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Simplified Issue Life Insurance

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Are you wondering if it’s possible to get a life insurance policy without completing a medical exam? You’re not alone. Many people put off purchasing life insurance because of the medical exam.

That’s where simplified issue life insurance comes in. An option available to many that allow you to completely skip the traditional medical exam that is often required when applying for life insurance coverage.

Although this may sound great, there are some guidelines you need to know about if you are considering a simplified issue life insurance policy. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what it is, who it’s for, and how to get it—so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.

What is Simplified Issue Life Insurance?

Simplified issue life insurance can offer an accelerated way to obtain coverage without undergoing the extensive medical underwriting of a traditional life insurance policy.

When applying for a life insurance policy, a large part of the underwriting process requires you to complete a medical examination involving a blood test, urinalysis, and an in-depth series of health questions. This requirement alone can slow down the time it takes for an approval to be made.

Simplified issue life insurance expedites the underwriting process by eliminating the medical exam, resulting in quicker approval. 

However, simplified issue policies do have some drawbacks. They tend to have lower benefit amounts and can have higher premium costs than if you were to complete a medical exam. This is the tradeoff for the insurance company to take on increased risk with limited health data from your lab results.

The Underwriting Process

Simplified issue life insurance has an underwriting process similar to traditional underwriting. The only difference is that you are skipping the medical exam part.

When completing an application for coverage, you must complete a health questionnaire providing details of your medical history, information about any doctors who have treated you for a specific health condition, medications you currently take, and if you smoke or participate in risky hobbies.

To help verify your responses and assess your overall risk of insurability, underwriting will utilize the help of several third-party data sources, such as:

MIB Report: The MIB Group (formerly known as the Medical Information Bureau) is an organization that collects and maintains underwriting information on individuals who have applied for life insurance. MIB Group reports provide details on previous insurance applications (life, health, disability, and long-term care insurance) that may impact insurability.

Prescription Drug History: An Rx or script check provides information on any past and current prescription medications, when a medication was initially prescribed, and the last time the medication was refilled.

Motor Vehicle Records: Your driving record provides information on your driving history, including traffic violations, accidents, or license suspensions. Life insurance underwriters consider this information to evaluate your risk profile. A history of reckless driving or multiple accidents may suggest a higher risk of premature death, potentially affecting the underwriting decision and premium rates.

In some cases, underwriting may also request medical records from your primary doctor or ask for a quick telephone interview if there is information about a response on the application or additional details about a specific medical condition are needed.

The information you provide on the application and information received from third-party sources lets the insurance company determine quickly if you’re a good candidate for a simplified issue based on your health profile and background.

Coverage Amounts

Policy TypeAgesMaximum Coverage
Simplified Issue Life Insurance
(Term - Universal - Whole Life)
18-65$25,000 to $1,000,000
Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance
(Final Expense )
50-85$25,000 to $50,000
Traditional Life Insurance
(Term - Universal - Whole Life)

Simplified issue life insurance typically has a cap on the total amount of coverage you can obtain. Depending on the provider, it can be as high as $1,000,000 but is often $500,000 or less.

These amounts are suitable for addressing financial needs such as providing income replacement, paying final expenses, or covering debt. For instance, if you have a mortgage or a business loan you want to ensure is covered, this type of policy could be a good fit.

Factors like age, health, length of coverage, and the insurer’s risk exposure are considered when determining how much coverage you can get. For example, older applicants may be limited to lesser death benefit amounts versus younger applicants. It’s also worth noting that different insurance companies may have varying coverage limits and premium rates, so comparing policies from multiple providers is always ideal.

The lower coverage limits of simplified issue life insurance are designed to reduce the insurer’s risk exposure and keep premiums affordable. This is a strategic approach taken by insurance companies to balance the risks associated with providing coverage without a medical exam.

Traditional life insurance policies will always offer higher coverage amounts but require a medical exam, which may not be feasible or desirable for some people, particularly those with health concerns or busy schedules.

Simplified issue life insurance strikes a balance between accessibility and coverage amounts. It allows individuals to secure the financial protection they need without the hassle of a medical exam. This convenience, combined with a decent level of coverage, makes it a popular choice for a wide range of people—from those in a hurry to get coverage to those with health conditions that might make securing traditional policies a bit of a challenge.

Who is Simplified Issue Life Insurance For?

Simplified issue life insurance is ideal for both younger and older individuals. Generally, individuals up to age 65 are eligible for simplified issue life insurance, though age restrictions may vary depending on the insurance carrier.

Suppose you’re over 65 and don’t require significant life insurance coverage but something small enough to handle final expenses. In that case, with most providers, a simplified whole life insurance policy that offers $10,000 to $25,000 is obtainable up to the age of 85.

