How to Prepare for a Life Insurance Physical Exam

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Published: 23rd May 2013
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Having a life insurance policy is essential if you want to make sure that your family will be financially secure in the event of your death. When you apply for life insurance, you may be required to have a physical exam to assess your overall state of health. This exam is nothing to worry about, but there are a few steps you should take to prepare yourself.

What Does a Life Insurance Physical Exam Involve?

The purpose of a life insurance physical exam is to check for underlying conditions that could put you at risk of early death, and to give an indication of your general state of health. You will be expected to answer questions posed by the doctor conducting the examination about your lifestyle, family history, and pre-existing health conditions.

The doctor may ask you whether you smoke, whether you exercise regularly, and about your usual diet. You should answer these questions honestly as lying could mean that your life insurance policy is void. He or she will measure your height and weight and use these measurements to calculate your body mass index (BMI). A BMI that is over 25 is a sign that you are more at risk of obesity-related illnesses.

Life insurance physicals usually involve some quick and non-invasive tests. First, your blood pressure will be measured, as high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. The doctor will also take blood and urine samples from you to test for indicators of disease or ill health. The urine sample is used to test your kidney function, whereas the blood sample is used to check your cholesterol level and test for a variety of other conditions.

Depending on your family history and your own personal medical history, you may also be expected to have some further tests, such as an electrocardiogram or a scan, to assess the health of your heart or other organs.

Steps to Take Before a Life Insurance Physical Exam
The way you eat, drink and behave in the run-up to your life insurance physical exam can have a big effect on the results. To avoid being unfairly disqualified for the life insurance policy you desire, and to prevent your premiums being set at a disproportionately high rate, there are a few steps you need to take.

1. Donít smoke. Smoking has a dramatic short-term effect on your body. If you puff on a cigarette immediately before you go into the examination room, the nicotine will raise your blood pressure. By quitting or cutting back on the cigarettes for a few days before your life insurance physical exam, you can avoid having your test results impacted by the short-term effects of nicotine. However, do not be tempted to lie and say that you do not smoke at all as this will void your policy.

2. Donít drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol the night before your life insurance physical exam will impact on your blood test results, as the body produces more liver enzymes in response to the presence of alcohol. A high concentration of liver enzymes could be interpreted as a sign of ill health by the life insurance company, resulting in higher premiums.

3. Eat healthily. Eating greasy, fatty foods will cause your blood cholesterol to spike, making it appear that you are at risk of stroke.

4. Relax. Stress raises blood pressure and will make it difficult for you to concentrate on the doctorís questions. Take some time out to relax so that you are in a calm state of mind when you enter the examination room.

By following these simple guidelines, you can show off your body in its best state of health at your life insurance physical exam. Remember to respond honestly and accurately to the doctorís questions. Above all, relax and try not to worry too much; the examination is painless and will not take long to complete.


Laura Ginn was looking for a life insurance over 50 policy for her parents when she came across, a leading price comparison website in the UK. Here her parents were able to find an affordable policy that suited them both perfectly.

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