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Understanding the life insurance blood test

Nov 20, 2020 3 Minute Read

If you’re applying for life insurance, you may need to take a medical exam at some point, including a blood test.

We know getting pricked with a needle isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, but there’s no need to worry. Medical exam blood tests are generally quick, mostly painless, and can help you lock in a lifetime of financial security for your family – not a bad deal overall.

Learning what to expect ahead of time can help make the process easier. Here’s what you need to know about life insurance exam blood tests. 

Why do I need to take a blood test for a life insurance policy?

Life insurance is designed to protect your family financially if something happens to you. During the application process, providers will take a close look at your health, which is an important factor in determining the risk to insure you. 

Some types of policies require a medical exam as part of your application, which generally includes a routine blood test. This life insurance exam is part of the underwriting process, which helps your insurance company assess if you’re qualified to buy coverage and how much you should pay for a policy.

What happens during a life insurance blood test?

The medical exam, which is free to you and generally takes about 30 minutes to complete, can be done at your home, workplace, test facility, or another appropriate place you choose. Along with the blood test, the exam usually includes height and weight measurements for a BMI reading, blood pressure, and a urine sample. The technician in charge of the exam will also ask you some health questions to confirm the information you gave on your application. 

During the test, they’ll monitor your blood pressure and take a small blood sample for further lab work. This will allow them to screen for a range of condition and indicators, such as:

  • Cholesterol levels, to determine heart health
  • Hemoglobin A1C, fructosamine, and glucose levels, to see if you have diabetes 
  • HIV, AIDS, and STDs
  • Creatinine, hemoglobin, and proteins, to identify kidney disease
  • Nicotine, tobacco, or drug use

Good exam results, like lower blood pressure, low cholesterol or glucose levels, and no major diseases or drug use, can qualify you for better rate classes and better premium rates. 

How to prepare

  • Be honest during the application. If something comes out in the blood test that doesn’t match what you told your insurer, you could be denied coverage. 
  • Eat healthy. Cut down on fried or sugary foods for at least a few days before the exam and try to avoid coffee and alcohol altogether so your tests are as clean as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated before and during the exam will help flush out toxins and make giving blood easier and quicker.
  • Reduce exercise. You can avoid elevating your blood pressure before the exam by taking it easy for a day or two.
  • Fast the day of the test. To get the most accurate test results, it’s important to fast six to 12 hours before your exam.

Still have questions about taking a blood test during your life insurance application? 

We’re here to help. Get in touch with us to talk to an agent today.

At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.