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WHY DO SOME LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES REQUIRE BLOOD TESTS AND/OR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS?

Remember, life cover policies are completely based on risk. Life insurance companies will not be viable if they accept undesirable risks and ending up paying out high-risk claims as a consequence. Thus, a life insurance company carefully calculates the risk profile of applicants to ensure that they are willing to accept the risk. To be able to do that, it requires detailed medical information.

WHY DO INSURERS INSIST ON YOU HAVING A MEDICAL EXAMINATION?

Information provided by a medical examination is used for calculating a risk profile of an applicant. Generally, the older you are, the riskier you become to the company, and thus the higher your premiums. There is a lot of factors that are taken into consideration when premiums are considered and age is one of the most important risk factors.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A MEDICAL EXAMINATION?

At the cost of the insurance company, a medical examiner visits your home or office to carry out various tests. These include questions about your medical history, as well as measuring your height, weight, pulse and blood pressure. Urine and blood samples may also be taken. If required, an electrocardiogram or ECG is used for testing heart health. 1 This is according to ‘Lifeinsurance.org.’

MEDICAL RECORDS MAY BE REQUIRED

An insurance company may request more information about an applicant in the form of medical records kept by the applicant’s doctor or doctors. 1

WHICH MEDICAL CRITERIA DO INSURERS PARTICULARLY LOOK OUT FOR?

Insurers are specifically on the lookout for serious risk items such as smoking, drinking, taking drugs, as well as high cholesterol and glucose levels. 1

HOW MUST YOU PREPARE FOR A MEDICAL EXAMINATION?

For you to provide the best test results to any insurance company, avoid lots of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar before a medical examination. Drinks lots of water but not excessively, and don’t get stressed, and sleep well. No heavy exercise or fasting must be done before an examination. 1

WHAT IS ALLOWED TO BE CONSUMED JUST BEFORE THE EXAMINATION?

Any sugar or alcohol intake before the examination will impact results. Alcohol must not be consumed 24 hours before the examination. Other items that can affect results are taking poppy seeds, teas containing cocoa or hemp oils, tonic water containing quinine, nasal sprays, cough syrups, sinus medications, and Vicks Inhaler.

WHO PERFORMS ALL THE MEDICAL TESTS?

Axa3 explains that a medical examination is usually conducted by an independent doctor or nurse who has been sub-contracted by the insurance company.

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO UNDERGO A MEDICAL EXAMINATION?

It is particularly for those policies that pay out huge death benefits that a medical examination is needed. Such policies are ‘fully underwritten.’1 If you refuse to undergo a medical examination, the insurance company has the full right to deny you a policy. 4You usually won’t have to undergo a medical examination if you are less than 40 years old, and if you are not wanting such a large payout upon death, states Axa. 4 Yet, even if you are older, some companies still don’t require an examination, but then it is important to check if such policies are limited in any way.We now know why a medical test is required and that it involves a straightforward procedure. Paying careful attention to your behaviour prior to an examination, will ensure that test results will not be affected.

Sources:

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