of gambling our society has been able to develop. If all the sums work out right, you are protected financially should any of the risks occur and the insurer will make a profit. So when it comes to insuring your life, the actuary needs to call in different professionals. Although you may give completely honest answers to questions about your own health and the health of your immediately family, there are many things you do not know. Sometimes, families are not honest with each other when it comes to health problems. Sometimes, you may not have been to see a doctor recently and so be unaware your own health is less than good. To protect everyone, a medical examination will usually be a condition when the amount of cover requested is high, or you are older, or you admit possible health problems.
Some insurance companies employ paramedicals who can bring a mobile service to your home or office. Others will give you the name of a specific doctor or a clinic and wait for you to make an appointment. Note that, almost without exception, when something more than a token amount of insurance has been requested, no reference will be made to your regular doctor. The insurers only accept evidence from independent medical personnel.
Let’s say you are still young and there are no untoward signs in your own or your family’s history. The exam is likely to be fairly straightforward, going through lists of questions about your current health and lifestyle. In this remember you may be tested to ensure your answers about not smoking and no abuse of drugs are truthful. If you appear heavier than you admitted on the proposal form, there may be more tests for diabetes and other diseases that can affect the overweight. If you have admitted to health problems, the tests can be fairly intensive if you are older and asking for significant amounts of cover. This is not just measuring pulse rate and blood pressure. You can find yourself supplying a range of samples, submitting to an EKG and getting up on a treadmill to prove lung capacity, stamina and a healthy heart. Only those who pass with flying colors will be offered the larger amount in cover.
In one sense, the whole experience of a medical exam is something of a deterrent. It takes up time and can be intrusive. Yet we have to advise you to go through several exams. The reason is simple. Life insurance companies approach risk assessment in slightly different ways. What some may consider significant is more routine to others. To get the best deal, you have to get as many offers as possible. This means being prepared to go through as many medical exams as it takes. Only when you have all the offered life insurance policies in your hands can you judge which one represents the best deal for you and your family.