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If you’re considering lifeinsurance, you may find that a paramedic examination isrequired prior to purchasing in order to determine yourinsurability.

For many, this is a daunting task. Not only do you need aphysical, but your results will be analyzed and shared with a thirdparty (your insurance company). The good news is that a paramedicexam is usually quick and easy, and there are ways to prepare tohelp you present your best picture of health.

Know how it works and what matters

Insurance companies outsource the physical examination toparamedic examiners in your area who will call to arrange theexamination as soon as you apply for life insurance. The paramedicexaminer meets you in a location of your choosing, completes theexam and then reports back their findings to the insurance company.The exact measures of your exam will depend upon your age, pasthealth history, family history and the amount of insurance coverageyou’re applying for.

During the exam, the paramedic may:

* Draw blood from your arm.

* Collect a urine sample.

* Determine your height and weight.

* Check your pulse and blood pressure.

* Complete an EKG (electrocardiogram).

Insurance companies are looking for a picture of your long-termhealth. Illnesses like HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cancer are red flagsfor many insurance providers because they increase the likelihoodof a pay-out. That doesn’t mean that you’re uninsurable if you havea serious illness. Some companies do offer life insurance policiesfor individuals who have a serious illness. Those companies arecalled “high-risk” carriers.

The results of your physical are delivered back to the insurancecompany where they are evaluated in a process called underwriting.Underwriting determines whether or not you are a good candidate forlife insurance. An “underwriter” is a person who is speciallytrained in evaluating risks of life insurance policy applicants andwho assigns the “correct” rate classification.

Buy young

The older you are, the more extensive your medical exam will be.It’s possible to buy a life insurance policywithout an exam at all, but the amount you can secure without amedical exam decreases greatly with age. For example, a 30-year-oldmay be able to purchase a $100,000 policy without an exam, but a50-year-old who wants to purchase a policy without a medical exammay only be able to secure a $10,000 policy. Going this route forlife insurance also almost guarantees that you’ll be paying higherpremiums than if you went with a life insurance company thatrequires a medical evaluation.

Prepare

Exercise can reduce blood pressure and help you lose excessweight – two factors that determine your rate classification. Ifyour exam results yield a policy recommendation that’s not idealand you think blood pressure or weight might have factored into thedecision, step up your exercise regimen and ask for anotherevaluation after you’re in better shape. Perhaps the best decisionyou can make for your health is the decision to quit smoking.Insurance companies see smokers as liabilities because those whosmoke have a shorter life span and a higher risk of developingcancer or other life threatening illnesses. Quitting can not onlyadd years onto your life and improve your health, it will ensurethat your family is better protected should the worst occur.

Knowledge and preparation can be your best allies during thelife insurance application process. Applying for life insurancewith the understanding of how it works can help ease your worriesand reduce stress.