Getting a great rate on your life insurance usually means passing a physical exam with flying colors. This can make many of us anxious before a physical. But you can relax knowing just what they'll check for and what you can do to prepare. In fact, these suggestions are all good ways to stay healthy in general, so it's good practice to make them regular habits in your everyday life!
What to Expect
A life insurance physical is like a checkup. Expect a licensed medical professional, usually a registered nurse, to arrive at your home to take samples of your blood and urine. The professional will check your blood pressure, ask questions about your health and may possible perform an EKG and other tests. The life insurance company pays for the test and it shouldn't take more than 30 minutes or so.
1 Week Before Exam
You should be eating a very healthy diet throughout the week. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid salty foods. You need to keep your cholesterol low so avoid any saturated fat.
3 Days Before Exam
Don't drink any alcohol at least three days before the exam. It'd be better to not drink any alcohol that week along with your healthy diet. It takes the liver about 72 hours to process all the alcohol in your system and get rid of it.
1 Day Before Exam
Don't eat or drink anything with caffeine in it. This can very difficult if you don't examine everything you eat. Many products have small amounts of caffeine in them. Check the labels of everything you put in your body. Caffeine raises your blood pressure. Pain killers like Tylenol, Aspirin, or Alleve can have the same effect, so avoid those as well.
Avoid physically demanding activities before your exam. This includes running, biking, swimming, and even lifting heavy objects from your car. When you exercise, proteins are released that may end up in your urine. While this is natural, elevated protein in the urine can also be a warning sign of disease.
Ten Hours Before
Don't eat anything at all 10 hours before your exam time. You can drink water but drink no other beverages. This minimizes that chance that you will have elevated blood sugar or that foods will negatively influence your results.
Last, be sure to get a good night's sleep. If you wake up feeling well-rested, you're body will be under less stress which is great for your exam. On this note, try to schedule your medical exam early in the morning. You're body is most relaxed when you first wake up.
Bring all of your medical records along with you. This includes your list of doctors and health insurance policies. Also carry a list of medications you're currently taking. Disclose everything that you take. If you forget to tell them about a certain medication that may change your medical exam results drastically. It's better to be honest in this area.
Bring a photo ID to identify yourself. This may sound obvious but many people forget to do so.
Stay relaxed throughout the exam but especially during the EKG test. They'll be monitoring your heart beat and allowing yourself to become too anxious may skew the results against you.
Tell Them You Smoke!
If you use nicotine products, but don't smoke cigarettes, some companies may still offer you the preferred non-smoker rates, so tell the truth about your nicotine use. Many smokers choose to quit smoking 3 days before the exam to avoid nicotine showing up in their urine sample.
This does work, but it's unwise. Smokers who lie on their life insurance paperwork may have claims denied if they pass away due to any smoking-related illness, including cardiac or lung problems. Don't leave your legacy to chance. Tell them you smoke and pay the appropriate premium! Not only that, if you can quit for three days to save money on your premium, why not quit for good? Once you have been nicotine free for three years, you can apply for a better rate.
Every Exam is Different
Depending upon the amount of coverage you're applying for, the medical exam will change. For example, MetLife requires people over 41 to wear an EKG belt for 1 week in their home. This gives the company a better idea of the applicant's stress level. The company may also test for substances you didn't expect in your urine. They may test for HIV, cocaine, or anything else they wish. Follow the above guidelines however and you have a great shot at getting a low premium.