Why Do Life Insurance Companies Do Blood Tests?

Many people think applying for life insurance is easy, but people commonly find out it’s not so easy after they’ve already started the process.

After the initial application process is completed and your application is submitted most life insurance companies will send a nurse to your home or work at no extra cost to fill out some forms, do a quick physical, have you pee in a cup, and take a small blood sample. The blood test to get life insurance only requires a small sample, is quick, doesn’t hurt more than a pinch, and plays an important role in qualifying you for life insurance.

What do Life Insurance Companies Test Your Blood For?

Life insurance companies use your blood sample for a variety of tests. They are primarily testing for health related metrics including cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, liver enzymes, illnesses, HIV and drug and tobacco use.

Life Insurance Blood Test for Medical Conditions

When wondering what does a life insurance blood test screen for, the first place of concern is general health and disease related indications of a serious illness or possible medical condition. All of the standard tests your doctor may perform during a yearly physical will be covered:

  1. Cholesterol metrics and triglyceride levels
  2. Blood sugar and liver enzymes

These tests are used to detect other possible conditions and measure your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other life threatening conditions.

Many of these conditions would not immediately disqualify you from getting life insurance. In fact, the information could be very useful at your next doctor appointment when discussing strategies for managing your health. If you do have elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels, you may have to pay a higher rate for life insurance than someone with normal or low levels.

High blood sugar could indicate that you just had a really sugary meal or a lot of carbohydrates, but it could also indicate a risk for diabetes, another condition that increases life insurance rates.

Life Insurance Blood Test for Drugs

Drug users have a higher risk of death according to statistics—and life insurance companies use your life insurance blood test to look for signs of use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs (including prescription medications).
Illegal drug use indicates a high risk lifestyle, and some drugs like cocaine and heroin are deadly when used at too high of a frequency or in too large of a dose. Injected drugs increase the risk of contracting a bloodborne illness, including some that can lead to death (like HIV).

Life Insurance Blood Test for STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases can be another risk indicator that life insurance companies use to choose your insurance cost. Some sexually transmitted diseases, also known as STIs or sexually transmitted infections, are very common and do not cause long-term harm, such as genital herpes, which as many as 90% of American have been exposed to, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Other sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV or AIDS, can be deadly. People with the worst diseases may be disqualified from life insurance, but people with well managed conditions that are not life threatening can still qualify for life insurance.

How Insurance Companies Use Blood Test Results

At the end of your physical, your examiner sends your blood sample and urine sample to a lab for testing. The insurance company uses information in your application and the test results to assign you a risk level.
The most commonly used risk categories are Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, and Standard with subcategories for smokers and nonsmokers. Each risk category has a different rate to purchase a life insurance policy.

People with the best health pay the lowest monthly rates. If your health is below the cutoff for the best rate categories, the company will use a rate table to match your risk level with the current insurance rate they offer.
Each company uses a different scale and charges different rates, which is why it is so important to shop around for life insurance before choosing a provider.

If your rate was higher than your budget can afford, you can take steps to improve your health and apply again at a later date. If you are a smoker, quit smoking to live a longer life and qualify for a better rate. If you are obese, lose weight. If you have high cholesterol, improve your diet, exercise more, and discuss medication options with your doctor. No matter what happens there’s always options. Be sure to discuss your options with your agent.
Whatever you do, do not lie on your application or try to cheat on your results. Insurance fraud is a serious crime that can land you a big fine and time in prison. And, it increases the rates everyone else has to pay, which is bad karma.

Life Insurance Blood Test Tips

If you lead a normal, healthy life, a life insurance medical exam blood test is nothing to worry about. Make sure to drink plenty of water in the 24 hours before the test so the blood draw is not too difficult, but not so much that your urine is overly diluted, as it may be disqualified (you would just have to pee in a cup again for a second test).
Avoid overly fatty and unhealthy meals in the days leading up to the test to avoid temporarily spiking your cholesterol, triglyceride, or blood sugar levels. Get a good night’s sleep the evening before so you are well rested and alert for your physical exam.
Most importantly, don’t stress about it. A life insurance physical exam blood test is not a big deal if you have nothing to hide.

If you want to protect your family from financial hardship in the event of a worst case scenario, take the steps to apply for life insurance today. You can get a basic quote in as little as 60 seconds.

Enter your basic health information to find out what you may have to pay for a life insurance policy. Whether you want a $50,000 policy or a $1,000,000 policy, you can get a quote with an estimated rate instantly, and absolutely free.
Your family is too important to leave exposed to financial risk. Protect your loved ones by getting a life insurance quote today.

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