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Simplified Issue Life Insurance

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Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Stop waiting for the Underwriter! Better, faster options are available.

Life Insurance policies typically take an average of 28 days to issue, including underwriting. It is difficult to maintain a customer’s interest during this time frame, causing many life insurance applicants to jump ship on the application process. Thankfully, a number of carriers have updated their products and processing times to make it easier to apply for this essential coverage.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance policies can be finalized and issued within minutes, hours, or days of the time you apply. You can choose from several kinds of Simplified Issue coverage depending on your needs. Universal life comprises 41 percent of all simplified issue life insurance plans, 35 percent are Whole life and 24 percent are Term life. By using advanced data collection and predictive analytics, application questions can be answered more quickly.

Some simplified issue policies are available to apply for online, while Life Insurance Agents are responsible for 46 percent of the overall promotion and sales of these products. Agents are key when it comes to simplified issue life insurance, as they can provide guidance through the quoting and application processes. Choosing the right plan for your estate and your loved ones can be overwhelming, in which case it makes great sense to seek expert advice.


Exam-Free Underwriting (With More Questions)

Many simplified issue applications do not require a medical exam. A little more time upfront helps you avoid the hassle of arranging an appointment and getting blood drawn, etc. With a few additional underwriting questions, Simplified Issue Life Insurance applications may ask about cancer, heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairments or kidney disease, digging into any medical conditions early on. This helps save time and makes your application easier to process.

The most frequently asked health-centered questions included in a simplified issue application review your:

• medical history (95%)

• recent hospitalizations (89%)

• height/weight (82%)


Life insurance authority and research organization LIMRA recently published a study specific to Simplified Issue. Research indicated that there was a more diverse range of lifestyle questions versus medical questions, although certain topics are prominent across various applications. 91 percent of applications include a substance use and/or alcohol use question, and 84 percent include tobacco use questions.

This data indicates that while your application processes more rapidly when you apply for simplified issue products, you must be prepared to answer personal medical questions when you first apply. Standard issue life insurance policy applications will cover these questions when the carrier’s medical underwriting process begins, typically after your application is submitted.

Simplified issue does not mean guaranteed issue. Responses to these questions may result in declination of your application. Then what happens?


Application Declines

Most carriers have two ways of handling those who fail the application process:

  1. Application is flagged for follow-up.
  2. Applicant is disqualified from simplified issue products.

Other instances of disqualification vary based on the company with which you apply. LIMRA’s study found that three-quarters of simplified issue products researched had a formal follow-up process while one-third default a disqualified applicant into full medical underwriting.

18 companies were surveyed by LIMRA in this study, giving a broad data set across life insurers’ top selling products in these categories:

  • final expense whole life
  • juvenile whole life
  • other whole life
  • term life
  • universal life
  • indexed universal life
  • variable universal life


Need help choosing a life insurance policy and want to receive underwriting results faster?

Call a licensed agent at 888-803-5917 for quotes and help with your application.


  1.  Life Insurance Ownership in Focus: U.S. Household Trends 2016, LIMRA (2016)
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