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8 Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance Companies

According to the LIMRA 2021 Insurance Barometer study, roughly half (52%) of American adults have at least one life insurance policy. That’s down 11 percentage points from the 2011 high of 63%, suggesting many Americans aren’t seeing the value in this particular type of financial protection.

Part of this hesitancy may be due to misconceptions about life insurance. Many would-be applicants assume that every life insurance application involves an exhaustive underwriting process rife with invasive medical questions, torturous financial disclosures, and an inconvenient medical exam.

It’s true that most life insurance underwriters do consider applicants’ medical histories and their voluntary answers to medical questions. But many don’t require medical exams as a condition of acceptance.

Policies issued without waiting on the results of a medical exam are known as no-medical-exam life insurance or simplified issue life insurance. They’re increasingly common, with most major life insurers (and many lesser-known upstarts too) backing them.

9 Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance Companies

These are among the best life insurance companies offering no-exam policies to U.S. applicants right now. With this list as your starting point, use a life insurance quote aggregator like Policygenius to narrow down your choice of candidates and choose an insurer and policy that best fits your needs.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the life insurers on this list offer term policies with no cash value, permanent (whole life insurance) policies, and universal policies for individuals. (Whole and universal life policies do accrue cash value over time.) Some may offer employer-sponsored or group life insurance policies as well, but those aren’t included in our analysis.

Each listing includes two key metrics of insurance company stability and performance, where available:

  • The AM Best financial strength rating, a closely watched measure of insurers’ capacity to pay benefits to policy beneficiaries
  • The J.D. Power 2020 life insurance survey rating, which measures overall customer satisfaction with the application and claims processes

Before applying for a no-exam life insurance policy, understand the difference between two no-exam types of life insurance: simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance (guaranteed issue policies).

The former typically has a higher maximum death benefit and a streamlined but not perfunctory underwriting process. The latter is a lower-benefit policy — often enough to cover final expenses like funeral costs but not much more — for which applicants can’t be turned down for health reasons.

Finally, understand that any life insurance policy (including a no-exam life insurance policy) is a long-term financial commitment that can have a significant impact on your household’s cash flow. Before applying, speak with a financial advisor to assess your coverage needs and confirm that purchasing any policy at all is in your best financial interests.

1. Bestow

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (Superior), for the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: Not rated
  • Great For: Budget-conscious policyholders seeking higher coverage limits without a medical exam

Unlike most no-medical-exam life insurance providers, Bestow is entirely exam-free. That is, if you want a medical exam as part of your policy’s underwriting, Bestow is not for you.

Is this actually a disadvantage? Perhaps, in the sense that a no-medical-exam life insurance policy is likely to have a higher premium than an otherwise identical policy that does require an exam (due to the inherent uncertainty of insuring someone’s life without making sure everything is OK under the hood).

But Bestow largely solves this problem by eliminating inefficiencies elsewhere — inefficiencies that drive up the cost of coverage from full-spectrum insurers.

Either way, getting a life insurance policy from Bestow is ridiculously convenient. The online application process takes just a few minutes — doable on your lunch break or while unwinding in front of the TV after work.

Bestow’s underwriting process is fully algorithmic, meaning you won’t have to wait for a decision while your doctor sends along your health records — although algorithmic underwriting’s lack of transparency is a legitimate downside.

Bestow has some other key advantages, including a $1.5 million coverage limit — quite high for an algorithmic underwriter — policy terms as long as 30 years, and coverage beginning as late as age 60.

Bear in mind that Bestow only offers term life insurance policies, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for permanent life coverage.

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2. Ladder

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (Superior), for Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York and Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, based on an analysis of financial position and operating performance – affirmed October 2021
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: Not rated
  • Great For: Applicants seeking competitive rates and higher coverage limits

Ladder is yet another insurtech that uses algorithmic underwriting with carriers that have solid financial strength ratings and flexible coverage that can be adjusted over time. Policies through Ladder are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York.

Like Bestow and Haven Life, Ladder offers an algorithmic term life insurance product that requires no medical exam — although applicants do need to answer a fairly extensive health questionnaire. Ladder actually one-ups both companies with no-exam coverage up to $3 million — a level nearly unrivaled in the space.

If you’re applying for more than $3 million in coverage, you may need to complete a health check. But this can be done in the comfort of your own home with no lab or nurse visit required.

Like other algorithmic underwriters, Ladder keeps premiums competitive thanks to a stripped-down, low-overhead corporate structure. Policies can stretch as long as 30 years, although older applicants may not qualify for the longest terms. And, like Bestow and Haven, Ladder only offers term life.

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3. Lemonade

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (Superior), for the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: 5 out of 5 (Among the Best)
  • Great For: Applicants seeking competitive rates with unusually high coverage limits

Lemonade is a diversified, tech-assisted insurance agency that got its start in the property insurance space (homeowners and renters insurance, to be exact). Later, the company extended its algorithmic underwriting process to life insurance, to the benefit of would-be policyholders put off by medical exam requirements.

Even by the standards of algorithmic underwriting, Lemonade’s process stands out. The application is entirely online, led by a smart chatbot that asks basic questions about your health history, habits, lifestyle, and other relevant details. To back up your answers and strengthen its confidence in its assessment of your health, Lemonade pulls (with your consent) your health records and other verifiable third-party data.

Lemonade’s policy terms range from 10 to 30 years and are available to applicants up to age 60, although the longest terms may not be offered to older applicants. Death benefits range up to $1.5 million.

