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What happens if I lie on my life insurance application?

Do you prefer to learn by watching? We answer this question in a video below. Click here to jump ahead.

You don’t have to submit false information to get affordable term life insurance quotes—even if you’ve faced medical challenges in the past. In this post, we’ll show you how to get term life insurance the right way. But first, let’s look at the consequences of fudging the details on your term life insurance application.

What Happens if I Lie on My Term Life Insurance Application?

Of course, you want to get the best term life insurance quotes, and glossing over medical or personal challenges in your past may seem like a harmless way to get the protection your family at a low cost, but it’s not a good idea. Here are just three reasons—outside of the fact that it’s not the right thing to do—why you shouldn’t omit or alter details on your life insurance application:

Your application may be denied.

The insurance companies have many resources that allow them to confirm the information you give on your application. The three main ones include:

  • The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) – contains both medical and non-medical information for fraud detection purposes pulled directly from previous life and health applications that you’ve submitted.
  • Your medical records – when you apply for life insurance you sign a medical records release authorization. This permits insurance companies to pull your records and review your medical history.
  • Your driving records – insurance companies often pull motor vehicle reports to review any possible DUI incidences or other risky driving behaviors.

Through these means, if the insurance company discovers that you lied or omit multiple facts, they could decline you altogether. Or the facts they uncover could deem you uninsurable and they decline you anyway.

You may be charged higher term life insurance premiums.

As mentioned a moment ago, insurance companies have resources to confirm your application information. If you lie or omit certain things on your term life insurance application, the insurance company will likely find out and while you may still be approved for coverage, the premiums they offer you will be higher. The term life insurance quotes you originally received based on the incorrect information given will not be what you end up with.

Your family’s death benefit claim may be reduced or rejected.

Every term life insurance policy comes with a contestability period—usually the first two years of the policy. If you die during this timeframe, the insurance company has the right to investigate. If it’s discovered that you misrepresented yourself on your application or omit pivotal information, the insurance company has the right to reduce the money your families receives or even deny the claim altogether.

After the contestability period as passed, the insurance company no longer has the right to investigate claims unless you committed outright fraud.

» Learn more: What You Need to Know About Your Term Life Insurance Policy

Lying on your application for a chance at a lower premium just isn’t a wise decision. It puts your family at unnecessary risk—and isn’t protecting your family the reason that you wanted to get affordable term life insurance quotes in the first place? There’s never a good reason to be dishonest on your term life insurance application, but it’s common to be concerned that your health history or lifestyle may make your term life insurance quotes too expensive for your budget.

If it’s discovered that you misrepresented yourself on your application or omit pivotal information, the insurance company has the right to reduce the money your families receives or even deny the claim altogether.

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I Have Medical Challenges: Can I Still Get Affordable Term Life Insurance Quotes?

Many term life insurance applicants have faced medical challenges and still have been able to find affordable term life insurance quotes. The only way to find out if you can get term life insurance at a rate that works within your budget is to start the application process. At Quotacy, we make sure that our clients are matched with an insurance company that is the most likely to approve their application. We’ll help you get the best rates by advocating for you.

Below are just a few examples of health issues that may not necessarily exclude you from finding term life insurance quotes. Follow the link to learn more about how these conditions impact the application process.

Breast cancer

Diabetes

Traumatic brain injury

Hypertension

Parkinson’s disease

Coronary artery disease

Kidney Disease

Lupus

PTSD

Autism

Get started by comparing term life insurance quotes side-by-side.

What factors besides my health may impact my term life insurance quotes?

In addition to your age and health, your term life insurance quotes are determined by factors such as your occupation, hobbies, driving record, and smoking status.

Driving Record:

Your driving record presents a snapshot of your safety on the road and has a direct correlation to your mortality risk. Don’t allow a past issue to prevent you from applying for term life insurance. DUIs and speeding tickets can increase your premiums, but if these occurred many years ago, they may not affect it at all.

Smoking History:

Smokers and new non-smokers can still get great rates if they are otherwise healthy and have a low-risk lifestyle and occupation. Every life insurance company weighs smoking status differently, so its best to work with a broker like Quotacy that is capable of making sure your application is presented to a term life insurance company that give you the best rate possible.

» Learn more: Life Insurance Risk Classes for Cigarette Smokers

History of Substance Abuse:

It is possible to get term life insurance if you have overcome a history of substance abuse. Term life insurance underwriters will evaluate:

  • The severity of the substance use and its duration
  • The drugs used
  • The health complications associated with the substance abuse
  • History of relapses and recovery
  • Participation in a group such as Narcotics Anonymous

Do not let a history of substance abuse prevent you from applying for term life insurance. Quotacy has helped families who have experienced all kinds of challenges in becoming insured. Connect with us to learn more.

High-Risk Hobbies

If you’re an adventure traveler or have a hobby that involves some significant physical risk, this can impact your term life insurance quotes. Here are just a few of the hobbies that life insurance companies consider to be risky:

  • Hang gliding
  • Piloting
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Snowboarding
  • Scuba diving (especially to depths over 200 feet)
  • Car racing
  • Boat racing

Participating in these hobbies, however, do not necessarily exclude you from becoming insured.

Dangerous Occupations

It’s important to be honest about the risks of your occupation. Even with a dangerous job, you can still find term life insurance to protect your family. If you work with Quotacy, we will present your application to companies that are experienced in providing insurance to applicants with hazardous professions. If you are your family’s key provider and have a dangerous job, it is of the utmost importance that you get term life insurance as soon as possible.

