Life Insurance Blog

Why medical examinations are often insisted upon by life insurance companies


Life insurance is essentially a bet by a life insurance company that the person who they are insuring is going to live for the term of the insurance.

For this reason it is necessary to accurately judge the risk that the person will still be alive at the end of the term.  When the most important aspect of whether a person will still be alive is health then it is likely that life insurance companies will become more interested in health.

One way in which health is assessed is through a number of statistical measures that are found out through application forms.  For example whether a person smokes or not is an important issue for an insurance company, as is height and weight and previous illnesses.

These questions on their own can usually give a good idea of what sort of risk a person is and a price can usually be quoted on the back of this.  However there are certain types of risk that are either much higher than usual or harder to measure.  In these cases a medical assessment is required.  This often happens when an insured person gets past a certain age, usually between forty five and fifty and their chance of dying over the next ten years increases drastically.

A medical check-up can be quite different from a normal doctor’s visit, and for a person who is not used to a medical check-up it can be quite unusual.

In a normal visit to a doctor it is usually because something has gone wrong.  A doctor will from the start be trying to find what is wrong.  It will also be focussed on diagnosing the immediate problem.  While there may be things that are found out about general health during the visit, this is not the purpose of the visit.

The medical check-up is intended to find out the general state of health.  There is no presumption that something is wrong.  There is also a general battery of tests that are more or less standardised across all patients.  These will test general fitness as well as blood tests and other tests that are designed to assess general health.

A life insurance medical assessment is simply designed to ensure that a potential policy holder is a good risk and what would be a good price to offer for the insurance.

Stephen Handley
Stephen Handley
My name is Stephen Handley. I have over 20 years experience in IT, Project Management and Financial Services. By combining this experience, I hope to make it easier for Australians to find good quality and affordable life insurance. Furthermore, I am not connected to any life insurance company. So, in the unfortunate event of a claim, you'll have someone in your corner, representing your interests.