PEOPLE usually are wary of medical examinations and end up opting for insurance cover in the defined non-medical limits. To avoid being encumbered by insurance underwriters and also from the point of view of having a simpler, quicker insurance policy issuance, agents/advisors, too, do not insist on medical examinations for their client.
Life insurance and medical tests
Insurance plans up to a defined sum assured and within a defined age bracket, are normally not subject to medical tests. However, as the risk / age increases or in case of pure protection plans, it is considered ideal to conduct basic diagnostic tests to ascertain prima facie risks. Facts declared in the application form along with applicable medical tests required by the insurer, will only lead to peace of mind from a good claim settlement point of view. Medical tests done for insurance cover could bring to light a health conditions that you may be unaware of.
Types of tests
Medical tests conducted for insurance consist of physical examination by a doctor, blood test and urine test. It may involve a non-invasive ECG or a treadmill test to detect heart ailments. Some blood tests require you to fast. A good fasting of at least 10 hours ensures a true state of blood report in the early morning. Treadmill test is required only for higher risks – either because of a higher sum assured or because of a higher age.
An insurer trusts the information provided by the insured to issue a policy. However, as the sum assured keeps increasing or as age increases, as a precautionary measure, the insurer gets some preliminary medical screening done to affirm basic health risks.
An insurer chooses to go for the most common and relevant medical tests based on global mortality and morbidity data. However, if you specifically mention a particular health issue or a habit, then the insurer may seek some medical reports / examinations to ascertain your current health condition.
It is important to opt for a proper insurance cover. Hence, it is good to undergo all medical tests, as required by the insurer, who, anyway, pays for them. Ask for your medical reports after the policy is issued, as it becomes a health record for yourself. Even if there are some findings in the medical reports and the insurer seeks additional premiums for the extra risk, look for the best deal.
The writer is chief distribution officer, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance