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Banner Life and Lincoln Financial are the best no-exam life insurance companies, according to our analysis. 

We evaluated insurers to determine the best no-exam life insurance companies based on cost and coverage options. Use our analysis as a jumping-off point to compare top insurers and find the best policy for your situation.

The best no-exam life insurance companies of 2024

Why trust our life insurance experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of insurance products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 28 insurers evaluated
  • 162 rates reviewed
  • 5 levels of fact checking

Top-rated no-exam life insurance companies

Compare the best no-exam life insurance of 2023

COMPANYPOLICYMEDIAN APPROVAL TIMELearn More
Banner Life OPTerm8 days

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COMPANY
POLICYBanner Life OPTerm
MEDIAN APPROVAL TIME8 days
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TermAccel5 days

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COMPANY
POLICYTermAccel
MEDIAN APPROVAL TIME5 days
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Simplified Issue TermSame day

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COMPANY
POLICYSimplified Issue Term
MEDIAN APPROVAL TIMESame day
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Trendsetter Super12 days

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COMPANY
POLICYTrendsetter Super
MEDIAN APPROVAL TIME12 days
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Ethos Term LifeInstant

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COMPANY
POLICYEthos Term Life
MEDIAN APPROVAL TIMEInstant
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Level Premium Term
29 days

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COMPANY
POLICY
Level Premium Term
MEDIAN APPROVAL TIME29 days
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Methodology

To determine the best no-exam life insurance policies, our life insurance experts evaluated several of the top life insurance companies that offer coverage in the United States.

Each life insurance company included in our evaluation had the opportunity to earn up to 100 points, based on the following factors.

Policy cost: 75 points. Since term life insurance is often the most affordable coverage option, we evaluated rates for both 30- and 40-year-old males and females in excellent health, for term lengths of 10, 20 and 30 years and coverage amounts of $500,000 and $1 million and $2 million.

Accelerated death benefit age: 5 points. An accelerated death benefit option lets you access your death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. Companies that offer this benefit with a no-exam life insurance policy earned the full points allotted.

Maximum face amount for lowest eligible age: 10 points. Companies that offer higher coverage amounts for the lowest eligible age earned more points. Keep in mind that a company’s maximum coverage amount for a no-exam life insurance policy may decrease based on an applicant’s age, with older applicants eligible only for lower face-value policies.

Term life conversion availability: 5 points. Some companies allow policyholders to convert their term coverage to a permanent life insurance policy. We factored this in to help those considering term life insurance policies identify companies that provide this option.

Age eligible for best term length/coverage amount: 5 points. Some companies limit no-exam life insurance eligibility to younger applicants. Companies offering this type of coverage to individuals over 50 earned the full points.

Why some companies didn’t make the cut

Of the life insurance companies we evaluated, only those offering policies offering competitively priced no-exam life insurance policies for high coverage amounts made the cut.


If you’d like to dig in deeper, head over to our life insurance ratings methodology page.

What is no-exam life insurance?

No-exam life insurance does not require applicants to go through a medical exam for approval. This is in contrast to a more traditional life insurance underwriting process that requires you to complete a health questionnaire as well as a medical exam. 

For a life insurance medical exam, insurers often request a paramedical professional collect information, such as your blood pressure, as well as blood work and a urine specimen. Because no-exam life insurance skips this step, this type of coverage may be ideal if you’re looking for a faster application process. Some insurers even offer same-day or instant approval to eligible applicants. 

Though no-exam life insurance policies were once less common, today more and more insurers are extending this type of coverage to eligible applicants. Eligibility criteria can vary by insurer, but usually, you must be relatively young (under 50) and in good health. 

It’s important to note that even if a company advertises no-exam life insurance policies, not every applicant is eligible. After completing the application, you may find that the insurer wants to follow up to obtain additional information via an exam or additional health questions. This is particularly true if you’re over 50 or considered a high-risk candidate. 