Not sure how much life insurance you need? Use our anonymous life insurance needs calculator to learn how much term life insurance would make sense for your family.

How Can I Make Sure I Get the Best Term Life Insurance Quotes?

The best way to find the right policy is to compare term life insurance quotes online side-by-side. Using our free, anonymous quotes tool, you can see a range of quotes from America’s leading insurance companies based on your answers to a few quick questions.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

Just tell us your age, gender, zip code, and smoking status and we’ll show you your quotes in seconds for coverage amounts that you choose. Answer a few more general questions about your build and health, and we’ll show you a range of customized quotes. You can then apply right online in under five minutes.

At Quotacy, we’ve worked with thousands of applicants and helped them protect their families with more than $2 billion of insurance coverage. We’re committed to helping every family, regardless of their challenges, find the right plan to secure their financial futures. Need insurance for your significant other or spouse? Learn how to get term life insurance quotes for your partner.

 

Watch the Lying on Life Insurance Application Video

Video Transcript

Welcome to Quotacy’s Q&A Friday where we answer your life insurance questions. Quotacy is an online life insurance broker where you can get life insurance on your terms.

I’m Jeanna and I’m Natasha.

Today’s question is:
 
What happens if I lie on my life insurance application?

 
 
If you lie on your life insurance application, three things can happen.
 

  1. Your application may be denied.
  2. Your premiums may be increased.
  3. Or your beneficiary’s death benefit may be reduced or denied.

3 things that can happen if you lie on your life insurance application:

  1. Your application may be denied.
  2. Your premiums may be increased.
  3. Your beneficiary’s death benefit may be reduced or denied.

 
 
Let’s go over some examples of each scenario.

When you apply for life insurance, you sign a form giving the life insurance company permission to check certain records of yours such as medical records, a criminal background check, credit reports and driving records.

In addition to this, the company also checks the Medical Information Bureau. We’ll explain what this is shortly.

Let’s say, for example, you previously applied for life insurance at an insurance company and admitted that you had three speeding tickets. The speeding tickets increased your risk to the insurance company and they ended up offering you premiums much higher than you anticipated.

So, you decide to walk away and apply elsewhere but this time you don’t admit to your speeding tickets on the new application. The new life insurance company not only sees on your driving record that you have these speeding tickets but they also find out through the Medical Information Bureau that you previously applied for life insurance and that you admitted to the speeding tickets. The insurance company will ask you about these inconsistencies and then investigate further. They can deny you a policy if you purposely omitted the information in an attempt to trick them.

Instead of denying you coverage, the insurance company can also opt to increase your premiums if you misrepresent yourself on your application.

For example, let’s say you fudge your weight by about 20 pounds hoping to get cheaper life insurance. During your life insurance medical exam, however, the truth comes out. The insurance company in this case often just increases your price to what it should have originally been.

Another scenario is that the insurance company doesn’t discover the lie until your death. Depending on the situation the insurance company can reduce your beneficiary’s death benefit amount or deny it altogether.

Every life insurance policy comes with a contestability clause. This clause gives the insurance company the right to investigate your death if you die within two years of buying the policy.

Let’s say, for example, you apply for life insurance and omit the fact that you smoke cigarettes. You started smoking only a few years ago so your most recent medical records don’t report that you smoke.

A year later after buying the life insurance policy you die in a car crash. The autopsy report shows that you’ve been smoking for many years. The insurance company investigates and discovers you were in fact a cigarette smoker even when you applied for life insurance.

When your beneficiaries make a claim for the death benefit in most cases the insurance company would reduce the death benefit to whatever amount the premiums could buy you as a smoker policy versus the non-smoker one you were approved for.

The insurance company would also have the option to go to court and rescind the policy as if it never existed. In this case, the beneficiaries would receive a refund of the premiums paid but no death benefit.

It’s important to note that a contestability period only lasts two years. After two years the insurance company no longer has the right to dispute the validity of the insurance policy. The purpose of limiting this time is to protect beneficiaries from the omissions or mistakes made by the applicant.

Incontestability Clause
 
A provision in all life insurance policies that waives the insurance company’s right to dispute the validity of the contract after a certain period of time, up to a maximum of two years.

 
 
The only situations typically excluded from this two-year statute of limitations are: if it is discovered that the applicant did not have insurable interest on the insured, if the life insurance medical exam was taken by someone other than the proposed insured, and if the policy was obtained with the intent to murder the insured.

Lying on your application for a chance at a lower premium simply isn’t a wise decision. It puts your beneficiaries at unnecessary risk and your beneficiaries are the whole reason for buying life insurance in the first place.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

If you have any questions about life insurance, make sure to leave us a comment. And if you’re ready to get quotes, check out Quotacy.com. We’re here to help you find the best deal on the life insurance you want.

 

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Natasha Cornelius

Writer, Editor, and Co-host of Quotacy's Q&A Fridays

Natasha is the content manager and editor for Quotacy. She has been in the life insurance industry since 2010 and has been making life insurance easier to understand with her writing since 2014. When not at work, she's probably studying and working toward her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation while throwing a tennis ball for her pitbull mix, Emmett, or curled up on her couch watching Netflix. If it’s football season, the Packers game will be on. Connect with her on LinkedIn.