What is Evidence of Insurability?

When applying for a life insurance policy, an insurance provider may ask a number of questions to prove your evidence of insurability. This may include health questions, insurable interest and financial justification.
By Beth W.
Updated May 6, 2021
evidence of insurability
Why trust our opinion?

Our content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our and how we make money.

Life insurance may sound intimidating to you. No one enjoys contemplating their death. But most people understand they need life insurance in order to protect their loved ones. If someone relies on your income to pay the mortgage, buy food or pay for college, your death will cause financial as well as emotional hardship. You need to protect those people now.

Even if you understand you need a policy, getting one may be difficult because of various factors, including your health. One of the biggest hurdles is evidence of insurability (EOI), something many insurance providers require before approving you for a policy.

EOI Health Requirements

The insurance provider may ask you to fill out an EOI as part of your application so that they can assess their coverage risk. These companies are profit-based, so they are betting that they will take in more money every year than they pay out. To make this bet work, they need to know what your life expectancy is. A typical EOI form will ask questions such as:

  • Are you pregnant?

  • Have you ever had chest pain or heart trouble?

  • Do you have a history of cancer?

  • Do you suffer from mental disorders?

  • Have you ever had ulcers, stomach issues or digestive problems?

  • Are you diabetic?

  • Do you suffer from arthritis or muscular weakness?

The list of questions can be long, but your answers are not enough. When you fill out an EOI, you also give the company authorization to view your medical records so it can verify that you are being honest about your health. Sadly, people do lie about their physical and mental conditions, so insurance companies will check your answers. If they determine that you have been untruthful, they will not issue the policy.

Once the providers have analyzed your health and determined your risk factors, they will look at other factors.

Find the right plan for you!Compare insurance carriers in your area. It's 100% free.Get Quotes

Insurable Interest

You are not the only person who can buy coverage for your life. Other people or entities can take out a life insurance policy on you if they can show an insurable interest. That means that your employer can get a policy if your death would affect them financially. For instance, pro athletic teams often take out life insurance on their star athletes. Imagine the financial impact on the LA Lakers if LeBron James died suddenly. Other instances apply to this principle. If you help support your best friend, third cousin or daughter's boyfriend, they have an insurable interest.

You can not take out an insurance policy on someone whose death will not affect you financially. If you have an elderly acquaintance with lots of money, you won't be able to get a life insurance policy on them if you have no financial relationship.

Learn more about the Best Life Insurance for Grandparents.

Also, no one can take out a life insurance policy on you without your knowledge. At one time, people could secretly insure others, but the moral and ethical implications put a stop to the practice.

Financial Justification

If you meet the health and insurable interest requirements, the insurance company can still deny or limit your coverage. You need to prove how much of a financial hardship your death would be on the beneficiaries. If you work a job that pays you $35,000 a year, an insurance company will probably not let you purchase a $3,000,000 policy. First, the price tag for that policy would not be affordable. Also, your death would deprive no one of that amount of income. Instead, the company would let you purchase a smaller policy. If you do not or cannot work, it is difficult to qualify for a life insurance policy since you are not contributing financially to anyone.

Without Evidence of Insurability

Some life insurance policies do not require evidence of insurability. You may qualify for both health and life insurance from an employer without having to provide EOI. In these cases, the insurance company feels the financial benefits of covering an entire workforce outweigh the risk of insuring people in ill health. Also, employer life insurance is often for a modest amount which also reduces the risk.

You may also buy some term life insurance without evidence of insurability. These companies advertise "no medical exam necessary." While these ads are generally truthful, the policy amounts will be modest to lessen the risk to the insurer.

Some life insurance companies allow current policyholders to convert certain term policies to whole life without providing additional EOI. And once you have a life insurance policy, your insurer may let you add value to it later without making you provide more evidence of insurability.

The Policy Scout Advantage

Purchasing a life insurance policy is less difficult if you comparison shop using PolicyScout. After answering a few basic questions, it will guide you to top-rated insurance providers who can meet your needs. You'll receive advice on term, whole and convertible life policies that will help you choose the right insurance type and amount for you and your family. You can also phone 888-912-2132 for more information.

Final Notes

For most people, life insurance is essential financial protection. If you are subsidizing someone, you need to protect them by finding an affordable policy. Make sure to comparison shop before deciding which policy is for you. Your knowledge of life insurance requirements, such as EOI, will help smooth the process.