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5 Best No-Exam Life Insurance Companies

According to the LIMRA 2024 Insurance Barometer study, only 46% of women have life insurance, while 57% of men have at least one policy. The need for women to have life insurance is higher (45%) versus 39% for men, but they hesitate.

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 with invasive medical questions, torturous financial disclosures, and an inconvenient medical exam.

Most life insurance underwriters do indeed consider applicants’ medical histories and their voluntary answers to medical questions. However, 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, and most major life insurers (and many lesser-known upstarts, too) back them.

5 Best No-Exam Life Insurance Companies

These are among the best life insurance companies currently offering no-exam policies to U.S. applicants. 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.

Here are the best no-exam life insurance companies:

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
  • Best For: Budget-conscious policyholders 

Unlike most no-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.

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.

They also have some other key advantages, including a $1.5 million coverage limit, policy terms as long as 30 years, and coverage beginning as late as age 60.


  • Fast coverage
  • Easy-to-understand terms
  • Doesn’t require a medical exam


  • Longest term is 30 years
  • Only term life insurance is available

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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 June 2022
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: Not rated
  • Best For: High coverage limits

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

Ladder one-ups Bestow with no-exam coverage up to $3 million — a level nearly unrivaled in the space. However, you may need to complete a health check if you’re applying for more than $3 million in coverage. But you can do it 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, Ladder only offers term life.


  • High coverage limits
  • Fast application process
  • Most applications don’t need a medical exam


  • No riders available
  • Only sells term life insurance

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3. Transamerica

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)
  • J.D. Power 2023 Life Insurance Study Rating: 757
  • Best For: Younger applicants 

Transamerica is a full-spectrum insurer offering no-medical-exam life insurance coverage (non medical underwriting) for policies up to $2 million.

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 chooses. However, depending on the policyholder’s age, medical underwriting is required for benefit amounts above $1 million or $2 million.


  • Has optional riders
  • Many terms available
  • Some policies convert to a permanent policy


  • Has customer service complaints
  • Some policies have age restrictions

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4. 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
  • Best For: 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. If there are any issues, it could be 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 can choose term life policies with coverage amounts up to $2 million and terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. Ethos has human agents on standby if you need help during the application process, but many applications occur entirely without person-to-person interaction.


  • Offers same-day coverage
  • Human agents to help if needed
  • Policies are guaranteed renewable until age 95


  • $2 million is the limit
  • Doesn’t convert to a whole-life policy

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5. Nationwide

  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)
  • J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study Rating: 840
  • Best For: Short terms

Nationwide offers no-exam life insurance policies for applicants ages 21 – 55. They offer coverage amounts of $250,000 to $1.5 million and term lengths of 10 – 20 years. The application process is completely online, and no medical exam is required.

Nationwide uses information from data vendors to determine eligibility, including your prescription history, medical information, and financial profile. The policy doesn’t have any riders available and doesn’t convert to a whole life policy. 

After completing the application, you’ll have an answer regarding approval and how much coverage you can get. However, note that your actual premiums may change from the initial quote after you complete the application process and Nationwide verifies everything.


  • No medical exam
  • High coverage limits
  • Completely online process


  • No riders
  • Only short terms available

Learn More

Is No Exam Life Insurance Worth It?

No exam life insurance may be worth it for applicants with a pre-existing condition or who don’t have time for a medical exam. The downside is you’ll pay higher premiums for the convenience, but if you either won’t get approved or will be charged excessive premiums because of your health condition, it can be worth it.

However, it may not be worth it if you are young and in good health. Paying higher premiums just to ‘skip’ a medical exam isn’t worth it. Even if you save $100 a month undergoing a medical exam, if you have a 30-year term, that’s the equivalent of $3,000. If you know you’ll pass the exam or don’t have a reason to suspect you wouldn’t pass, it can be worth getting a standard policy.

How to Choose the Best No Exam Life Insurance

Choosing the best no-exam life insurance is a big decision. You could have the policy for 10 – 30 years, and it will protect your loved ones financially if you pass away while it’s in effect.

Here are the top factors to consider when choosing:

  • Customer service: Many no-exam life insurance applications are 100% online, and not all companies offer human support. Consider the company’s customer service options if you have questions or prefer to talk to someone rather than apply online.
  • Coverage amount: Determine how much coverage you want and compare it to what each company offers. Some companies have much lower limits than others, so it’s important when looking for no-exam life insurance.
  • Company financial strength: Ensure a company has good financial strength so you don’t pay premiums for nothing. If you choose a company that can’t pay out, your loved ones may not receive the benefits you intended.
  • Conversion options: If you want to convert your term policy to a whole life policy, look for companies that offer it. Not all life insurance companies do, which means when your policy expires, you must start over again.
  • Cost: The premiums should be important in your life insurance choice. You’ll pay higher premiums for a no-medical exam policy, but they shouldn’t be unreasonable.

Alternatives to No Exam Life Insurance

The alternatives to no-exam life insurance are traditionally underwritten life insurance policies. They require a medical exam, but they may offer higher coverage limits or other options, like conversion to a permanent policy or adding riders.


When choosing the best no-exam life insurance companies, we considered the following factors:

  • AM Best and JD Power ratings
  • Application convenience
  • Age limits for no-exam coverage
  • Coverage limits
  • Additional benefits offered

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 seems, the process still involves 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 also be a difference-making source of assurance on the front end.

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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