Let’s take a look at who is often a good fit for simplified issue life insurance:

  • Busy Individuals: The streamlined application removes the need for a medical exam, making it perfect for those with hectic schedules.
  • Seniors: As age increases, so does the difficulty of passing a medical exam. This policy provides an alternative, especially regarding final expense plans.
  • The Health-Conscious: You will likely benefit from the no-exam policy if you’re in good health and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • No Recent Medical Check-ups: If you haven’t had a medical examination with a primary care physician in some time and want to avoid potential denial of traditional insurance due to undiagnosed health issues, you may find this a safer choice.

While this policy can be an excellent fit for many people, not everyone will qualify for coverage. It is possible to be denied coverage for simplified issue life insurance if there are serious underlying health issues or involvement in hazardous activities.

Applying for Simplified Issue Life Insurance

The application process for simplified issue life insurance is not complicated at all. Here’s a simple breakdown of the process:

StepDescriptionTime Needed
Step 1Research & Choose a Provider1-2 days
Step 2Complete the Application30 minutes
Step 3Answer Health-Related Questions15-30 minutes
Step 4Wait for Approval1-3 weeks

Research and Choose a Provider: The first step is to find a life insurance provider that meets your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as the company’s financial strength ratings, customer service reviews, policy features, and the range of coverage options available. If you need help, get assistance from an experienced life insurance agent or agency. For example, our company, No Medical Exam Quotes, is an independent life insurance agency that works with several different life insurance providers that offer simplified issue life insurance plans.

Complete the Application: The application asks you to provide personal details such as your name, address, occupation, and employer. This information helps the insurance company to confirm your identity. Your occupation and employer details and income information are asked to help justify the amount of coverage being applied for. Remember that your address is required for contact and policy delivery purposes. This detailed information enables the insurance company to create a comprehensive profile of you as an applicant.

Answer Health-Related Questions: The health questionnaire typically consists of several questions about your overall health history and if you have any pre-existing conditions. This includes providing the contact information for any doctors who have treated you for specific health conditions. You may also be asked to list any prescriptions you are currently taking and their dosage and frequency. Additionally, you will need to provide basic physical information like your height and weight, which can significantly determine your overall health risk.

Determine eligibility, approval, and applicable premium rates: The information provided will be used to assess your eligibility for the insurance, determine the appropriate premium rates, and establish the approval process. The timeframe for approval can vary, but it’s generally faster than traditional life insurance policies.

Typically, you can expect a response within one to three weeks. Remember, honesty is key in this process. Any discrepancies found could lead to policy cancellation or claim denial.

Pros and Cons of Simplified Issue Life Insurance

When considering simplified issue life insurance, it’s beneficial to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the right choice for you. This type of insurance offers significant advantages, but it also comes with its own set of downsides.

Quicker Approval: The application process is usually faster, often taking only days or even hours to get approved.Higher Premiums: Because the insurer has less information about your health, you may have to pay higher premiums.
No Medical Exam Required: You don't have to go through a medical exam, making the process less intrusive and more convenient.Limited Coverage: The amount of coverage you can get is usually less than what you could obtain with a traditional policy.
Less Paperwork: The application is generally shorter and requires less documentation, making it easier to complete.Limited Age Range: These policies are often targeted at specific age groups, which might not include younger or very old individuals.
Good for Minor Health Issues: If you have minor health issues that might make traditional insurance more costly or difficult to obtain, simplified issue can be a good optionMay Exclude Certain Conditions: Some pre-existing conditions may disqualify you from coverage or result in even higher premiums.

Cost Factors and Payment Options

The cost of simplified issue life insurance is determined by age, health, and coverage amount. Since no medical exam is required, the risk classification may automatically be set at a higher class, such as “standard rates.”

Risk ClassificationSimplified Issue Life Insurance CostTraditional Life Insurance Cost
Preferred Plus (Excellent)Not ApplicableLowest Cost
Preferred (Very Good)Not ApplicableLow Cost
Standard Plus (Good)Not ApplicableModerate Cost
Standard (Average) Moderate to High CostModerate to High Cost
Substandard (Below Average)High CostHigh Cost
High Risk (Poor Health)May be DeniedMay be Denied
  • In simplified issue life insurance, the “Preferred” classifications are generally not applicable because there’s no medical exam to determine this level of detail.
  • Costs are relative and can vary by provider, age, and other factors.

When considering the significance of life insurance and its cost, consider your financial objectives, family needs, and personal preferences. Comparing simplified issue life insurance policies and premium rates from different insurers can help you decide on the appropriate coverage and cost for your unique situation.

Additional Coverage Options

On top of the base policy, numerous add-ons can customize your simplified issue life insurance to fit your situation. These extra options let you tailor the policy for comprehensive protection aligned with your lifestyle and financial goals.

Some key add-ons to consider:

  • Policy Riders – These supplemental benefits boost your coverage, like critical illness riders, accidental death riders, or waiver of premium riders if you become disabled.
  • Term Conversion – Allows switching from term life to permanent coverage later without new medical exams.
  • Living Benefits – Provides early financial assistance if diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Return of Premium (ROP) – Get all your premiums paid back if you outlive a term policy.

