What Is An Attending Physician Statement In Life Insurance?

When life insurers have follow-up questions about an applicant's health history, they might request this summary.
Robin Hartill, CFP®
By Robin Hartill, CFP® 
Edited by Katia Iervasi Reviewed by Tony Steuer

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What is an attending physician statement?

An attending physician statement, or APS, is a written summary of your medical records with details on specific health conditions. Your insurer may request one when you apply for a life insurance policy. In that case, you would need to speak to the physician or physicians who treated you for those health conditions.

When do life insurers need an APS?

Depending on the type of policy you’re applying for, the application process may include a health questionnaire or medical exam. Sometimes, insurers need more information on your medical history or have follow-up questions about your exam results. That’s when an attending physician statement may be required. The insurer’s goal is to get additional context about your medical history and any specific medical condition from a healthcare provider who’s treated you. For instance, if you’re being treated for diabetes or depression, the insurance company may ask for an attending physician statement from your provider. The insurer will then use this information to determine whether you’re eligible for coverage or to set your life insurance rates.

An attending physician statement is a standard part of the life insurance underwriting process for senior applicants or those applying for high amounts of coverage. It’s also a common requirement if you’re applying for a waiver of premium rider, a policy add-on that pauses your premiums if you become totally disabled.

How to get an attending physician statement

Typically, a primary care physician or OB-GYN can provide an attending physician statement. In some cases, the insurer will ask for a specialist’s opinion. Usually, the life insurance company that requests the APS will cover the costs.

An attending physician statement takes about 21 calendar days to be completed, though some healthcare providers may need more time.

Did you know...

Getting an APS is often the longest part of the life insurance underwriting process. One way to speed up the process is to contact your doctor and let them know that the request is coming so they can prepare your records.

Learn more about life insurance applications

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