Common Lies People Tell on Their Life Insurance Application

Common Lies People Tell on Their Life Insurance Application

by Leslie Freeland, February 11, 2019

7 Lies That Lead to Regret.

When you apply for life insurance, you will usually fill out a questionnaire that helps to determine how much you qualify for and your rate. Many people assume that lying about their habits or health will help them sneak through the application process so they can pay less each month for their policy – or so they can qualify for more insurance.

But this just isn’t true.

Even if they get qualified to purchase the policy, when the lie is revealed later, there will be negative consequences and regret.

The Two Types of Lies: Omission and Defraud

There is the lie of omission and then there is the lie to defraud.
The lie of omission is where you decided to not mention something instead of writing a lie; for example – you might “forget” to mention that you smoke.
The lie to defraud is where you intentionally write a lie down on the application; for example – you might list your income as much higher than it actually is.

The Most Common Lies

1. Cancer

  • People may report that there is no cancer in their immediate family or lie about their own cancer status. If you have ever applied for insurance before, the information and test results from the previous application will be stored in the MIB (Medical Information Bureau) database. This is a company that keeps all applicants records to help insurance companies avoid fraud. Many insurance companies also require you get a medical exam before you can purchase the insurance. Also, the insurance companies pull a “prescription database check” that has a list of all prescriptions you have ever been prescribed.

2. Depression

  • Depression is a mental health issue that some applicants dismiss or simply don’t mention. Like lying about cancer, it will be difficult to hide this health issue because the insurance company can check your previous prescriptions. Some insurance companies are more lenient towards mental health issues, so make sure to talk to a licensed insurance agent about your depression so he or she can pick out the best policy for you before you even start to fill out an application.

3. Tobacco or Drug Use

  • Some people go to great lengths to lie about their illegal drug use. They abstain from drugs for a set period of time before the exam so their urine or blood tests come back clean. They may even shave their heads to avoid a hair follicle test. Drug use doesn’t necessarily mean that someone will be denied insurance, but it will likely lead to higher rates. Some insurance companies require a medical exam before you can get a policy, and during that exam, most likely, they will take a strand of your hair and a urine sample to test for drug use.

4. DUI Charges

  • Many people don’t realize that their driving history is often part of a life insurance application. So when it comes up, it seems like lying about their driving history is a quick way out, especially lying about any DUI charges. Sometimes people will admit to the first DUI and lie about any repeat charges beyond that. What they don’t know is the insurance company is going to pull their driving record, so there is no reason to lie.

5. Income

  • Your annual income also plays a large role in helping the life insurance company determine how much coverage you can have. Lying about your income and saying it’s much higher than the average is a red flag to insurers. Be honest about your income. Also, regarding finances, the insurance company is going to pull your credit report.

6. Moving Violations

  • As with DUIs, some people might be tempted to omit one or more moving violations. However, the insurance company will pull your driving record, so just be honest; if you got a ticket for running a red light, you can’t hide it – they are going to find out anyway.

7. Dangerous Travel

  • People might lie about their travel plans or how long they plan to travel if they’re headed toward dangerous destinations. Some people might say they’re only traveling to a dangerous spot for a few weeks when they’re actually planning an extended stay. Or maybe their job takes them to areas where there is an active war. For example, a journalist might do this sort of traveling. The insurance company has to know.

Getting Caught

Don’t get caught making yourself look less than credible with your life insurance company. Avoid these seven common lies and be truthful on your application. Your life insurance company will most likely find out soon enough if you purposely left out important details.

If you do lie on your application, then you pass away, your family will not receive the insurance money (death benefit) you had planned for them. Another negative consequence is you may not be able to buy another policy in the future if you would like additional or different coverage.

Our Best Advice: Talk to an Agent First

Young woman meeting a professional consultant in his office he is holding a document and giving explanations


Talk honesty and openly to an independent, licensed insurance agent before filling out any applications. That agent is going to take down all of your information and look at all the insurance companies that would be the best fit for you, your lifestyle and your health.

Not all insurance companies are the same, so the agent is going to make sure you are filling out the “right” application, taking all of the above into account.


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Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long-term Care Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn More’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’

This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.

Leslie Freeland

Leslie Freeland

Find her at LinkedIn
Leslie joined Asurea as the Marketing Communications Coordinator in February 2015. Since then, she has been working closely with insurance professionals to educate the public on the importance of life insurance and protect the public from common scams with informational articles.
Leslie Freeland