The Importance of Completing the Application for Life Insurance Truthfully and Accurately
When applying for your life insurance policy:
- Answer all questions truthfully and accurately
- If you do not know the answer to one or more questions, do not provide false answers
If you lie or omit information on your life insurance application, you leave your beneficiary or beneficiaries at risk of not receiving the intended monetary benefits. Your policy may be voided or cancelled once a claim is filed with no payments being made to your beneficiaries.
Why Do Life Insurance Applicants Lie or Omit Information?
There are various reasons individuals lie or omit information on their life insurance applications. One of the most common reasons is to hide information in order to avoid being denied the policy. Another reason is to avoid being placed in a higher risk classification, which would result in more expensive premiums.
Insurance Companies Ask Many Different Questions to Assess Applicant and Determine Rates
Life insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They will ask a variety of questions to properly vet the applicant and assess their risk. Questions revolve around the applicant’s health and lifestyle.
Common questions include:
- the applicant’s age (some applicants lie about this in an attempt to get better rates)
- whether the applicant smokes cigarettes or uses tobacco products
- whether the applicant smoked cigarettes or used tobacco products in the past, and if so, the dates of use and termination
- whether the applicant uses alcohol or drugs and/or has a history of use and/or abuse
- if so, whether the applicant was treated
- the applicant’s medical health and history of health issues
- whether the applicant has a history of cancer or other disease or illness
- whether the applicant’s family has a history of cancer, and if so, specific information
- whether the applicant has any mental health issues
- if so, whether the applicant underwent treatment
- whether the applicant has a history of depression
- whether the applicant ever attempted suicide
- is the applicant presently taking medication, prescribed or otherwise, and if so, provide details
- the applicant’s occupation and work environment (e.g., office desk job or dangerous activity)
- whether the applicant partakes in physical fitness training, belongs to a gym; if yes, frequency
- applicant’s driving history, e.g., whether the applicant has a history of DUI’s, moving violations, and if so, how many and how recently (of course, this can be checked with the DMV)
- lifestyle, sports, dangerous activities - e.g., does the applicant sky dive, fly a plane, go deep sea diving, etc.
- financial questions may be asked, particularly in higher death-benefit policies
- whether the applicant has a criminal history; if so, details (type and date of offense(s)
- many other questions may be asked
A Medical Exam May Be Scheduled as Part of the Application Process
Medical exams are often part of the life insurance application process. The examiner will normally take blood and urine samples and a blood pressure reading. Applicants who are about 45 and older may be asked to take an EKG test. Obviously there is no sense in lying when tests and data provide factual information.
Life Insurance Companies Have Access to Medical Records
The insurance company may ask the applicant to sign a medical release. The applicant may also be asked for a list of their healthcare providers. Medical records are also available from the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). If there are any prior surgeries, illnesses or history of illness, the insurance company will usually find out anyway. Once again, there is no sense in lying or withholding information.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].