Lemonade advertises life insurance rates as low as $9 per month, but your actual premium will depend on your coverage amount, age, health history, and other factors.

Like its fellow algorithmic insurers, Lemonade only offers term life insurance. If you’re looking for whole life coverage, Lemonade isn’t for you.

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4. Assurity

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A- (Excellent)
  • J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction Rating: Not rated
  • Great For: Applicants seeking longer-term policies through an insurance agent

Assurity is a mutual life insurance company that’s decidedly more old-fashioned than newcomers like Ladder and Bestow. In fact, Assurity doesn’t sell directly to the public — you’ll need to work through an agent (or an employer, if that’s an option) if you want to take advantage of the company’s no-exam policies.

If you’re willing to take this step, there’s a lot to like about Assurity. The company’s NonMed Term 350 product provides coverage up to $350,000 for terms as long as 30 years and accepts applications from would-be policyholders as old as 65.

Assurity doesn’t make coverage decisions instantaneously, unlike its more tech-y competitors, but you should still know whether you’re approved for coverage within a few days.

Assurity has some other benefits worth noting, including a surfeit of riders: accelerated death benefit, return of premium, children’s term (covering the insured’s kids until they turn 25), and more.

And because Assurity also offers permanent life insurance, its NonMed Term 350 policies can be converted to permanent status and extended beyond the original term without waiting for the term to expire.

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5. Transamerica

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: 734
  • Great For: Younger applicants seeking high coverage limits

Transamerica is a full-spectrum insurer that offers no-medical-exam life insurance coverage (nonmedical underwriting) for applicants up to age 55.

The company distinguishes between applicants aged 18 to 45 and applicants aged 46 to 55, with the former qualifying for up to $2 million in coverage without an exam and the latter topping out at $1 million in coverage without an exam under normal circumstances.

Transamerica’s no-exam policies have up to 30-year terms and boast living benefits (accelerated death benefits) for qualifying policyholders diagnosed with chronic, critical, or terminal illnesses

The Trendsetter Super product is a convertible policy, meaning it’s eligible for conversion to permanent status if the policyholder so chooses, although medical underwriting is required for benefit amounts above $1 million or $2 million, depending on the policyholder’s age.

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6. Sagicor

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A- (Excellent)
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: Not rated
  • Great For: Would-be policyholders seeking good customer service and higher coverage limits

Sagicor is one of the few life insurance companies (along with Bestow) that only offers no-medical-exam coverage. The difference is that Sagicor offers a wider range of no-exam policy options than many competitors: term, whole, and final expenses life insurance (a lower-benefit subtype of whole life insurance).

Sagicor’s term life policies top out at 20 years and $1 million, so they’re not for applicants with the longest time horizons or highest coverage needs. They’re certainly appropriate for younger and middle-aged folks seeking some measure of financial protection, though.

Sagicor’s whole life policies offer death benefits as high as $250,000 — again, not a massive amount of coverage, but enough for many use cases. Its final expense policies provide up to $50,000 in coverage, higher than many competing final expense insurance options.

Elsewhere, Sagicor prides itself on responsive customer service, despite its lean corporate profile, and a community-first ethos that sees it donating a portion of new policyholder premiums to charities operating in their home states.

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7. Ethos

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent) to A+ (Superior), varies by underwriter
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: Not rated
  • Great For: Applicants who’d like to choose from multiple underwriting companies, including some that accept older applicants

Ethos offers no-medical exam policies – applicants just have to answer a few health questions. 

What can you expect from Ethos’ no-exam policies? If you’re young and have no known health issues, there’s a good chance your policy will be fast-tracked through underwriting or subjected to a longer process that involves more follow-up questions and a more thorough investigation of your health history on Ethos’ end.

In either case, you’ll be able to choose term life policies ranging from 10 to 30 years and coverage amounts up to $2 million. If you need help during the application process, Ethos has human agents on standby, but many applications occur entirely without person-to-person interaction.

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8. Mutual of Omaha

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (Superior)
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: 789
  • Great For: Applicants seeking a comprehensive lineup of life insurance solutions

Mutual of Omaha offers a comprehensive lineup of permanent and term life insurance policies, including a guaranteed issue whole life insurance product that provides a small but potentially valuable death benefit for older applicants (up to age 85 in most states and age 75 in New York).

Premiums remain level for the duration of the policy, regardless of health status or age, and the underwriting process involves no health questions. That’s a step up in terms of leniency from most no-exam policies, which do still ask detailed health questions during underwriting.

Mutual of Omaha has a glaring deficit for fans of term life insurance and no-exam coverage: It requires medical underwriting for term life applicants. So, while Mutual of Omaha is a great choice for final expenses coverage and other small-benefit whole life use cases, it’s not ideal for many working policyholders.

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Final Word

There are many reasons to buy life insurance. If you’re actively considering adding a policy in your name, you’ve probably determined that at least one applies to your personal situation.

There’s another side to the life insurance coin, of course. While applying for life insurance is not as difficult as it’s made out to be, the process does still involve some work on the applicant’s part. Throw in the still-common medical exam requirement and you’ve got an inconvenience on your hands — one that might be big enough to put you off applying altogether.

These no-medical-exam life insurance companies want to change this for the better. Apply for coverage with any of them and you can rest assured that you won’t have to sit through another blood draw or blood pressure check simply because you want to provide your family with some measure of financial protection in the event of your premature death.

You already know that life insurance provides valuable peace of mind should the unthinkable happen. Your decision to apply for no-exam coverage could be a difference-making source of assurance on the front end as well.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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