Taking a urine test for life insurance has become a more common practice in this day and age. With the advancement of technology and an entire industry being built around drug testing, insurance companies are far more likely to require a urine test before they commit to selling a life insurance policy.
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The practice of having a urine test in order to qualify for life insurance policies is a relatively recent one and the effects have certainly changed the industry to a certain degree. Before, insurance companies could only rely on the word of potential policy holders if they do not smoke, drink or take illegal drugs. Today, they can have those who want their policies tested to ensure that there has been no recent activity.
Naturally, this has caused a backlash from individuals who feel that their privacy is being invaded or that the tests are an unnecessary step. However, with the possibility that people at a higher level of risk are paying premiums that are lower than they should be for them, insurance companies around the country are now using urine testing as a way to protect themselves and their interests.
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Why Do Life Insurance Companies Perform Urine Tests?
There are a number of reasons why urine tests are performed, but the most common is that from a business perspective they are not interested in taking on more risk than is necessary for the price of their policies. After all, insurance is ultimately a business designed to provide a service and make a profit to cover their costs. Companies that insure people at lower rates than their true risk factors put the company in jeopardy of going out of business.
The very nature of insurance is based on covering the risk that a person has in case they meet with an unexpected demise. This includes their lifestyle and potential habits that could shorten that life which in turn requires higher premiums to cover the risk that is involved. This is a practice that has been around for many years.
For example, a person who smokes tobacco products is statistically less likely to live as long as someone who does not smoke. Therefore, the smoker is someone who represents a higher risk for the insurance company. This is why a life insurance urine test is often required so that the company has more than just the word of the individual. A urine test provides a reassurance for the insurance company about the risk they are taking in covering the life of the individual.
It must be noted that the test will cover more than just tobacco products, it will also include marijuana, alcohol and other substances as well that may increase the risk the insurance company is taking on. This is to protect the company from a person who may have risk factors that would otherwise go undetected. However, it should be noted that the test themselves are designed to address the personal habits that create greater risk and not the actual physical condition of the person themselves.
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Who Can Administer a Life Insurance Urine Test?
Insurance companies tend to use local drug testing companies when it comes to getting urine samples. In many cities and towns there are drug testing companies that provide services for all types of businesses. The companies that test for presence of drugs run from small, independent ones to large businesses that have offices across the US. Companies such as LapCorp or Quest Diagnostics are two of the more prominent companies that do the drug screening.
In some cases, there are independent representatives that will actually collect the samples which will be sent off to the laboratories for drug testing. However, many people will simply report to a drug screening center which has been pre-approved by the insurance company itself. The testing itself takes only a few minutes and the sample is then sent to the lab.
How Long Does it Take to Report to Be Ready?
When it comes to urine test for life insurance, the typical wait time will often depend on the policy of the drug testing company. Although the actual testing process to detect traces of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and the like are relatively quick, it may take some time before the urine is actually tested because of all the other samples in front.
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So, the usual wait times start at three days and up to two weeks depending on how long it takes for the company to get to and then test the sample. Quite often, there is a double-checking of the process as well in order to minimize any mistakes or false positive results. While different drug testing companies have their own individual procedures, they are remarkably similar when it comes to their testing patterns and how they arrive at the results.
What Happens if I Fail the Urine Test?
If you should fail a life insurance urine test, the results will depend on the conditions of your failure. Generally speaking, the worst case scenario is that if stated to the company that you did not smoke or drink or use drugs illegal or otherwise they will refuse to sell you the policy. Insurance companies do not like to be lied to and the urine test will certainly confirm whether you have been telling the truth.
However, in many cases the company will allow for a re-test under certain situations. If you live in a home or work in a place where you are exposed to second-hand smoke, which might be justification for a re-test. This is especially true if you were exposed recently under unusual circumstances. That is one example, but a life insurance company may allow for a re-test under the specific rules and regulations that they have instituted.
Overall, the life insurance urine test is a common one that people all over the US will take as part of qualifying for certain policies. Understanding that doing a urine test for life insurance is simply part of the procedure helps not only in getting the policy you need, but that it also covers the risk being taken by the insurance company itself.