Simplified-issue term life insurance has a very simple premise: no medical exam and an application with very few questions that’s quick and easy to answer.
Even simplified policies require you to answer “knockout” questions, such as whether you’re in a wheelchair, have a disability or have been diagnosed with a serious disease such as cancer or diabetes. Your application also gives an insurer the right to check up on you in medical databases and view other records to verify that you’re being truthful.
A quick note about the two overarching types of health insurance. Whole life, which is a type of permanent life insurance, covers you for life as long as you pay your premiums. Unlike those policies, term coverage lasts only for an agreed-upon period, such as five, 10, or even 20 years. Term life policies are usually in effect during a person’s peak income years. These policies are meant to replace your income and help your survivors pay your mortgage, bills and final expenses if the unthinkable happens.
Insurers want to know a lot about you, especially your life expectancy, before you can purchase most types of term or whole life insurance coverage. Besides completing a detailed questionnaire, most carriers require a medical technician to come to your home or office and take blood and urine samples, check heartbeat and blood pressure, and conduct the same type of tests you’d be given during an annual physical.
There are, however, instant-issue term life policies that you can buy without having a medical exam. Insurers rely on Field Underwriters to verify your identity and meet with you, rather than an exam. The application is submitted by the Field Underwriter in your presence.
Simplified-issue term life insurance uses current statistics to predict how long you’ll live based on your age and sex at the time you purchase the policy.
It’s targeted at younger, healthier people. But if you qualify, you can get coverage similar to standard term policies without the wait and paperwork. That differs from simplified-issue term policies that have higher costs and limited coverage.