I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a call from a prospect who asks something like this:
“Chris, how quickly can I get this coverage in place? My current term policy’s premium is increasing in a week.”
Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t let this happen to you.
Approvals in 15 Minutes to 8 Weeks – Does that Help?
The application and approval times vary depending on how much information you give the company.
For example, some applications require a medical exam, while others don’t. Keep in mind that the more the insurance company knows about you, the lower the cost of insurance. (i.e. No Exam policies cost 15-20% higher than Traditional Exam policies, on average.)
Read through the timelines below, and allow yourself the appropriate amount of time to get your new policy in force.
If you are applying for life insurance for the first time, please understand in most cases, especially if a medical exam and medical records are required, this is a bit of a process, and will not happen overnight.
No Exam Policy with Instant Approval – Takes Approx. 24 Hours to Make Effective
If you need coverage NOW, this is the option for you. Policies typically are bound and effective within 24 hours of approval. You can apply online with this link: 15 Minute Approval
- *No Medical Exam
- Coverage Effective in 24 hours, on average
- No Speaking with an Agent
- Immediate Decision on Approval
*No medical exam does not mean guaranteed approval. You must be in pretty good health to get approved, as they will pull a pharmacy report and MIB report before approving you. If you came to our site with a high risk medical condition, you’ll need to use one of the options below.
No Exam Life Insurance – Takes Approx. 7-10 Days to Make Effective
In the case of the more traditional No Exam Policy, no medical exam is required, but the company may take about 1 week to approve & issue your policy. We like Fidelity’s Rapid Term policies, in which case, there are 3 steps:
- Application – If you called me to apply today, we could have your application emailed to you, which you could then complete and email or fax back the SAME day.
- Phone History Interview – Most no exam policies require a short phone interview, where most of the same questions from your application are re-questioned to you. This call may be made within 1-3 days of receiving your application.
- Policy Issue – Your policy may be approved and issued within 2 days of your phone history interview. Your policy is then mailed you, which may take 2-3 more days. In most cases, your policy will have a couple “delivery requirements” that may need to be signed and sent back, such as a policy delivery receipt. This can be done by email or fax on the same day the policy is received, and once received by the company, your policy would be placed in force either the same or next day.
Please note, that while No Exam policies get issued quickly, they typically cost more money than a type of policy that requires a medical exam. The more information a company knows about you, the less risk they take on, and can therefore charge you less.
So if you want to pay less, you might elect to apply for a policy which requires a medical exam, as I describe below.
Traditional Application WITH Medical Exam & No Medical Records Necessary – Takes Approx. 2 Weeks to Make Effective
When you apply for a traditionally underwritten policy, where a medical exam will be completed, you could have the policy in your hands and effective approximately 2 weeks from the day you first apply, IF no medical records are needed.
Quickest Example Timeline Possible
- Application – 1 day
- Medical Exam – 2 days after application submitted
- Approval – 3-5 days after exam completion
- Policy Issue – 5-7 more days to deliver policy
As in the case with No Exam policies, we can send out and receive an application in 1 day. Then we order for a medical examiner to call you (they typically call within 24-48 hours to schedule your exam). If you can get your exam scheduled and completed right away, this will give you a chance to have your policy effective within 2 weeks.
Typically, your case will be assigned to an underwriter after you’ve completed your exam. The underwriter then reviews your application and lab results to determine whether medical records are necessary. If everything looks good on your application and blood work, your underwriter will likely approve you immediately, without ordering records from your attending physician. After approval, your policy may be delivered to you and placed in force within a week.
If your underwriter determines more information about your health is needed, however, the insurance company may order medical records from 1 or more of your attending physicians, as I describe below.
Traditional Application WITH Medical Exam & WITH Medical Records – Approx. 4-8 Weeks to Make Effective
In this third scenario, when your underwriter reviews your life insurance application answers and/or exam results, he or she orders medical records from your doctor/s. Obtaining medical records adds 3-4 weeks , on average, to the underwriting process.
While it typically takes 3 to 4 weeks to obtain a set of medical records, we’ve seen them come back very quickly… sometimes in just a few days from the date of originally requesting them. On the other hand, it could take months to obtain them. The process of obtaining records varies so much for the following reasons:
- Most doctors’ offices are inundated and backlogged with these requests.
- Many offices charge a fee, such as 25 cents per page. It usually takes a week for payment and processing.
- Occasionally, records are lost, incomplete, difficult to locate, etc.
- Often times, your general records are ordered from your general MD, and information is discovered in those records necessitating additional records from other doctors.
We’re really at the mercy of the doctor’s office here, and how quickly they get the records out. In one extreme example, we ordered records for a couple living in Michigan over 3 months ago, who previously lived in England. It took over 3 months to locate their records and obtain them!
I Would Like to Apply for Life Insurance – What Now?
You can get started with an application either by calling us toll free at 877-443-9467 or by filling out a quote request using our form on the right, and when you find the policy that suits you best, select “Request Application”.