What you should know

If you’re looking for quick coverage and a large death benefit, consider Ethos Term Life. Eligible applicants can get instant approval and coverage for up to $2 million.

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Policies up to $2 million available.
  • Instant application approval.
Cons
  • Can’t convert to permanent life insurance policy.

More details

Ethos example premiums for a 20-year term policy

Gender and age$500,000 in coverage$1,000,000 in coverage
Woman, 30$192$300
Woman, 40$324$576
Woman, 50$792$1,488
Man, 30$240$432
Man, 40$420$732
Man, 50$984$1,848
Example rates reflect those for male and female candidates in excellent health.

Different types of no-exam life insurance

There are three primary ways an insurer may choose to offer life insurance with no medical exam. Each varies by the underwriting process, which is the way insurers assess your risks and determine how much you will pay for insurance. 

Accelerated underwriting life insurance

When you apply for a policy that uses accelerated underwriting, the insurer takes information from your application to collect personal data that is used to determine your level of risk. 

Though the exact variables that an insurer considers may vary, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) identifies multiple third-party sources from which an insurer may collect data: 

  • Digital health records. 
  • Prescription drug history. 
  • Credit reports.
  • Motor vehicle records. 
  • Medical Information Bureau (MIB) data. 
  • Public records.

After gathering your information, the underwriter will use AI technology, predictive models and algorithms to determine if you are eligible for no-exam life insurance and, if so, your premium, or how much you will pay. 

The information and tools used in the accelerated underwriting process allow insurers to create a more comprehensive risk analysis that is similar to that achieved through traditional underwriting practices. As such, rates for eligible applicants may be similar to those determined during a traditional underwriting process. They also are likely to be lower than those obtained through simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance does not require a medical exam, but applicants are usually required to submit answers to a health questionnaire. Traditionally, simplified issue coverage relied on limited third-party information, but as access to information increased, industry practices have evolved. Today, a simplified issue underwriting process will likely pull in information from the MIB, motor vehicle records, prescription drug history and in some cases credit reports. 

Still, simplified issue underwriting is not as in-depth as accelerated underwriting and therefore does not always capture an applicant’s risk. As such, applicants often face a trade-off: quicker application periods in exchange for higher rates and lower coverage limits.  

Guaranteed issue insurance

There are no medical exams or health questionnaires required for guaranteed issue life insurance, and if you apply, you are “guaranteed” to be approved. Because you can’t be denied, this type of coverage may be the best option if your health or age prevents you from being approved for other types of coverage. 

However, because you are guaranteed for approval, and the insurer does not have the information required to make a proper risk assessment, policies are much more expensive than other types of life insurance and offer lower maximum coverage amounts. 

Guaranteed issue life insurance policies also typically have graded death benefits. A graded death benefit means that if you pass away within the first two to three years of opening your policy, your beneficiary will not receive the plan’s death benefit. Instead, they will be refunded the premiums you’ve paid on the policy in addition to interest — typically between 10% and 30%. There is one exception: If you die due to an accident, such as a vehicle accident, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit in full.  

Though guaranteed life insurance is considered a type of “no-exam” life insurance, we did not include this type of product in our scoring of the best no-exam life insurance. 

How much does no-exam life insurance cost?

How much you pay for no-exam life insurance will depend on various factors, including your age, gender, health, the type of underwriting process — accelerated, simplified or guaranteed — and the information collected as part of the underwriting process. 

