The Application Process

Once you’ve decided to buy a policy, your financial professional will complete an application with you and then submit it. The insurance company will begin a process to obtain medical information to determine whether the company can insure you and what your payments will be.

The three-step process includes a medical exam, a medical history interview and underwriting.

Both the physical exam and the interview will be done at the company’s expense and your convenience.

The Physical Exam and Interview

The life insurance physical can usually be done in your home. The exam will generally take between 20 and 30 minutes and may include:

  • Height and weight measurements
  • Blood pressure reading
  • Collection of blood and urine samples
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Senior assessment at ages 71 and older (cognitive function, mobility, and frailty)
  • Other tests or procedures

The medical history interview is a telephone interview that will take about 20 minutes. The interviewer will ask you to verify your identity and to provide information about yourself. The interviewer will then ask questions relating to your:

  • Insurance history
  • Hobbies
  • Family medical history
  • Medical information

After you’ve completed both your physical and interview, Underwriting can begin.

Preparing for Your Physical Exam

Here are some tips for preparing for your confidential medical exam:

  • Be as relaxed and well-rested as possible.
  • Take any medications you normally take.
  • Do not drink alcohol at least eight hours before your exam.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco for at least one hour prior to your exam.
  • Avoid caffeine (including coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks) for at least one hour prior to your exam.
  • Limit salt intake and high cholesterol foods 24 hours before your exam.
  • Do not engage in strenuous exercise 24 hours before your exam.
  • Drink a glass of water approximately one hour before your exam.
  • If fasting is required for your blood test, be sure to follow the directions given to you.


“Underwriting” refers to the evaluation of your current health, medical history, family medical history, and your lifestyle. This step occurs after all of the information is collected. The insurance company’s underwriters establish your eligibility for life insurance and help ensure that you get the lowest possible premium.