Category Archives: Underwriting

Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot!

Paramed Tips & Pitfalls

Albert Pujols

Admittedly, I’ve done it myself.

I had been in the business for about a year when it happened. I wrote a term policy on a friend of mine who lived in St. Louis. The Cardinals were right in the middle of the 2006 playoffs. The town was red-hot and the team was headed toward a championship. Every night was a party.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when my friend was declined for life insurance due to blood alcohol content during his paramed.


You can’t put that genie back in a bottle. Good luck finding a sympathetic underwriter outside of St. Louis. MIB shuts that party down. I learned the hard way that you can’t assume your client knows all the helpful tips to present the most healthy snapshot possible to life insurance underwriters.

Here are my top 5 rules for paramed exams:

Rule #1 – Thou Shalt Not Be Hungover at Thy Paramed

It sounds obvious, but it’s worth communicating to your client! In hindsight, I should have known. My friend was a huge baseball fan and going to all those night games. They don’t call it Busch Stadium for nothing.

Tell your clients there is no penalty for skipping a paramed if you’re not feeling your best. It’s not just alcohol. If you’re coming down with a cold or you’ve had a stressful week, tell them not to worry about it!

Rule #2 – Schedule Thy Paramed First Thing In the Morning

Your body is the healthiest after a good night’s sleep. Your blood pressure is low and your weight is at the lowest point it will be all day. Your cholesterol and blood sugar levels are also relatively low since you’ve fasted all night.

Which brings me to my next point…

Rule #3 – Thou Shalt Not Fire Down Whopper Prior to Paramed

Here’s a trick. Want to spike your cholesterol levels to ungodly numbers in a blood test? Fire down one of these babies right before your paramed. I’ve seen it. Good luck walking that one back.

When disputed, underwriters will require additional testing to be done at the client’s expense.

Rule #4 – Limit Thy Stimulants

I love my coffee. It raises my heart rate and blood pressure. Exactly what you don’t want to do before a paramed.

Tobacco does the same thing. Many companies allow for monthly “celebratory cigars”, as long as there are no positive nicotine markers in the urine. It takes about 7-10 days for nicotine to clear the body, if anybody’s wondering…

Rule #5 – Exercise Is Good. Exercise Before Paramed: Bad

Strenuous exercise can throw off your vitals with elevated blood pressure. Give your body 24 hours to recover. Hydration is crucial. Make sure to drink plenty of water before going in for an exam.

You only have one opportunity to make a good impression. Remember that this one snapshot will dictate years, perhaps a lifetime, of savings. Make it a good one!