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Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance

No-medical-exam life insurance simply refers to any life insurance policy for which you can apply without taking a medical exam. It’s an option for anyone who wants a life insurance policy but would prefer to skip the exam. It used to be that you had to undergo a medical screening for most types of life insurance. But more and more companies are adopting “accelerated” underwriting processes instead of the traditional underwriting process that requires an exam. 

With accelerated underwriting, you answer thorough health questions, the insurance company checks your medical and other records, and you may have a phone interview in some cases. But unless red flags are raised, there is no health exam. According to the American Society of Actuaries, pricing for policies issued with accelerated underwriting is similar to those that require an exam.1 However, it’s worth noting that there are other no-exam processes that tend to be more expensive (but even less invasive) than accelerated underwriting. These include simplified issue, which asks only a handful of health questions, and guaranteed issue, which asks none.

Below we look at the best life insurance companies for no-medical-exam life insurance for 2022. 

Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance

No-medical-exam life insurance refers to coverage issued without a medical exam and without the need for an attending physician’s statement, a recent medical exam, or recent lab work.

BEST OVERALLNationwide

Investopedia’s Rating

4.7

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Nationwide
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “F.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

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Pros

  • No-medical-exam life insurance with up to $5 million in coverage
  • Excellent customer satisfaction
  • A wide range of policy types
  • Three living benefits included in most policies
  • Allows credit card payments

Cons

  • No-med-exam coverage limit less impressive if you’re 50+
  • Burial insurance only available to existing policyholders

Nationwide is a well-rounded, financially stable life insurer that delivers across categories. That’s why it’s also our top pick for best life insurance companies of 2022. The company offers up to $5 million of coverage without requiring eligible applicants to undergo a medical exam. This is the second-highest amount among our top picks, and no-exam underwriting is available for most policy types. 

Nationwide offers a wide range of policy types, and most include three free living benefit riders. They may let you access part of your death benefit while you’re still alive if you’re diagnosed with a chronic, critical, or terminal illness. Of the 91 life insurance companies we reviewed, Nationwide is one of only a handful to offer such a benefit. 

Nationwide is also one of the few life insurance companies to accept credit card payments. And customers take notice—the company ranked second in a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey and has received very few customer complaints over the past three years, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).2 

However, if you’re over 50, Nationwide’s no-med-exam options are less generous, only allowing you up to $1 million if you’re 51 to 60 years old. While that may be sufficient for many applicants, it’s far less than what some competitors offer for this age group. The company also offers burial insurance with up to $50,000 in coverage that doesn’t require a medical exam. But it’s only available to existing Nationwide policyholders.

Read the Full Nationwide Life Insurance Review 2022

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BEST FOR HIGH COVERAGEPenn Mutual

Investopedia’s Rating

4.3


Penn Mutual
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “F.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

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Pros

  • No-med-exam life insurance with up to $7.5 million in coverage
  • No-med-exam life insurance available to 64-year-olds
  • Strong dividend-paying history
  • Well-priced term policies
  • Very few customer complaints relative to its size

Cons

  • Limited website information
  • Online applications not available
  • Quotes not available on website

Penn Mutual takes the cake when it comes to high-coverage and high-issue-age no-medical-exam life insurance. The company offers up to $7.5 million in coverage to applicants as old as 64. Of the 91 life insurance carriers we reviewed, no other offered this much coverage without an exam. Nor did any other company offer no-medical-exam life insurance over $1 million to 64 year olds without receipt of recent lab work and an attending physician’s statement (APS). 

Penn Mutual pays dividends on eligible policies and has done every year so for the past 174 years, which is one reason it made our list of best whole life insurance companies. Plus, the company offers very well-priced term policies for a range of age groups and has a very low incidence of customer complaints, given its size, according to the NAIC.

But Penn Mutual’s website leaves a lot to be desired. Not only are quotes unavailable, but there’s little information on what the company actually offers. To better understand your options and policy-specific features, you’ll need to reach out to an agent.

Read the Full Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR FINANCIAL STABILITYGuardian

Investopedia’s Rating

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4.4


Guardian Life Insurance
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “F.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

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Pros

  • No-med-exam life insurance with up to $3 million in coverage
  • Highest financial stability rating
  • Very few customer complaints relative to its size
  • Policies are eligible for dividends

Cons

  • Limited website information
  • No online application

Guardian offers up to $3 million in coverage without a medical exam to applicants up to 50 years old. Though not as substantial a sum as either Penn Mutual or Nationwide, it’s sufficient for many applicants. But aside from its no-medical-exam coverage, Guardian is a standout company. For starters, it’s the only one on this list to have secured an A++ rating from AM Best for financial strength. An A++ is the ratings agency’s highest grade and indicates that Guardian has a “superior” ability to pay its claims.3 In fact, only nine of the 91 insurers we reviewed were rated so highly. 

