Sun Life makes changes to streamline life insurance applications

Sun Life is eliminating the need for many of its medical test requirements as part of a life insurance underwriting overhaul the company announced Monday.

Company to begin selling life insurance to people who are HIV-positive

Sun Life says it is eliminating many of its pre-screening medical tests as part of an effort to streamline insurance applications and reduce costs. (Associated Press)

Sun Life is eliminating the need for many of its medical test requirements as part of a life insurance underwriting overhaul the company announced Monday.

As part of a shift to make it easier for people to get coverage, Sun Life said it will no longer routinely require medical exams, ECGs, oral fluid samples and urine HIV tests for either critical illness insurance or life insurance.

Sun Life said only an application will be now needed from the majority of people applying for those insurance products. With the change, the company said more than three-quarters of its critical illness insurance clients and half of its life insurance clients will now be exempt from the tests.

Some clients, including older Canadians, people wanting higher amounts of insurance and people seeking certain pre-existing medical conditions will still be required to undergo testing as part of their insurance applications, according to a report in the Globe and Mail.

The company has indicated that advances in medical testing, coupled with a drive to cut expenses and be less intrusive on clients.

In addition, Sun Life is becoming the latest provider to begin selling life insurance coverage for people living with HIV. The company said it will begin offering coverage of more than $3 million.

Earlier this year, Manulife became the first Canadian insurer to offer coverage for people with HIV. The company said back in April that it would consider insuring people who ​have tested HIV-positive, are between the ages of 30 and 65, and meet certain other criteria for life insurance policies that would pay up to $2 million upon death.

Manulife made the move after it reviewed recent mortality and long-term survival rates of HIV-positive Canadians and gained a better perspective on individual risk profiles.

Sun Life also said Monday it will begin automatically pre-screening its clients for type 2 diabetes in cases where a blood test is required.