Nearly every major life insurance carrier will require you to undergo a brief medical exam as part of your application process. Some companies specialize in selling policies that do not require exams, although these types of policies are usually only appropriate if you have a medical condition that would make you uninsurable to a traditional life insurance carrier. Life insurance physicals are called paramedical exams, and they can be completed in less than half an hour. In most cases, a licensed medical professional will meet you at your home or office to conduct the exam.
Be sure to get a good night’s rest before your paramedical exam. The test involves the collection of blood and urine to evaluate various chemical levels, and a blood pressure measurement. If you’re overly tired at the time your fluids are drawn and your blood pressure is taken, your lab tests may display misleading results that were only present because of your fatigue, and the insurance carrier may interpret those results as a sign of increased risk.
Scheduling your visit with the examiner for the morning may be advantageous because most of your stress is created throughout the day. If you have your blood drawn and blood pressure measured before your workday begins, there is less chance that the stress you face at work will negatively affect your vital measurements.
Do not drink alcohol the night before your life insurance physical. Alcohol will be detected in your blood tests and may cause concern for the insurance company. Additionally, alcohol thins your blood and elevates liver enzymes, which may result in an adverse lab test result, making you appear to be a higher risk.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and will increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure could make you appear less healthy and result in higher premiums for your policy. Avoid any caffeinated products for several days before your exam to ensure that no residual effects can contaminate your test results.
For two days before your paramedical exam, avoid excessive workouts. Strenuous physical activity may increase the amount of protein in your urine, which could be mistaken for a sign of kidney problems. This will lead to concerns for the life insurance company and may result in higher premiums.
Gregory Gambone is senior vice president of a small New Jersey insurance brokerage. His expertise is insurance and employee benefits. He has been writing since 1997. Gambone released his first book, "Financial Planning Basics," in 2007 and continues to work on his next industry publication. He earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.