After calling several independent insurance agents, you finally got a terrific quote on term life insurance from your agent, and you’re anxious to get the process started.
Your agent, who is now your new best friend, begins to explain the underwriting process so you can get these terrific rates, he goes through the application, gets all the information about your doctor visits, and then schedules your medical exam to be done at your home after work. Check, check, and double check; and then two little words suck all the joy out of your transaction; Blood Test. What?
Your agent calmly explains that it’s very common to have a medical exam with blood and urine analysis any time you are trying for the lowest rates possible. The company wants to know everything they can about your health so they can determine your risk and offer the best rates possible. You think about it for a minute, and then decide that it’s best just to confess that you do smoke pot now and then.
Smoking Pot Does Change Things, but it’s not a Deal Breaker
After mildly scolding you about not being completely truthful on your application, your agent decides to use a different life insurer that is friendlier to marijuana users. This time you are 100 percent truthful in your application, and you discover that since you are a non-smoker and don’t have any health issues, the rate being offered is still pretty darn good. Your agent completes the paperwork and then schedules your insurance exam and advises you not to smoke any marijuana between now and the day of your medical exam.
Being curious about this life insurance exam and the blood and urine tests, you start asking around about what you should and should not do before your medical exam. Everybody you know has some words of wisdom and verified techniques that will help you beat the system. Soon, you realize that your best bet is to talk to your agent; after all, he’s got to get your policy issued so he can make a commission.
5 Things Not to do Before Your Insurance Exam
Certainly, your agent is going to provide the best advice possible while most of it being simple logic, but one thing he or she won’t do is tell you how to try and beat the system.
- Drug Use
Although you have admitted on your application that you occasionally smoke marijuana, it makes a lot of sense not to smoke any between now and your medical exam. And, just in case you borrow one or two of your wife’s Xanax occasionally, it’s a good idea not to take anything that you didn’t list on your application. And remember, even when you stop using drugs before a medical exam, many drugs can remain in your system for a month or two.
If your blood and urine test reveals that you have drugs in your system that were not listed on the application, your insurer has every right to decline your application for misrepresentation – lying.
Most life insurance applications have questions regarding alcohol use and your average consumption. Certainly, your insurer has a right to know your drinking habits, and you can bet they’ll check your driving record while they’re at it. If you drink socially, admit it and be as honest as possible about how many drinks you consume per week.
But, one thing you should not do is to drink an abundance of alcohol the day before your medical exam. This can certainly have a negative effect on your insurance application and could have an underwriter believing that you haven’t been honest.
- Certain Foods
Certain foods can create false-positives in your blood and urine analysis. Believe it or not, what you’ve probably heard about poppy seeds and opiates is true. Eating a few poppy seeds before a medical exam is not likely to be an issue, but eating a bag of poppy-seed bagels the day before your blood test could create a problem for you.
There are other foods that also create false positives. Some Teas have hemp oil in them, and tonic water has quinine which could lead to a false positive. This doesn’t mean your application will be denied, but you can expect some more questions from the underwriter.
- Over the Counter Meds
Over the counter (OTC) meds are not harmless. In fact, there are a handful of brands that consumers must show ID for when they’re purchased. Nasal sprays, cough syrups, and cold medicines can trigger false positives for things like amphetamines and opiates. Allergy meds like Benadryl and Claritin can cause problems as well.
Problems aren’t always caused by FDA approved over the counter medicine. Vitamin supplements and various herbal remedies are also known for showing traces of THC, which is a typical sign of marijuana use. Cutting back on these leading up to a medical exam is a good idea as well.
- Stay away from Cleaners
We’re not talking about Windex or Spic n’ Span, or other household cleaners. We’re talking about body cleansers that are supposed to rid your system of drug use or dilute your urine to mask a drug in your urine test. In most cases, these cleaners do not work, and in fact, if discovered during your analysis, are likely to raise red flags that could end up in you having to be re-tested.It’s logical to assume that the companies who are responsible for testing your blood and urine, have over time, developed measures that can detect these “cleaners” and the likely result will lead to suspicion by the underwriter.
The best method of dealing with an insurance exam is, to be honest with the insurance underwriter when completing the application. This way, nothing will be revealed that causes suspicion that could result in your application being denied. When you consult with your agent and lay all your cards on the table, your agent will recommend the best way to go forward to make certain that he or she can deliver a solution that meets your individual needs and budget.