What is a Life Insurance Medical Report?
In life insurance, a medical report is a write-up a doctor gives to a life insurance company summarizing their findings during your medical exam. That medical exam is a required step for most life insurance applications.
Why medical reports matter
When you apply for life insurance, whether for yourself or someone else, the insurance company wants to know how long the person they are to insure is likely to live. Let’s say you’re applying for life insurance on yourself. The longer you live, the lower the risk you pose to the life insurance provider.
To determine how likely you are to live to or past an average life expectancy, life insurance companies require most applicants to undergo a medical exam. This exam is a lot like an annual physical, but it may include extra components like a blood or urine test or an electrocardiogram (EKG). The life insurance company will usually have a list of approved vendors whom they trust to perform the exam. A checkup by your regular physician will most likely not be enough due to the various requirements insurance companies have for their exams.
Once you’re finished with your medical exam, the practitioner who conducted it writes up their findings. The document they submit to the life insurance company is called a medical report.
The life insurance company uses the medical report — and what it concludes about your overall health — to determine a rating for you. If you’re healthier, you have a greater chance of earning a higher rating, like preferred or preferred plus. That, in turn, means paying less than the average person for your life insurance.
If the medical report concludes that you’re generally unhealthy, you will likely earn a standard rating, which means paying the average rate for life insurance, or a substandard rating, which means paying more. If the report finds something serious, you could even be denied coverage.
Additional info for your medical report
Beyond the medical report, the life insurance provider has other sources to gather medical information about you. Specifically, once you give your permission — which is part of the application process — they can pull your information from the MIB Group database.
The MIB, formerly the Medical Information Bureau, is an entity owned by the majority of life insurance providers across the U.S. and Canada. The members of the MIB contribute specially coded data about life and health insurance applicants. By tapping the database, the life insurance company can gather information the individual in question has reported or results of any previous life or health insurance applications.