No Medical Life Insurance in Canada

What Is No Medical Life Insurance?

No medical life insurance is an insurance type that doesn’t require a medical examination to qualify for coverage.

This may appeal to healthy people who don’t want to waste time visiting a doctor.

It may also benefit those who can’t qualify for a standard life insurance policy due to health issues, their job, or their hobbies.

Whatever your reasons are for considering a no medical policy, you usually need to complete a medical questionnaire.

Some insurers ask very few questions, while others may ask more.

Answer the questions honestly.

If you provide inaccurate or incomplete information it could lead to a claim denial.

Benefits of No Medical Life Insurance

1. Quick Approval

A traditional life insurance policy may take weeks to process and finalize as the insurer needs to verify your personal and medical information.

Conversely, no medical insurance policies offer quick approval, usually within 48 hours.

However, not all policies provide immediate coverage.

2. Coverage with Health Issues

Applicants with an underlying health condition are often denied coverage through traditional life insurance policies.

Luckily, some insurers do offer no medical life insurance coverage, even if you have a pre-existing condition.

3. Insurance for Dangerous Jobs & Hobbies

Some people work in dangerous jobs and insurers don’t want to assume the risks of their occupation.

Examples may include underground mining, quarry work, commercial fishing, roofing, and ironwork.

Additionally, some recreational pastimes can be too risky for many insurers.

For instance, they may not offer coverage if you hang glide, pilot an airplane, skydive, bungee jump, rock climb, or race.

If they do offer coverage, the cost can be prohibitively high.

Fortunately, no medical life insurance may offer coverage for these activities and sometimes at a more reasonable price than a traditional life insurance policy.

4. Death Benefits

Some no medical life insurance policies offer death benefits, with limits between $25,000 and $50,000.

If you’re over 50 years of age and healthy, buying one of these policies may make more economic sense than a traditional policy.

Traditional policy costs may increase by between 5 and 8 percent annually once you hit this age benchmark, making them prohibitively expensive.

Lady with umbrella running on beach

Drawbacks of No Medical Life Insurance

1. More Expensive

Traditional life insurance is less expensive because your insurer requires a medical examination and understands the risks.

Their health investigation is thorough and may include your family medical history, lifestyle habits, and your personal medical records.

They underwrite the policy based on this known information and align your premiums based on your risk level.

However, a no medical life insurance policy depends on much less information.

Since the insurer has a lower confidence in what your risk level is, they charge a higher premium.

2. Lower Coverage Limits

No medical life insurance policies do not offer the same coverage limits as traditional, underwritten life insurance policies.

Traditional policies may offer coverage limits in the millions.

However, you’d be hard-pressed to find a no medical life insurance policy offering more than a maximum of $500,000.

Coverage amounts also depend on which no medical life insurance you choose.

Policies fall under two general categories: simplified issue and guaranteed issue.

Policies that require a health questionnaire are usually simplified issue life insurance policies.

The insurer will probably ask you about hospitalizations, severe conditions, and whether you’ve been denied coverage elsewhere.

The maximum policy limit is usually no more than $500,000, but sometimes much less.

Policies that don’t require an exam or many questions are often guaranteed issue life insurance policies.

Benefits for a non-accidental death through illness or age can be as little as $5,000 and usually no more than $50,000.

3. Waiting Period

Some “deferred” simplified and guaranteed issue policies don’t offer coverage until after a waiting period (usually 24 months).

If you die during this time, they refund the premiums paid, but do not pay out the death benefit.

These policies often ask the least questions and offer the lowest policy limits.

Key Insight

Don’t automatically assume you can’t qualify for a traditional policy. Insurers use their own scorecards to determine eligibility and these scorecards can vary greatly.

If you apply for several and they all turn you down, you can always apply for a no medical life insurance policy later.

Who Offers No Medical Life Insurance?

You can obtain life insurance through your agent or broker.

Most major insurers offer some form of no medical life insurance.

Some offer life insurance and death benefits through separate policies.

The following is a sample of coverages offered by some Canadian insurers:

Company Max Age Coverage Range Questions
Canada Protection Plan 80 $75,000 – $500,000 23 – 39
Foresters Financial 70 $10,000 – $100,000 10
Humania Assurance 70 $300,000 6 – 18
Industrial Alliance 70 $25,000 – $500,000 5 – 13
Manulife – Cover Me®
Manulife – Quick Issue®
85
50
$75,000
$100,000 – $500,000
15
Specialty Life – Life Insurance
Specialty Life – Final Expense
70 $300,000
$5,000 – $25,000
12
3
SSQ Insurance 70 $25,000 – $500,000 51

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much life insurance can you get without a medical exam?
  • Is no medical life insurance more expensive?

Charlene Royston has written extensively for the private, public, and non-profit sectors for over ten years. Her experience working with a trust company led to a special interest in personal finance, including mortgages, investments, and retirement options. By simplifying the complex, she hopes to empower others to make more informed decisions.