Getting insurance, whether it's simply renewing your policy or changing your coverage, can be a relatively complex task. In some cases, particularly involving changing coverage levels or benefit amounts, you may need to supply additional information to your insurer before they can sign off on the policy. One of the most common things that are needed for insurers to create or extend a policy is called Evidence of Insurability, or EOI.
Evidence of insurability is official documentation that shows someone is in good health. Evidence of insurability can consist of a simple questionnaire, or it can require a certain level of physical examination. It is often required to increase insurance coverage or benefits.
You shouldn't need evidence of insurability in most cases. For example, changing beneficiaries won't require evidence of insurability. Doubling the benefits paid for someone over a certain age, on the other hand, will probably require some form of medical examination before the policy changes can be made. We're going to take a close look at what exactly evidence of insurability means and what might be able to count as, or be used as, evidence of insurability. We'll also go over the evidence of insurability form and how to obtain EOI.
Evidence Of Insurability Meaning
In most cases, evidence of insurability is simply a medical questionnaire that helps to document your health at that time. It is frequently required when applying for some types of insurance that apply to specific circumstances. This questionnaire will generally include questions asking if you are a smoker or have been treated for certain medical conditions in the last few months.
This questionnaire is usually a prerequisite for insurance policy approval and issuance, where it exceeds the insurer's guaranteed issue amount or where coverage is applied for outside of the enrollment period. It may also come up if you're adding coverage or another covered person to the policy.
It is important to note that the requirements and exact documentation needed for evidence of insurability will vary from one carrier to another. Each insurer is free to set its own requirements for evidence of insurability, up to and including what may be used as that evidence. Another factor in what documentation you'll need prior to approval is the type of insurance that you're applying for.
Evidence Of Insurability Examples
During the initial evidence of insurability request, you may be required to provide one or more documents that can help prove or support your evidence of insurability. Some evidence of insurability investigations will require a simple questionnaire to be completed and supplied to the underwriters. Other companies may require a more detailed medical history to be completed, not only for the insured party but for their family, parents, and so on. In some cases, they may even require a full medical examination, complete with a blood draw.
The most central focus with requiring evidence of insurability documentation or processes is to get a more detailed picture of your health both recently and in the past. This information is used during the insurance policy underwriting process with the ultimate goal of either approving or denying your pending insurance coverage. This also means that if you have pending coverage while you produce your evidence of insurability, your coverage will not start until that information has been received and subsequently approved by the insuring entity.
Sometimes the evidence of insurability is as simple as an online health assessment, in which case your evidence will be the completed and submitted assessment, as well as an email confirmation in most cases. For situations where more proof is needed, and you receive orders to visit an office to get a physical examination and have lab work done, getting your evidence may be more challenging.
You may need to just sign a form that allows the health office to share your records with your insurer, or you may need to obtain specific pieces of paperwork during your visit and subsequently fax or digitally upload them to your insurer. Every insurance company will have its process to follow and requirements for proof or evidence. Pay close attention to the materials you are given during your application.
Why Is Evidence Of Insurability Needed & How Does It Work?
The point of submitting evidence of insurability documentation to an insurer is to make sure they have as complete of a picture as possible of your health for the period during which you are applying for insurance. This could be life insurance, health insurance, or nearly any other kind of insurance that depends on your health or well-being. If you are insuring against bad health or death, your insurer is going to want assurances that you aren't taking any unnecessary chances or major health risks.
When you initially apply for insurance, your healthcare provider or insurer will give you specific details on what kind of evidence of insurability they require. This information may be delivered to you digitally, depending on how you are applying, but in most cases, you'll get a mailing to your official address that contains the instructions you need. Usually, you'll be able to complete the process entirely online.
In every situation, you will need to fill out or answer a short insurability questionnaire. This will often be done on the phone with you when you call for information, but if you are applying online, you may be prompted to fill out the questionnaire online. Online or app submissions tend to be easier and quicker for the party submitting the information. The questionnaire will usually have basic questions about the applicant's status as a smoker and other basic healthcare questions about the applicant's medical history.
It's important to know that while it may seem like a hassle or a waste of time, you should always strive to be as accurate as possible on your evidence of insurability forms. Leaving some answers incomplete can cause the insurer to either take time to request more information from you or simply deny your application altogether. Additionally, providing outright false or misleading information can be considered a form of fraud and prosecuted as such in many states.
Once you've filled out all of the needed evidence of insurability documentation, the insurance company will look over your application and questionnaire answers and decide if they are going to accept the risk of covering you with an insurance policy. In some cases, additional information will be needed, which will be gathered through a medical examination and lab analysis of a blood sample.
If you are asked to complete an "EOI form," don't be alarmed; you're simply being asked to fill out a brief questionnaire about your health. Depending on who you are applying to for insurance, you may also see it referred to as a Medical History Statement or Statement Of Health. It is the actual questionnaire that you've heard so much about and will usually be anywhere from 10 to 50 questions long. In most cases, you'll be answering less than 25 questions about your health and medical history because insurers don't want to bore you with long questionnaires before you even formally apply.
Some insurers will have you complete this EOI form or evidence of insurability document virtually or digitally. Once your answers have been recorded and uploaded, you will usually have the option to get a copy of your EOI via text or email. Some insurers may require that you answer a series of questions on a live phone call to help cut down on potential instances of fraud. Very few insurance companies offer paper EOI forms anymore since they can be used for fraudulent purposes and take significantly longer than modern web-based forms that are far faster and more secure.
One thing to remember if you are filling out the EOI form digitally is that you will usually be asked to electronically sign the form when finished. Failing to complete this digital signature or similar consent to electronic transactions may render your application or any insurance quotes null and void. This is a common security and anti-fraud measure.
What Is Evidence Of Insurability For Life Insurance
The evidence of insurability that is needed for life insurance will operate very similarly to the general evidence of insurability process. Depending on the type of life insurance you would like to get, as well as the coverage and payout levels, you may be asked to provide several different examples of evidence of insurability.
The most common reasons or situations that you may need to produce evidence of insurability include:
- Applying for insurance after previously refusing it
- Applying for insurance past the standard enrollment deadline
- Getting insurance back after having a policy previously lapse
- Getting coverage that was previously denied by the insurer
Your insurer will tell you exactly how to complete your evidence of insurability requirements.
Understanding Evidence Of Insurability Can Keep You Covered
There are countless reasons why you might need to change your insurance coverage. Countless major life changes can cause you to rethink your insurance positions and raise your coverage or extend your terms. These situations may require you to supply some form of evidence of insurability, know what it is and how to comply with the insurer's process can make sure your coverage avoids denial or lapse.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.