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15 Frequently Asked Questions about non-medical life insurance (FAQ)

by Mark Cluett
7 min read

1. What is non-medical life insurance?

Non-medical life insurance or life insurance without a medical exam refers to the fastest growing category of life insurance products in Canada. Non medical life insurance policies do not require a medical exam, blood test, or an assessment of your vitals (blood pressure, height and weight etc). Without the requirement for such tests, life insurance coverage can be obtained much faster – sometimes even instantaneously. No wonder it’s so popular.

2. What are the benefits of life insurance coverage without a medical exam?

Life insurance without a medical exam has historically been made available to those individuals that have moderate to severe health issues. These policies are usually more accommodating in their underwriting requirements and therefore cater to harder to insure individuals or those that have been declined health coverage. Increasingly, such coverage is also available through accelerated underwriting to healthy individuals that may want to set up coverage quickly and avoid the pain points of traditional underwriting (or just the major pain point associated with syringes!).

In effect, non medical coverage offers several benefits such as:

  • Easier underwriting process
  • Faster to complete the process
  • More accommodating for those with prior health considerations or previous declined applications
  • Avoid dealing with blood work or needles
  • No face to face interaction necessary

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3. Which companies offer life insurance coverage without a medical exam?

Most Canadian life insurers offer a substantial amount of life insurance coverage without requiring a medical test. At PolicyAdvisor, we work with the best life insurance companies in Canada and have access to both their standard (medically underwritten) products and non-medical products.

Many of the biggest life insurance companies in Canada such as Manulife, Canada Life Desjardins, Industrial Alliance, RBC Life Insurance, BMO Life Insurance and others are now able to offer significant life insurance coverage without requiring a blood test. In some cases, for healthy applicants, coverage as much as $5 million can be offered without medicals (also known as without fluids) using these companies’ accelerated underwriting processes.

There are also leading providers, such as Canada Protection Plan, Assumption Life, and Industrial Alliance (iA) that specialize in offering simplified life insurance products, that are available without a medical exam. This type of simplified coverage is best suited to individuals with moderate to severe health issues. In such cases coverage is limited to a maximum of $500,000.

4. Is there a waiting period for non-medical life insurance claims? Does my coverage start right away?

The waiting period for a life insurance policy refers to the length of time (usually up to 2 years) when claims may not be paid by insurance companies. Most non medical options allow for coverage to be available instantly after approval, without any waiting period.

There are some products in the market where the coverage may be deferred. Such products are typically offered to individuals with severe health considerations or those currently undergoing treatment.

5. Is non-medical insurance expensive?

If you are in good health, then life insurance coverage without a medical exam offers comparable premiums to coverage obtained after bloodwork and vitals are taken.

If however you have some prior health considerations, then the premiums may be higher to compensate for the elevated risk the insurance company is taking on.

FAQ non medical life insurance

6. Can I get joint coverage with my spouse without a medical?

Non-medical term insurance is generally issued on an individual basis. However if you and your spouse are in good health and qualify for accelerated underwriting, then you will be able to get joint coverage without medicals. Our advisors can easily assist you when reviewing your options for joint coverage.

7. Should I get non-medical insurance if I am healthy?

If you want your coverage approved and in place quickly then we recommend you take a non-medical policy if you are eligible. Without the time commitments of in-person blood work and tests there is no downside or price difference for non-medical coverage.

Some of the insurance providers we work with offer more favorable rates for customers who are in good health. For example, Canada Protection Plan has products such as Express Elite that are specifically designed for applicants in good health, who want quick coverage.

8. Are non-medical policies safe? Will my non-medical life insurance pay out a claim?

Yes! Of course, they are safe and will pay out a claim. The claims process for non-medical life insurance works exactly as it would for any other type of life insurance. The process for applying is easier and faster than regular medically underwritten issuance. However, there is no difference in the claims process between life insurance with a medical and without a medical.

9. I have Diabetes. Can I qualify for insurance without medicals?

There are several options for life insurance coverage for diabetics. The availability of these options depends on the age of the applicant, how long they have had diabetes, the degree of control, and the presence of any related complications, if any. Non medical policies are usually more accommodative for those with prior health conditions, including diabetics. Get in touch with us and we will be able to go over the details of your diabetes history and ensure you get a plan that’s right for you.

10. Can I get life insurance without a medical if I have been treated for cancer?

There are several on-medical life insurance options for those that have successfully overcome cancer. The coverage options depend on your age, type of cancer, the number of years since your treatment was completed, and a few other factors. At PolicyAdvisor, our advisors are able to work with you to find a suitable non-medical insurance product, personalized for your needs.

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11. Can I get non medical life insurance if I have heart disease and have had angioplasty?

You may be able to qualify for certain types of non medical life insurance depending on the severity of the heart condition and the number of years since the heart treatment or angioplasty was completed. Generally speaking, if the time since your angioplasty was completed is more than 3 years, you should qualify for life insurance coverage.

12.  Can I increase my coverage later if I get non-medical insurance?

Most insurance companies will require you to complete a new application. This will include a new questionnaire. If there is no change in your health or lifestyle situation, then you can always apply for additional coverage, under a new policy.

13. Can I get non-medical insurance if I am on a work permit?

Yes, you can! Some insurers provide life insurance coverage for individuals on a temporary work permit or a student visa, albeit for lower coverage amounts. You do not have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to apply for coverage without a medical exam.

14. Can I get non-medical insurance if I’m recovering from a chronic illness?

If you have a chronic illness or are recovering from one, there may be options available for your life insurance needs. Guaranteed life insurance is available for those currently receiving medical treatment, although these products usually have a waiting or deferral period. Our experienced life insurance advisors are happy to assist you. Schedule a call and we will be ready to assist.

15. What is the application process for non-medical life insurance?

As Canada’s best life insurance advisor, we are making the life insurance purchase process radically simple and easy. Our in-house advisors will help you complete a digital application form that will be electronically submitted to the insurance company. The form will ask a few medical and non-medical questions. Once the application is submitted, it takes 1 to 2 weeks for approval, although in some cases coverage can be approved instantly. Once the policy is approved, you may also have the option to receive the policy electronically.

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