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  • Writer's picturejimmy ting

What a Life Insurance medical exam looks like during COVID-19

Applying for term life insurance? Taking a medical exam is often a critical step on your journey toward securing affordable life insurance coverage. After all, it’s often required for medically underwritten policies and can usually save you money on premiums.

But as you might expect, getting an in-person examination during the global COVID-19 pandemic is a little… different. First of all, demand for life insurance and other estate planning products is high — apparently, something like a global pandemic gets people thinking about their own mortality and the state of their finances. Second of all, people have been putting off their exams, either for safety reasons (they’re avoiding in-person interactions) or for … other reasons. (They don’t want to wear a mask or are busy with their kids at home.)

To better understand what the experience is like, we spoke with three real-life customers who brought life insurance during COVID-19. Each of them told us that their exam experience was convenient and safe, as much so as it might’ve been during normal times. Their examiners took all the necessary steps to minimize the risks of transmitting the coronavirus. This includes wearing a mask and gloves, and meeting them at the place of their choosing, such as their home, where they could manage the conditions for safety.

Here are some takeaways from those important conversations.

Scheduling is a breeze

Anyone who has tried to purchase, say, an inflatable pool or a bike (not to mention toilet paper or hand sanitizer) knows that, right now, supply and demand are severely out of wack, and wait times can be extensive for even the most basic of goods and services. But if you’re wondering whether this applies to scheduling your medical exam, fear not: Just as before, it’s easy to schedule an exam for the time and place of your choosing.

As J.C. from Utah, who had her examination at a medical facility in April, told us, “I wish my regular doctor was as convenient.”

Safety is paramount

As part of our civic duty to flatten the curve, we’re all taking precautions to minimize our risk of transmitting the disease: Wearing masks, limiting our travel, working from home whenever possible. Suffice it to say those tasked with protecting our safety are doing everything they can, too, whether they’re front-line healthcare workers or medical examiners. Your examiner will wear a mask and gloves, and will not report to work in the first place if they are experiencing symptoms.

The same J.C. mentioned above had her appointment in April, at which point the entire country was essentially in lockdown. She was pleased to find her examiner wearing a mask and following all protocols. Her experience is a reminder of why you do the exam in the first place. “I had learned a lot from my exam that I had not gotten before from my regular doctors,” she says. “So that to me was worth every minute of it. That tied into stuff that I needed to take care of.” Specifically, she discussed a kidney issue and the fact that she was pre-diabetic. After taking the exam, she changed her diet and has since lost five pounds. (Sorry, folks, we can’t guarantee similar results for everybody.)

Convenience remains a priority

Let’s say you’re a working parent. You’re probably spending every waking hour in your home trying to juggle conference calls with keeping your children fed/ safe/ entertained. It’s not easy, and maybe it feels like the last thing you need is to introduce another element to the chaos.

But here’s the thing. When you’re ready to get term life insurance — and help financially protect your loved ones for the next 10 to 30 years — a certain sense of urgency kicks in. Waiting until the pandemic has passed – and at the moment, there’s no end in sight – is not a viable option. But while your day-to-day situation might be a stressful one, it’s nothing a medical examiner hasn’t seen before.

Case in point? Maria G. from the District of Columbia, whose three young children weren’t about to let a little thing like a medical exam keep them from spending time with her. “The nurse was very patient,” says Maria, who had her appointment in late March. “I had all three of my kids home, and my three-year-old kept finding us, and wanted to sit in my lap during the blood pressure test.”

Despite what could’ve been a stressful situation, Maria found the examiner helped her keep her cool. “I don’t do well with medical appointments as a rule,” she says. “I get stressed out and nervous. Having that calm sensibility is imperative for anyone doing that. The [examiner] that came out and handled the appointment was really great, and followed up afterward to make sure I knew how to get my results.”

In uncertain times, life insurance can bring peace of mind

Think of where we are now, and then think of where we were in February or even early March. The word coronavirus was new and novel, but not entirely unheard of. There were concerns the summer Olympics might be postponed, and fears that the virus could spread to the United States. Major tech conferences were canceled, while some large gatherings were not. For the average person, it seemed likely that the coronavirus might come to the U.S. and that life would get strange for a moment. But it also seemed like maybe, if we played our cards right, things might return to normal by summer.

That obviously didn’t happen. And it’s a reminder that none of us knows what might be on the horizon. And that financially protecting your loved ones from the unexpected just makes sense.

For Jonathan W. from Los Angeles, there was a sense that getting the exam in February was the right choice. There was risk then — the first U.S. cases were in January – but he suspected the risk would only increase. “We were mindful of what was going on with coronavirus, so it was good to have some extra peace of mind,” Jonathan says.

The same applies today. As painful as the virus has already been, and as hopeful as we all are that a vaccine will come soon, the reality is that no one really knows what’s next. That’s one of the reasons you get term life insurance in the first place. And just like the best time to get it is when you’re young and healthy — your rates will be lower, and you’ll have the peace of mind that coverage brings right away — it’s also smart to get it essentially as soon as you are able.

Our simple goal is to make life insurance easy. One of the ways we’re doing that is continuing to provide simple, convenient in-person medical exams. After all, so many things in the world are on pause right now because of the coronavirus pandemic. Your family’s security, and your peace of mind, shouldn’t be among them.

For more information about Life Insurance call JCT Insurance Agency at (626)354-2000 or email

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