Example annual cost: No-exam coverage for a man, age 30 (20-year term)

COMPANY$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000,000 IN COVERAGELearn More
$227$395

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$227
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$395
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$227$360

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$227
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$360
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$240$390

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$240
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$390
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$240$432

Via Ethos life's website

COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$240
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$432
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Via Ethos life's website

$240$401

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$240
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$401
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$230$360

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$230
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$360
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Example annual cost: No-exam coverage for a woman, age 30 (20-year term)

COMPANY$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000,000 IN COVERAGELearn More
$192$290

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$192
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$290
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$192$290

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$192
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$290
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$190$290

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$190
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$290
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$192$300

Via Ethos life's website

COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$192
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$300
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Via Ethos life's website

$208$339

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$208
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$339
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$195$290

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$195
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$290
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Example annual cost: No-exam coverage for a man, age 40 (20-year term)

COMPANY$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000,000 IN COVERAGELearn More
$350$620

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$350
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$620
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$340$577

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$340
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$577
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$340$590

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$340
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$590
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$420$732

Via Ethos life's website

COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$420
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$732
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Via Ethos life's website

$376$682

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$376
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$682
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$410$680

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$410
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$680
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No-exam life insurance coverage for a woman, age 40 (20-year term)

COMPANY$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000,000 IN COVERAGELearn More
$285$511

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$285
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$511
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$285$483

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$285
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$483
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$285$490

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$285
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$490
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$324$576

Via Ethos life's website

COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$324
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$576
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$296$511

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$296
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$511
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$320$570

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$320
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$570
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No-exam life insurance coverage for a man, age 50 (20-year term)

COMPANY$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000,000 IN COVERAGELearn More
$830$1,556

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$830
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,556
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$830$1,556

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$830
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,556
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$885$1,710

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$885
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,710
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$984$1,848

Via Ethos life's website

COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$984
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,848
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$1,000$1,869

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,869
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$855$1,580

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$855
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,580
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No-exam life insurance coverage for a woman, age 50 (20-year term)

COMPANY$500,000 IN COVERAGE$1,000,000 IN COVERAGELearn More
$652$1,205

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$652
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,205
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$652$1,133

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$652
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,133
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$680$1,240

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$680
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,240
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$792$1,488

Via Ethos life's website

COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$792
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,488
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$725$1,207

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$725
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,207
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$655$1,140

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COMPANY
$500,000 IN COVERAGE$655
$1,000,000 IN COVERAGE$1,140
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Pros and cons of no-exam life insurance policies

Not sure if a no-exam life insurance policy is best for you? Here are some pros and cons associated with this increasingly popular life insurance product. 

Pros

  • No exam. Maybe you don’t have time or maybe you’re not a big fan of needles. No-exam life insurance lets you skip bloodwork and other lab requirements commonly associated with traditional underwriting. 
  • Faster approval. If you’re eligible for no-exam life insurance, you could secure it quickly, with some insurers in our analysis offering instant or same-day approval.  
  • Potentially similar rates. Depending on your age, health, desired coverage amount and the insurer you choose, you may find that no-exam life insurance policies that use accelerated underwriting are priced similarly to those that rely on traditional underwriting. 

Cons

  • Health conditions affect eligibility. No-exam life insurance is best suited for healthy, young applicants. If you’re not in one of those two categories, you may find that you’re ineligible for coverage or that you’re subject to a higher rate.
  • Coverage may be limited. Though some companies offer higher coverage amounts for no-exam life insurance policies, that’s not always the case — especially if you’re applying for a guaranteed issue or simplified issue policy. If you’re looking for a high coverage amount, a no-exam life insurance policy may not be the best option. 
  • Age limits apply. Most life insurance companies have caps on the age at which they will issue a policy, but that age is much lower for no-exam life insurance policies. Generally, no-exam coverage is best suited for people age 50 or younger. Don’t assume that no-exam life insurance is out of the question if you’re over 50, though. There are some companies, like SBLI, that offer this type of life insurance to older individuals. 

What you should know

If you’re looking for quick coverage and a large death benefit, consider Ethos Term Life. Eligible applicants can get instant approval and coverage for up to $2 million.

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Policies up to $2 million available.
  • Instant application approval.
Cons
  • Can’t convert to permanent life insurance policy.

More details

Ethos example premiums for a 20-year term policy

Gender and age$500,000 in coverage$1,000,000 in coverage
Woman, 30$192$300
Woman, 40$324$576
Woman, 50$792$1,488
Man, 30$240$432
Man, 40$420$732
Man, 50$984$1,848
Example rates reflect those for male and female candidates in excellent health.

