Insurance companies use risk to establish the cost of coverage. This is why it is much cheaper to buy a life insurance policy for a child than an adult, and why smokers pay more than nonsmokers for the same policy coverage. It is also the primary reason that insurance companies require a medical exam for life insurance. The data gathered during the exam, combined with other personal information, will determine whether the company will underwrite a policy for you, and what they will charge to do so.
Among the things included in your medical are a common stress test and a blood test. The stress test helps to define your current level of physical and cardiovascular health. The blood test is used to check for abnormalities as well as such things as how often or how much you drink alcohol, your cholesterol level, and what medications may be in your system. This is not the only information gained from your medical exam, but it provides you with an idea of how the exam is used to determine your precise state of health. If you are in good health, the medical exam can work to your benefit by reducing the risk of insuring you.
If you do not want to take a medical exam, your choices for life insurance are limited. You can take out a final expense policy to cover your interment, but that type of policy does not provide any value to beneficiaries. Typically, final expense coverage is used to make certain that the family is not burdened during their time of sorrow, or as a way to get a minimal amount of insurance when mainstream insurers have denied you for coverage.
Remember that there are other factors which could cause higher than average premiums, too. For example, if you are in perfect health but partake in dangerous activities such as skydiving, your rates will still be higher than someone who has more mundane hobbies. Similarly, the type of occupation you have could also increase or decrease your premiums, based on how dangerous the job is considered to be.