Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Life Insurance Coverage Bloodstream Test Information

What do life insurance blood tests look for?

It has become common practice for nearly every major life insurance company to require applicants to undergo a physical screening as part of the underwriting process. These mini physicals are called paramedical exams, and are actually very simple. Part of the paramedical exam consists of obtaining a blood sample that is later delivered to a laboratory for additional testing. Many misconceptions exist about the reasoning behind insurance carriers' insistence on blood tests, and what they actually examine.

Illegal Drugs

Life insurance companies will test your blood for the presence of drugs, both prescription and otherwise. If prescription medication is discovered that is not accounted for on your application, most carriers will consider it to be illegally obtained, indicating you are a higher risk. Blood tests that reveal the presence of any illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines, usually result in immediate declination of your insurance application. Insurance carriers consider illegal drug use a severe risk to your natural life span, one that is often too great of a liability for them to comfortably insure.


Lab tests will detect the presence of nicotine in your system. Insurance companies test for nicotine to validate your claim of being a smoker or nonsmoker. If you indicated on your application that you are a nonsmoker, but nicotine was discovered in your blood, the company will continue to process your application but change your status to "Smoker" and increase your premiums. Smokers pay higher life insurance rates because of the proven health risks associated with cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.


A basic cholesterol test is conducted on your blood. Life insurance companies are concerned about your cholesterol levels because the results are an indicator of your cardiovascular health. Higher cholesterol levels indicate an increased risk of heart problems, which could ultimately lead to an earlier death.


Insurance companies perform blood tests that detect the presence of HIV or AIDS. The speed with which HIV and AIDS can deteriorate your immune system is a major cause for concern to an insurance carrier. Applicants who test positive for HIV/AIDS are typically declined immediately and unable to get traditional life insurance coverage.


Lab tests that detect the presence of diabetes are carefully considered by life insurance carriers. The different types of diabetes also affect the underwriting and decision-making regarding your application for coverage. The diabetes itself is not typically the concern, but rather the residual effects the disease has on your body and the potential for future medical issues.

Liver Functions

Since alcohol use is a contributor to health problems and early death, life insurance companies conduct tests on your blood to measure protein and enzyme levels. The results of these tests indicate how well your liver is functioning, and may also be used to validate your answers regarding alcohol intake. Protein levels that are too far above normal may result in a more expensive policy as a result of the statistical increase in your likelihood of future medical problems.

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