sponsored by: BMO Life Insurance for Canadians

What Is No Medical Life Insurance?

No medical life insurance is a kind of life insurance policy that you can buy without having to undergo a medical examination. Many people prefer this kind of life insurance because it’s easier and less time-consuming to get, and because it’s an option if you have a pre-existing condition. No medical life insurance is often more expensive than standard life insurance, because insurance companies have less information to evaluate your health, and because people who are in good health tend to opt for standard life insurance policies.

How does no medical life insurance work?

There are two main types of no medical life insurance: simplified issue life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance.

Simplified issue life insurance doesn’t require a medical examination by a doctor, but may involve a questionnaire about your health. When you apply for simplified issue life insurance, you’ll be asked questions about yourself, including if you’ve been diagnosed with any serious illnesses, if you’ve been hospitalized, and if you’ve been turned down for another life insurance policy. Simplified issue life insurance can be bought as either whole life or term policies.

Guaranteed issue life insurance doesn’t require a medical examination or a medical questionnaire, but you’ll be limited to a much lower level of coverage—often around $25,000 for non-accidental death. For many guaranteed issue policies, if you die within the first two years, your beneficiary will only receive a benefit equal to the payments you’ve made on your policy. Usually when you buy guaranteed issue life insurance, your coverage stays in effect for as long as you continue making payments.


When should I buy no medical life insurance?

No medical life insurance is best for people who need life insurance but aren’t able to get a standard policy due to health or other reasons:

  • If you’ve been turned down for standard life insurance coverage.
  • If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or HIV.
  • You’ve been convicted of impaired driving in the past.
  • You work in a dangerous occupation, such as logging, sea fishing, or roofing.
  • You’re uncomfortable undergoing a medical examination.

What factors influence no medical life insurance rates?

When life insurance companies issue standard life insurance policies, they use information gathered in a medical exam to help determine how long you’re likely to live. For no medical policies, they have a lot less information to base their rates on, so your premiums will usually be much higher than for traditional life insurance. Factors that will influence your rates include your age, sex, whether you smoke, and how much coverage you choose. If you choose simplified issue life insurance, your premium will also be affected by your answers to the medical questionnaire.

To learn more about what factors affect life insurance rates, see our education centre topic What Is Life Insurance.


When can I be denied no medical life insurance?

With no medical life insurance, you’re asked a series of questions about your health but there is no medical exam involved. Because of this, insurance companies are only using limited information to set your premium, so there are less circumstances that could lead to you being denied coverage. The most common reason for being denied no medical life insurance is if you’re older than the maximum enrolment age. Typically, no medical life insurance is offered up to age 75.


Additional coverage

Some no medical life insurance providers allow you to purchase extended coverage, or riders, to cover you for other circumstances:

  • Critical illness provides payout if you develop a life-threatening illness like heart disease, stroke, or cancer.
  • Accidental death pays an additional benefit if your death is the result of an accident.

Some no medical life insurance policies also specify an age at which you no longer make monthly payments—usually around age 95.


How to buy no medical life insurance

You can buy no medical life insurance from three main sources:

  • Direct underwriters, who work for specific insurance companies
  • Insurance agents, who are independent but only sell the products of one insurance company
  • Insurance brokers, who sell the products of multiple insurance companies
  • Some providers offer online applications

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Guaranteed Life Plus from BMO Insurance

  • Easy application process – buy completely online or by phone
  • Canadians ages 40-75 can purchase
  • Coverage up to $50,000 available and receive 5X your coverage for accidental deaths (up to $250,000)
  • Choose the premiums to fit your budget, from $20 to $120 a month
  • Guaranteed acceptance as soon as we receive your application
  • Lifetime coverage as long as you pay your premiums up to age 95