How to shop for no medical exam life insurance

Here are a few easy steps you can take to find the best no-exam life insurance company and policy to meet your individual needs. 

Determine how much coverage you need. Start with the reason you want to buy life insurance. Are you looking to replace your income for a specific period of time to support your loved ones financially when you die? Do you need to ensure your family can continue to cover specific bills, such as mortgage payments or college tuition?

Add up any expenses you hope to cover to determine how much coverage you may need. This step is important for any type of life insurance purchase, but because some no-exam life insurance policies have lower maximum coverage amounts — especially if you're older — this step can help you narrow your search down to insurers that offer plans that meet your coverage needs.

Understand your health. Since almost all no-exam life insurance policies require the applicant to be in good health, it's best to figure out your chances of being approved. For instance, if you have a health condition that may make it harder to get coverage, such as a heart attack, or you’re a tobacco user, you may be denied or pay a lot more for certain types of no-exam life insurance, particularly accelerated underwriting or simplified issue products.  

Recognizing any impediments to approval can help you examine your options and prepare for the potential health exam requirements.

Be honest. If you’re nervous about your eligibility for a no-exam life insurance policy, you may be tempted to leave out important information, like a recent health diagnosis or tobacco usage, but doing so can create big problems for you and your beneficiaries. 

If your insurer determines you lied during the application process, they can deny you coverage or cancel your policy. Further, if your untruths are uncovered after you die, and you’ve passed during what’s known as the contestability period, the insurer can deny the claim, leaving your beneficiary without a death benefit.

Get multiple insurance quotes. Whether you’re purchasing life insurance, car insurance or homeowners insurance, one of the best things you can do is get multiple quotes to compare. Doing so can ensure you’re getting the best rate for the type and amount of coverage you want. 

Evaluate policy features. While cost is an important factor, it's a smart idea to look beyond that to consider what you need or what benefits and features, such as an accelerated death benefit, may be available to you for a similar cost.

Have a backup plan. No-exam life insurance may be your first choice, but not everyone is eligible for coverage. Depending on your age, health and other factors, you may find that you’re denied or that the insurer requires additional information or steps, such as a health exam, before it will issue coverage. 

Don't give up as there are other options, such as purchasing a policy that uses a more traditional underwriting process or looking for a guaranteed issue policy, which will provide coverage regardless of your health.

No med exam life insurance FAQs

No-exam life insurance policies are available for both term and whole life insurance, but all the policies scored in our no-exam life insurance analysis are for term life insurance.

Term life policies typically offer more coverage at a lower price. No-exam whole life insurance policies, in contrast, may only offer low coverage amounts and generally have higher rates in relation to the amount of coverage received.

If you have whole life insurance, you may be able to borrow money from your life insurance policy if it has a cash value.

However, if you have a no-exam term life insurance policy, it will not have a cash value, so you won’t be able to borrow against the policy.

Some no-exam term life insurance policies offer as much as $1M or $2M in coverage, while a no-exam whole life insurance policy will have much lower coverage maximums, such as $25,000.

The amount of life insurance coverage you can get with no-exam life insurance will vary based on factors like the insurer and policy you choose and your age.

More: How much does a $1 million life insurance policy cost?

A no-exam term life insurance policy will lock in your rate for the duration of a specific term, such as 30 years. When the term ends, you can usually renew your policy annually, but you’ll pay a higher premium each year.

If you purchase a no-exam whole life insurance policy, your policy will usually last your lifetime, as long as you continue to make your premium payments.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Sarah Li Cain

BLUEPRINT

Sarah Li Cain is a finance and small business writer currently based in Jacksonville, Florida whose articles have been published with outlets such as Fortune, CNBC Select, the Financial Planning Association and Zillow.

Jennifer Lobb

BLUEPRINT