How Does The Life Insurance Underwriting Process Work?

Life Insurance

When completing your application for life insurance, there are many different questions asked regarding the different facets of your life. These are personal (driving history, drug and alcohol questions, etc.), financial (earned income, net worth, etc.), medical (many different areas are discussed), your immediate family’s medical history (any death prior to age 60 usually from cardiovascular disease or certain cancers, etc.). We ask many different questions so that we can accurately quote you a price before submitting your application to be underwritten by the insurance company. This is called underwriting, but it is not the final step in the process, nor will it necessarily prove to be the final price you will pay.

In general, the underwriting process of a term life insurance policy can take up to 8 weeks to complete. This is because insurance carriers need to have a full and complete picture in order to offer coverage at a price that makes sense. Their decisions are based on their specific guidelines and the answers you provided to the application questions, any supplements required and the results from your insurance exam. 

You may be asked to confirm financial details or provide additional third-party financial information. Should something come back abnormal from your insurance labs (blood and urine samples), then the underwriter may ask for additional testing or ask additional questions. They may also ask for medical records depending on different factors, such as your age, the amount of insurance being requested, answers to the medical questions or results from your insurance lab testing. We find that waiting for medical records to arrive from your doctor’s office can cause delays in completing the underwriting process. You may be asked to contact your doctor to help speed things along, if necessary.

About the author: Lauri Pella has been in the life insurance business for over 29 years. She is a fitness enthusiast who actively supports foundations like the American Cancer Society, and the March of Dimes. Lauri would love the opportunity to help your family have a peace of mind, knowing they have the right life insurance coverage. You can contact Lauri at 1-800-651-1953 or