No medical life insurance is a good option for Canadians who have been denied coverage before, who have pre-existing conditions or who just really don't want to do a medical exam.
No medical life insurance can be a convenient alternative to traditional life insurance, but it comes at a price (literally).
Canada Protection Plan (CPP) is the leading insurer for no medical life insurance in Canada.
That means that, unlike traditional Canadian insurers, CPP may not:
CPP has a variety of no medical and simplified issue life insurance products, with both term and whole life policy options.
They're a privately owned company that’s based in Toronto and has been around for about 25 years.
Shopping for a life insurance policy can be especially intimidating for anyone recently diagnosed with a severe health condition such as a heart attack, cancer, or a stroke. This makes CPP a solid option for older adults and people who haven’t been able to get coverage before.
The trade-off is that no medical life insurance policies are much more expensive than traditional term life insurance and usually cap you on the total amount of coverage you can buy.
But if you are unable to purchase regular term insurance, a simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance policy could be an excellent way to get some life insurance coverage and a small death benefit for your family.
Here’s what you can expect to pay for no medical life insurance from Canada Protection Plan:
Pros and cons of Canada Protection Plan term policies:
When asked about CPP, Certified Life Insurance Advisor, Ivana Govedarica, explains:
"The good thing about them is that they have a huge range of products and coverage amounts to choose from. They might not grant you the coverage you're looking for or the terms you want, though."
Canada Protection Plan has four different permanent no medical life insurance plans, the most in Canada.
Each plan is designed for a different level of insurability: from the hardest to insure to those in good health.
This type of no medical life insurance covers you for your entire life, so it's a good bet if you're looking to cover expenses that will never go way, like final expenses.
CPP's four permanent no medical plans are:
Pros and cons of Canada Protection Plan permanent policies:
If you want minimal health questions, PolicyMe term life insurance is a good option.
We use technology to assess your risk with a 26 question online application. Most eligible applicants complete this process in 20 minutes or less.
We'll only ask additional health questions (online) if one of the 26 base questions requires more detail.
In comparison, most fully underwritten (risk assessed) life insurance policies in Canada require an extensive application process, including a 45 minute medical interview with a nurse.
When you're done, all applicants get an instant decision. You'll know instantly if you're approved, declined or we require further information. This may include a note from your doctor and it may require a health exam (we pay for and set this up for you).
PolicyMe's term life insurance is also more affordable because it's fully risk assessed, with backing from insurance giant Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company.
No medical or simplified life insurance is more expensive because the insurance company takes on more risk by not asking all medical questions. So they pass on this risk by increasing the price of their monthly premiums.
Pros and cons of PolicyMe Term Life Insurance:
Ivana Govedarica why you might want to start the life insurance process with term:
Sun Life Go Guaranteed Life Insurance is a no medical life insurance product with coverage for your entire life.
It would be a decent product for someone looking for non-medical coverage. However it's much more expensive compared to fully underwritten coverage like with PolicyMe.
Their website promises no medical questions, however if you go through the application process they do ask for a health history.
Pros and cons of Sun Life Go Guaranteed Life Insurance:
Certified Life Insurance Advisor Ivana Govedarica's take:
"The disadvantage here is that there aren't a lot of coverage options." Ivana clarifies. "When comparing this product to other no medical life insurance companies on the market, it doesn't hold up."
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Cover Direct Life Insurance is a life plan that renews every year. They ask about 12 health and lifestyle questions over the phone but there are no medical exams or blood tests.
Because Cover Direct's policies renew yearly, this means that you can't lock in your premiums.
The premiums start off cheap and get more expensive every year.
This is because Cover Direct is not fully underwritten (not fully risk assessed); they take on more risk not knowing your full health profile, so they charge you more.
Whereas with a fully underwritten product like PolicyMe term life insurance, the monthly price you start with is locked in for the entire duration of your term, even if it's for 30 years.
Everything you do is over the phone. A licensed advisor calls you, completes the medical questionnaire (about 12 medical questions) and then gets your banking info and puts your coverage in force.
Pros and cons of Cover Direct Life Insurance:
But type of life insurance policy isn't for everyone. Certified Life Insurance Advisor Ivana Govedarica breaks it down:
Yearly renewable life insurance is only a good idea in very specific scenarios. Your premiums will go up ever year that you have the policy in force. The renewal rates are determined at time of issue, but the standard company rating system are constantly changing … so there’s no way to know if you're being rated fairly year after year."
The application process for no medical life insurance still includes a medical review component, it’s just not as thorough as a medical exam or interview. For this reason, your insurer won’t learn as much about your health and how risky it makes you as a policyholder.
So what do insurance companies do? They charge you more (sometimes much more) for coverage. If you were waiting to hear about the catch or trade-off of no medical life insurance, this is it.
Here’s how quotes for no medical life insurance compare to standard (i.e., fully underwritten) life insurance quotes:
Interested to see how much you could save by going with term life insurance? Get a quote in just a few clicks – your rate might surprise you!
No medical life insurance (also known as simplified life insurance) works by letting applicants skip a medical exam, but they come at much greater cost when comparing quotes to traditional life insurance providers.
Although no medical life insurance might appeal to lots of people, it’s best for those who don’t qualify for a standard life insurance policy.
No medical life insurance is a good choice for Canadians who have:
Yup, swimming with sharks regularly can be enough to exclude you from traditional coverage even if you’re perfectly healthy.
You may not qualify for much coverage, but if you can't qualify for traditional policies, payout can still be important for your family's future.
People use no medical life insurance to:
Interesting fact: mortgage insurance policies usually don't require medical exams. Mortgage life insurance also costs more, and is less flexible than term insurance.
When you apply for life insurance, your insurance company completes an underwriting process to understand how likely you are to get an illness or die while holding your policy.
Most insurance companies have you undergo some form of medical review so they can learn the nitty-gritty details about your health.
Typically, this medical review takes the form of a medical exam (also sometimes called the paramedical exam) where a nurse or technician comes to your home or office.
The life insurance medical exam is usually fairly short, often taking about 30 minutes or less, and involves measuring vitals (e.g., height, weight, and blood pressure) and collecting samples (of blood and maybe urine too).
Completing the medical exam is much easier than going to your average doctor’s appointment. There’s no sitting forever in a waiting room only to get a requisition form for bloodwork that needs to be done at a separate clinic.
Some insurers just have you do a 20-minute phone interview with a healthcare professional about your personal and family medical history.
What disqualifies you from getting no medical life insurance differs from company to company. It can be as simple as not being a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
Before disqualifying you, most life insurance companies will first vet your application, which includes a medical review.
A medical review is just a questionnaire instead of an exam or interview. So you won’t automatically qualify for no medical life insurance if you apply for it.
You still need to fill out the questionnaire. And based on your responses, you can still get denied coverage from no medical life insurance providers.
Here's how the life insurance health questionnaire typically works:
For example, you could get disqualified for no medical coverage if you’ve had a recent health scare (e.g., heart attack or stroke), have an upcoming surgery, are living with complications due to an illness like HIV, or been recently charged with impaired driving.
Additional reading: Applying for life insurance when overweight
If you're interested in no medical life insurance, you may also want to consider critical illness insurance.