Life Insurance Underwriting Process

November 26, 2018
Underwriting is the process the insurance carrier goes through to approve your policy. Applying for life insurance is easy but in order to determine how much your policy will truly cost, an underwriter needs to determine your likelihood of dying before the end of your policy's term. This is determined by analyzing data including your health, medical history and lifestyle information, such as driving ability and hobbies. The data is obtained from your initial application, your doctor or even from a required medical exam - the requirements vary for each applicant based on factors such as age, amount applied for & medical history. Underwriting could take 3 to 8 weeks! Some applicants are eligible for Accelerated Underwriting - no medical exams!

Accelerated Underwriting – NO Medical Exams

Accelerated underwriting speeds up the process, at no extra cost, by avoiding some of the more rigorous medical steps – APS requests or medical exams.

Many accelerated-underwriting life insurance plans cap out at $1,000,000 in coverage. Please view the list of carriers and their respective maximum face amounts to be eligible for no medical exams.

You’ll be required to take an initial medical interview over the phone, during which you’ll be asked about your health. The insurer will also check the MIB database (Medical Information Bureau), Motor Vehicle Report and Pharmacy Report.

MIB - Medical Information Bureau
The MIB is exclusively used by insurers to assess your medical risk and eligibility for insurance. This database is sometimes described as an "information exchange" because insurance carriers contribute their underwriting medical information about applicants, which can be used by other insurers who later search the database. If you submitted medical information for previous insurance applications, this database most likely has it.

Motor Vehicle Report
An insurance company considers the information in MVRs when determining eligibility and premiums. The insurer may analyze your violations, suspended license, DUI's, reckless driving, etc.

Pharmacy Report
This report is a database that collects the history of your pharmacy prescriptions. Any insurance company can request this information and still get a sense of what medical conditions you have even if they do not require a medical exam or Attending Physician Statement.

You will not be required for a medical exam or an APS from your physician if you are in good health and the information found in databases support it. But if any serious medical conditions pop up, you’ll be required to take a medical exam as if this was a traditional underwriting process. If the results of your exam show a complex health history, the insurer may order an Attending Physician Statement (APS) from your physician to get a better understanding of your medical conditions.

Accelerated Underwriting Programs

Bring the underwriting process down to a couple of weeks - or, in some cases, only a couple of days!

NO Blood or urine required; and
NO Medical Exam for qualified applicants

Insurance CarrierMaximum Face Amount
John Hancock$1,000,000 (ages 18-60)
Legal & General$1,000,000 (ages 20-40)
$750,000 (ages 41-45)
$500,000 (ages 46-50)
$500,000 (ages 20-50)*
*for OPTerm 10 only
Lincoln Financial$1,000,000 (ages 18-60)
Minnesota Life$1,000,000 (ages 18-54)
Nationwide$1,000,000 (ages 18-60)
Principal$1,000,000 (ages 18-60)
Protective$1,000,000 (ages 18-45)
$500,000 (ages 46-60)
Prudential$1,000,000 (ages 18-60)
Product Information as of 12/14/2018

Underwriting Flowchart

Below, we give a flowchart step-by-step on what to expect when going through the approval process - (between the initial application and final proposed policy).
After you submit your application to TermLifeApp, we submit an online "drop ticket" (application) directly with the insurance carrier.
Depending on each insurance carrier, a Call Center may call to conduct an interview to complete the formal application.
The application is sent to you to review and sign to ensure the application is complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge.
The Final Offer ("Policy Contract") is sent directly to our team at TermLifeApp via electronic delivery. We ensure the policy is approved as applied and discuss any changes with you.
At this point, the insurance carrier analyzes your collected information from various reports and makes an underwriting decision on your application.
If required, the insurance carrier may order a paramed exam. The exam is just like a regular check-up, usually consisting of blood and urine samples and some medical question inquiries.
TermLifeApp delivers the contract to the applicant, receives the delivery requirements and the policy is officially in-force.