On top of this, Guardian has received very few customer complaints over the past few years and pays dividends to eligible policyholders. However, the company did not do so well in the J.D. Power customer customer survey—out of 21 of the largest life insurers, it came in 11th, with a score that was just below average.2 There is also very little policy-specific information on Guardian’s website, which could be problematic if you prefer to research a company’s offerings without contacting an agent.

Read the Full Guardian Life Insurance Review

BEST FOR INSTANT DECISIONJohn Hancock Life Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating

3.7


John Hancock
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “F.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

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Pros

  • No-med-exam life insurance with up to $3 million in coverage
  • High issue ages for no-med-exam coverage
  • Wellness program included
  • Critical illness rider that does not reduce coverage

Cons

  • Most accelerated death benefit riders are not free
  • Can’t get a quote or apply on the website

John Hancock offers life insurance without a medical exam for up to $3 million in coverage to applicants up to 60 years old. That’s pretty good. It’s not Penn-Mutual good, but it stands out because many companies that offer accelerated underwriting for death benefits that high have an age limit of 50. In fact, John Hancock’s high age limits landed it on our list of best life insurance companies for seniors. Plus, some applicants are eligible for an instant decision after submitting their application online through an agent, according to the company. 

John Hancock also has a wellness program for policyholders, which is uncommon. It gives members perks like discounts on fitness trackers and even on life insurance premiums. The program has two iterations, Vitality GO (free) and Vitality PLUS ($2/month).

But while the wellness program is a nice touch, we’d like to see the company include more living benefits, (also called accelerated benefit riders (ABRs), free of charge. Most companies in this list include two (or more) living benefits, such as terminal, chronic, and critical illness riders. But John Hancock charges extra for most of the living benefits riders it offers. 

Important to note, however, is that its critical illness rider (available for a fee) is not an ABR, meaning it won’t reduce the death benefit if you decide to use it. Virtually all of the companies we reviewed that offer critical illness riders reduce the death benefit if you use the rider.

Read the Full John Hancock Life Insurance Review

FEWEST COMPLAINTSPacific Life Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating

4.1


Pacific Life
  • AM Best Rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “F.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: No

GET A QUOTE

Pros

  • No-med-exam life insurance with up to $5 million in coverage
  • High issue ages for no-med-exam coverage
  • Outstanding customer satisfaction
  • Affordable term coverage
  • Policy details are online

Cons

  • Quotes unavailable on the website
  • Can’t apply without an agent

Pacific Life leads the pack when it comes to the fewest complaints received relative to company size over a three year period. In fact, of the 91 insurers we reviewed, only two other companies received fewer (they each got zero complaints). Pacific Life also comes in fourth out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey.2 

The company offers coverage up to $5 million without a medical exam to applicants up to 50 years old, and $3 million to applicants up to 60. Many companies that offer no-med-exam coverage to 60 year olds do not offer as much as $3 million. And aside from Penn Mutual’s $7.5 million coverage cap, $5 million is the highest amount we’ve seen for any age group. 

We also like that you can find a wealth of policy-specific information on Pacific Life’s website. You’ll see policy names, coverage details, and whether they’re available in your state. This level of transparency is uncommon in the life insurance industry. Pacific Life also has affordable term insurance, especially for applicants in their 40s and younger. 

However, you won’t find quotes on the company’s website and you will need to apply for any type of coverage with an agent.

Read the Full Pacific Life Insurance Review

Compare the Best No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance

Overall RatingBest ForAM Best RatingAM Best is a credit rating agency that assigns insurance companies a letter grade from “A++” to “F.” A company’s grade indicates its ability to pay its claims and honor its financial obligations.Term Life Sample CostPolicy TypesAccepts Credit CardsReset All
Nationwide4.7Best OverallA+$26.25/monthFinal Expense, Indexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Penn Mutual4.3Best for High CoverageA+$23.92/monthTerm, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeYesGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Guardian4.4Best for Financial StabilityA++$27.47/monthTerm, Universal (UL), WholeNoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
John Hancock Life Insurance3.7Best for Instant DecisionA+N/AIndexed Universal (IUL), Term, Variable Universal (VUL)NoGet A QuoteHide, not for me
Pacific Life Insurance4.1Fewest ComplaintsA+$23.64/monthIndexed Universal (IUL), Term, Universal (UL), Variable Universal (VUL), WholeNoGet A QuoteHide, not for me

Final Verdict

All of the companies on this list represent good options for getting life insurance without a medical exam. All are A+ rated or better for financial strength and have received fewer complaints than expected when averaged over a three-year period. If you don’t need more than $3 million in coverage and are 50 or younger, any company on this list could be a good fit. But if you’re over 50 and looking for a death benefit of more than $1 million, you can rule out Nationwide. If you’re over 60, your only option for high-coverage no-medical-exam life insurance is Penn Mutual. And regardless of your age, Penn Mutual is your only option if you need a death benefit greater than $5 million and don’t want to take an exam.

If you’re looking for term coverage, try Penn Mutual or Pacific Life; for dividends, Penn Mutual or Guardian. If you want free living benefits, look to Nationwide. And if you’d like a wellness plan with your life insurance, John Hancock delivers.

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