When looking at extra options and add-ons, consider how they fit with what you need and can afford monthly. You want to create a customized package of benefits that makes sense for your situation. However, it should be noted that these options are only available if your insurance provider offers them. Not all providers may offer these additional features.

Real-Life Examples and Use Cases

Simplified issue life insurance can be beneficial in a variety of real-life scenarios, as illustrated by the following examples:

  1. Small Business Owner: A small business owner named John applied for an SBA loan to expand his business and used a simplified issue life insurance policy as collateral to meet the bank’s requirements. This allowed John to secure the necessary funding for his business expansion while also providing financial protection for his family in the event of his death.
  2. Senior Citizen: A 70-year-old woman named Martha, who had minor health issues and did not want to go through the hassle of a medical exam, opted for a simplified issue whole life insurance policy. This policy ensured that her end-of-life expenses would be covered, providing peace of mind for Martha and her family.
  3. Busy Professional: A busy professional named Lisa, who didn’t have time for a medical exam, chose simplified issue life insurance with a million dollars of death benefit protection. This allowed her to secure a policy quickly, providing immediate financial protection for her loved ones.
  4. Individual with Pre-existing Health Condition: Paul, who had a pre-existing health condition, was denied traditional life insurance. However, he secured a simplified issue “guaranteed acceptance” policy, ensuring that his family would have some financial support in the event of his death.
  5. New Parents: A couple, Anna and David, recently had a baby and wanted to ensure their child’s financial future. They chose simplified issue life insurance because of its quick approval process, providing them with immediate coverage without needing a medical exam.

Addressing Common Misconceptions

Although you might’ve heard some misconceptions about simplified life insurance, separating the myths from the facts is crucial to making an informed decision. Let’s debunk some common myths.

  • It’s too expensive: While rates for simplified issue life insurance can be higher than traditional policies, it’s not always the case. The cost varies based on age, health, and coverage amount. Don’t let the fear of high premiums deter you from exploring this option.
  • It’s only for unhealthy people: While it’s true that these policies are often beneficial for those with health issues, they’re not exclusively so. Many people choose simplified issue life insurance for its ease and speed of approval.
  • The coverage is limited: Contrary to this belief, you can often get substantial coverage. The amount depends on the insurer and your circumstances.
  • It’s not worth it: The value of any insurance policy depends on personal circumstances. Simplified life insurance can be valuable for those needing coverage quickly or with health issues.


In conclusion, simplified issue life insurance offers a convenient and expedited solution for those seeking life insurance coverage without the need for a medical exam.

With its quick approval process and suitability for young and older adults and even those with minor health issues, this policy can provide valuable financial protection for your loved ones.

By understanding the features, limitations, and suitability of simplified issue life insurance, you can decide whether this type of policy is the right choice for your unique situation.

Remember to consult a financial advisor or insurance professional to help you navigate life insurance’s complexities and select the best policy to meet your needs and protect your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I increase my coverage amount after purchasing a simplified issue life insurance policy?

Yes, you can increase your coverage amount after purchasing a simplified issue life insurance policy. However, it’s worth noting that an increase often requires additional underwriting.

In some cases, you may be asked to provide more health information or undergo a medical exam. It’s best to discuss this with your insurance provider to understand the specific procedures and requirements involved in increasing your coverage.

How does simplified issue life insurance compare to other types of life insurance policies in terms of payout?

It’s generally similar when comparing simplified issue life insurance to other policies in terms of payout. However, these policies often have lower coverage limits. They’re designed for quick approval without a medical exam, so insurers limit their risk with lower payouts.

What are the tax implications of a simplified issue life insurance policy?

Generally, the death benefits from such a policy aren’t taxable to the beneficiary.

However, if your life insurance policy accumulated cash growth, any gains above the total premiums you’ve paid are subject to income tax. It’s important to consult a tax advisor for specifics, as tax laws can be complex and change frequently.

Can I still apply of simplified issue life insurance if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

While simplified issue life insurance does not require a full medical exam, it is not guaranteed acceptance for all pre-existing conditions. Certain serious health issues like diabetes or heart disease can still potentially lead to denial of coverage.

With simplified issue, you fill out an abbreviated health questionnaire rather than undergoing screening lab work and tests. It is crucial that you answer these health questions thoroughly and truthfully. Insurers may charge higher premiums or limit policy face amounts based on your disclosures.

Can simplified issue life insurance be converted into a different type of life insurance policy at a later date?

If your policy is a term insurance policy, it is possible to convert it, but this is subject to the conversion period guidelines set forth by your insurance provider.

For instance, many providers require that the coverage be converted before a certain age, such as 65 or 70, and it must be done before the term length ends.

Therefore, while there are some limitations, there is also a degree of flexibility. It’s always best to review your policy details or consult your insurance provider to understand your options better.

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Picture of Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert
Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance agency that strongly focuses on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. He is a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website.

Before becoming a life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps, transitioning from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage beginning in 2009. Since starting a career as a licensed life insurance agent, Jeffrey has helped thousands of families with their life insurance needs.

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