4 Common Life Insurance Declines And How To Avoid Them

life insurance declined1. Your Health Condition Was Excluded –

This happens frequently with those quick-fix, no exam, type policies – some, if not most, are really only designed to handle a limited number of health conditions. Just because there’s “no exam” doesn’t mean that they aren’t still looking into your medical history.

“But, I used an agent – they matched me with this policy!”

Unfortunately, some agents just want to make a sale, and there are usually really obvious red flags that they’re able to cover up by rushing you through the process. Agents like these will:

  • Offer only a limited amount of options
  • Have no real knowledge of your health condition
  • Will be in a hurry to make the sale
  • Won’t ask questions that would be necessary for matching


  • Make the Call – Always call the company yourself before you start the application process; talk to a representative specifically about your condition and what the specific exclusions and fine print is for the policy.
  • Find a Trained Agent (Recommended) – With any insurance product, the best idea is to contact a trained agent works for the industry and not a specific company within it; preferably someone who has experience and training with your health condition. An agent like this will do the real matching and find you a product that fits your condition, budget, and coverage desired.

2. Your Application Omitted or Incorrectly Listed Information –

When you’re handling the application process on your own, there’s a slew of things that your untrained eye can easily miss:

  • You overlooked a blank and left it as such
  • You didn’t understand what the question was really asking
  • You applied for a higher policy face amount than your age bracket allows
  • You signed the application from another state
  • You needed an additional signature
  • You used a P.O. Box instead of a street address


  • Make the Call – If you’re doing this on your own (not recommended), it’s imperative that you call the company after filing the application and follow up with them about all aspects of it. Typically, they won’t contact you if there’s just a little mishap with the application, so it’s up to you to call and ask if everything was filled out correctly.
  • Find a Trained Agent (Recommended) – Contact an agent, or agency, that can walk you through the application in person, or even over the phone. Better yet, ask your agent to “scrub” the application (go through it with a fine tooth comb once it’s filled out) before submitting.

 3. You’re Unaware of Something Important in Your Records

As mentioned, those simple “no exam” policies are still looking into your background and medical history when you apply. What they’re examining includes: MIB Reports (Medical Information Bureau), Pharmacy Records, and MVRs (Motor Vehicle Reports). Anything you put down on the application that doesn’t match these records will result in a decline. You can follow this link to visit AAMI for yourself today.


  • Be aware that all of your previous application attempts with other companies shows up on your MIB; this includes previous declines.
  • Order your MVR to examine
  • Go to http://www.MIB.com and request your report from them; go over everything on your report with a trained agent to insure everything jives with your application and to troubleshoot anything on that report that you don’t recognize or that needs to be corrected by obtaining proper documentation from a doctor.

4. Your Medical Records Are Incomplete

Your health clearly qualified you for a policy and still you were declined. Here’s why:

  • Your doctor didn’t provide the insurance company with the medical records they requested and this simply wasn’t communicated to you.
  • At one point, a doctor put into your record that you needed a specific test, surgery, etc., then it was decided that it wasn’t needed. However, the doctor never put into record that it wasn’t. Without this conclusion to open-ended information in your record, you can be declined.


  • List All of Your Doctors – Every doctor that you’ve been to within the past 5 years should be listed on your application, with contact information.
  • Make the Call – Has it been several weeks without word? Contact your agent and make certain those medical records were sent by the doctor.
  • Find a Trained Agent (Recommended) – A trained agency can provide you with a case manager, someone who will personally look into the entire application process, make sure everything needed is getting to the insurance company, and will even help speed up the underwriting process.

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One Comment

  1. and in the worst case scenario – the agent “forgets” to mention key medical information to help him make a sale. Only for you to discover when you try to make a claim.

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