This post is intended as a PSA, not an attempt to convince anyone who doesn't want life insurance to go buy. There are threads for arguing about that.
To buy individual life insurance (in the US at least) in any significant amount without overpaying, you need to have your health (risk) assessed. In most cases, that includes having a (para)medical exam and providing fluids to be analyzed. The process of scheduling an exam and hearing back on the decision can take weeks and very few people enjoy having needles stuck in their arm. In fact, the purchase process is so invasive and tedious that many people who are otherwise interested in buying life insurance coverage do not because of the hassle factor (either start the process and do not finish or never start at all).
There is a new trend in underwriting which has insurance companies making instant decisions without taking fluids or asking for a medical exam. The entire process can be done online and is similar to applying for a credit card (with different questions, obviously). I picked that comparison intentionally
Many people do not know about this yet because it is so new and not very well advertised, and I hope by posting here I can bring it to the attention of people who can benefit. The demographic of DDF (socio-economic and age) is such that many people here are ideal candidates for this type of policy.
Some notes: The company will determine if you qualify for the instant decision. If you don't qualify there may be an option to get a medical exam, though you can also just say forget it at that point. The only policy you can buy this way is term life. It is not convertible to whole life. Some companies charge a bit more for their instant policies than you would pay for the old school one, but others (e.g. Haven) are super
competitive in price. Compare your quote to dozens of other quotes on term4sale.com to see.
I can't say with certainty but my educated guess is that you will have a good chance to qualify for instant approval if you think that a medical exam would show you to be healthy (even if you smoke). Someone with a complicated medical history or a bad BMI probably has a low chance of getting instant approval and won't gain from this. Younger people stand a better chance and lower benefit amounts, though I'm sure up to age 40 and $1M should be fine.
The companies I know of who do this right now are:
Ladder Life (only in California)
Get Quilt (only in Florida)
I'd be happy to answer any questions in the thread or by PM. Also, if anyone has experience with this I'd be very interested to hear any details you don't mind sharing as a data point.