If I Don’t Admit To It, The Insurance Company Won’t Know

A lot of people believe that life insurance companies won’t find out about health or other issues if you just don’t admit to the issue on the insurance application or during a life insurance exam.

Whether you apply for a no exam life insurance policy or one that does require an exam, the insurance companies will do an MIB search (www.mib.com), Labpiqture analysis, pharmacy records search, they’ll get your driving history and some will use Lexis Nexis to search vast amounts of electronic data on everyone.

For people with medical issues, oftentimes the carriers will request medical records or they'll access electronic records directly from your doctor or medical facility.

Let's take a look at each platform that insurance companies use to gather information in more detail...

What is a MIB in life insurance?

The MIB is an insurance industry database used by most life insurance companies so the underwriters can see your past life insurance application history. 

The MIB will show any medical or other issues that may have shown up on any life insurance applications you submitted over the past seven years.  After seven years has passed since you last applied for life insurance, there will be no information about you on the MIB.

Some common things that show up on the MIB are recent tobacco use or substance abuse that may not have been admitted to on new application.  

We’ve seen the MIB turn up almost every issue you could possibly think of which will often result in higher life insurance rates by people who think they can just apply to another company and the new company won’t find out.

MIB shows life insurance application history over past 7 years

If you want to see what an MIB report looks like, check out my MIB report below:

Conwell G3 mib page 1
Conwell G3 mib page 2
Conwell G3 mib page 3

Nothing too exciting on my report, except for notations on top of page 2 about valvular heart surgery and aneurysm repair and that I applied to both Cincinnati Life and Prudential (Pruco). 

Can an insurance company deny an individual based on MIB?

No the insurance company cannot deny you just based on the MIB alone, but you can be sure they will fully evaluate information found on the MIB. 

MIB is key database that protects insurance companies from fraud...

For example, John Doe has a cigarette the night before his insurance exam and is offered a higher tobacco rate.  Then he applies to another carrier, has new exam with no nicotine and expects to get a non-tobacco rate.  The new carrier will see the MIB info about nicotine and will also offer higher tobacco rate if nicotine showed up in previous 12 months.   

What gets reported to MIB?

Previous or exiting medical conditions.

Prescription medications.

Hazardous occupations or avocations. 

Past alcohol or drug abuse history.

Driving history. 

Height and weight. 

Family history.

Anything that has an underwriting implication can be listed on the MIB. 

If you've been offered higher rate and you're unsure as to why, then you should obtain copy of your MIB report by going to this page on MIB and making the request.

Should only take a few days to receive via email. 

Conwell Gordon MIB file

What is Labpiqture - Exam One

Labpiqture is a quick and easy way for carriers to review lab results that your Dr. or another facility may have ordered.

With Quest Diagnostics and Lab Corp's extensive clinical laboratory database, insurance carriers can get access to lab results ordered by physicians, hospitals, preventative care and disease monitoring services. 

This service may also get back 7 years...

So if you may have been pre-diabetic at some point, had high cholesterol, elevated kidney or liver functions, this information may be "out there" for all insurance carriers to see.

As long as any past issues are well controlled now, either with or without medication, it may not be a problem for some carriers but could be an issue for others that may deem it as a possible future issue.  

It's in ALL insurance companies best interest to charge as much as they can!

If you need an advocate or consultant working on your behalf, see contact info on top right of this page.  Call, email or text and let me know!

The pharmacy records database search can go back as far as five years. If you indicate on an insurance application that you were never diagnosed with diabetes or elevated blood sugar, but the insurance company sees on pharmacy records search that you got a prescription for Metformin in the past, this will be an issue and will have to be explained.

In addition to the pharmacy records and MIB search, the insurance companies with the absolute best rates will order medical records on anyone over about age 50 or that has had any health issues like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, depression or anxiety history, sleep apnea, asthma, substance abuse, etc.  Insurance underwriters look very closely at medical records, and I’m often amazed at what they find in some doctors notes that I’ve seen. Sometimes doctors’ handwriting is almost impossible to read.

FYI- Doctor’s offices and their staff are only human, and they do sometimes make mistakes.  Every year I see cases where there is wrong information in people’s medical records.  As long as the doctor corrects the wrong information, it’s not a problem.  If this happens to you, I’d HIGHLY recommend keeping a copy of the correction that your doctor made in your own personal file for future reference. I have seen cases where doctor’s offices have mistakenly re-sent the incorrect information later.

Part of the authorization that all life insurance companies will have you sign as part of the application allows them to obtain medical records for up to 30 months after the date you sign the application. If you were to die during the contestable period, which is the first two policy years in most states, the insurance companies can obtain your medical records to look for information that was not admitted to on the insurance application and/or the insurance exam. If the insurance company can prove that you were dishonest when you applied, they can deny paying the death claim to your beneficiary.

Like my mom always said, honesty is the best policy. Be honest when applying for life insurance or when talking with any insurance agent prior to applying.

For instance:

life insurance for a type 2 diabetic will be harder to obtain if you aren’t as honest as possible on your life insurance application.

Remember that just answering any health questions honestly with any agent won’t hurt you in any way. No agent or insurance company can do anything with any information that you provide until you sign a formal application with the appropriate authorization.

Plus, if you’re dealing with a good agent and provide honest and accurate information up front, you’ll get realistic quotes which will enable you to determine what you can afford and if you want to apply at all.

"Big brother's always watching"- so true in life insurance underwriting!

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