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What is a PMAR? (Private Medical Attendants Report)


life insurance medical report

If your insurer has requested a PMA, call me on 05793 20836. One of our insurers may be able to offer you cover based on questionnaires instead.

Things you don’t want to share with anybody:

  1. Old love letters (remember those)
  2. Drunken texts (yeah, we’ve all done it)
  3. Your last ROLO (as if)
  4. Your medical history

Things you have to share with an insurance company

  1. Your medical history (and they don’t send you any love letters, drunken texts or even give you a ROLO in return)

When you apply for life cover here in Ireland, the insurance company will ask you routine medical questions to figure out if you’re worth insuring.

If you answer no to all of these questions, meaning you don’t have any health issues, the insurer will usually offer you cover immediately.

However, should you tick a yes box, they’ll ask you for more information. The insurer may even ask you to complete a separate questionnaire specific to that condition. Complete this in full, and they should be able to offer you cover.

But if you’re unsure of a certain reading or a date, the insurer will write to your GP for clarification. The report is called a Private Medical Attendants Report or PMAR for short (or PMA for even shorter). These days, the insurers try to avoid a PMA as the GP will look for north of €130 to complete the report. Also, because GP surgeries are so busy, it can take weeks to complete the report, which doesn’t help you, the insurer or me.

Let’s be blunt, if you’re a patient at a busy surgery and you need a PMA, it will delay your application by weeks if not months.

If your insurer has requested a PMA, get in touch, I may be able to get you cover quickly without the need for a PMA.

Right, let’s move on to the nitty-gritty of a mortgage protection or life insurance medical.

What is a PMAR?

A PMAR (Private Medical Attendants Report)  is a medical questionnaire that the insurer sends to your GP to complete.

It can be a “general health” questionnaire to check on your, eh general health, or the insurer can specifically tailor it for a known health issue (diabetes, for example).

Why has my insurer asked for a PMA?

Your insurer has requested a life insurance medical report to learn more about your health.

Insurance underwriters are suspicious by nature; they’d love to take your word for it, but they’ve been around the block a few times now, and their spidey senses are telling them to seek clarification from your GP on a health condition you have disclosed.

The reason for a PMAR is to check the history of a medical condition

  • when were you diagnosed,
  • what were the symptoms,
  • how has it been treated,
  • have you been compliant with treatment,
  • how have you responded to treatment,
  • what’s the prognosis

In the past, the insurers requested a PMA for up-to-date readings such as blood pressure and cholesterol.

Nowadays, they request you attend a nurse medical/screening where a trained nurse from the insurer visits you at a time and place of your choosing and takes readings and measurements.

It’s cheaper and quicker than a PMA.

Who pays for a life insurance medical report?

You’ll be glad to hear the insurer pays for the medical report.

Does the request for a PMA mean I’ll pay a higher premium?

Not necessarily. The insurer might need the GP to back up what you have told them in your application. If it all checks out and your condition isn’t serious, you’ll get the standard price.

You can check the standard price for your life insurance cover here.

How long does a report take?

Some GPs are brilliant (hello and thank you if you are reading ??) and will complete the report and send it back within a few days, others can take weeks, some months or, in some cases, never complete it.

I kid you not

GPs have straight out told clients of mine that they are too busy to complete the report,

In such cases, clients have had to use the Freedom of Information Act to access their own medical records. Crazy stuff.

Get onto your GP as soon as your broker tells you the insurer has requested the PMA so you can be sure:

  1. the surgery has received the request
  2. the GP is working on it.

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of the Bermuda Triangle that appears to lie somewhere between the insurer and the GP’s surgery.

Many life insurance medical reports vanish into thin air once they leave the insurer’s mailroom.

What kind of questions are on a PMAR?

The questions relate to your specific condition, so it shouldn’t take too long for your GP to complete it unless your health issue is quite complex.

What does the insurer do with PMA?

Underwriting will review it and hopefully offer you cover.

But they may refer it to the Chief Medical Officer or even to the re-insurer.

Will I need to give more info?

Unlikely, but if you do, it will take the form of a medical exam either with your GP or an independent GP chosen by the insurer.

What if you don’t have a doctor or can’t get a medical report?

If you don’t have any health issues, it doesn’t matter that you don’t have a GP.

Should you have a minor health issue, the insurer may ask you to complete a questionnaire or attend a nurse medical exam.

However, if your condition is more serious, the insurer will insist on knowing more about your medical history. If you are unable to provide this information, they will postpone offering you cover.

I have just moved to Ireland so my medical records are abroad

This can be tricky especially if you need mortgage protection urgently because it can take some time for your records to be sent to your new Irish GP.

Some insurers are more accommodating than others and will go to great lengths to try and offer mortgage protection cover.

We had a client with a history of hypertension and his medical records were in the UK. Most of the insurers postponed until they could review his UK records.

Helpfully, one of our insurers arranged two nurse medical exams, and blood tests and asked our client to complete a detailed questionnaire. They eventually offered him cover so he could close on his house purchase. The relief!

Do I have to pay for the medical report?

No, the insurer will cover the GP’s fee.

Your GP may ask for a prepayment of their fee before they complete the report.

In our experience, this should cause alarm bells to ring because requesting prepayment is usually a stalling tactic.

Treat a request for prepayment as a harbinger of doom…you’re in for a long wait.

Also, insurers aren’t great at settling prepayment requests, they can only pay them when the moon is full, a wolf is howling and there’s a j in the month…or something like the second Tuesday of every month.

Does the report cover my full medical history or just in relation to the disclosed condition?

Usually, the insurers request the GP to complete a questionnaire specific to your medical condition but it is dependent on the types of condition disclosed.

Anything else I need to know?


  • Your current GP doesn’t have your historical medical records.

In this case, make sure your previous GP sends your full file to your current GP or ask the insurer to write to your old GP for your medical history. If you give the incorrect GP details to your insurer, it will delay your application by weeks.

  • You don’t have a GP; you only have a consultant.

In this case, you’ll have to ask your consultant to send his reports to a GP (yep, this means registering with a GP if you don’t have one). The insurer won’t write to your consultant because of the exorbitant fees the consultant charges for completing the report and the length of time it takes.

Finally, believe me when I say you need to be all over your surgery like a cheap suit the minute the insurer sends the paperwork to your GP. Otherwise, sit back for a lonnnnng wait.

Over to you?

Wondering if you’ll need a medical report for your application – complete this medical questionnaire, and I’ll be back over email.

Another insurer may be able to offer you cover based on a questionnaire alone, speeding up the process and saving you from the utter exhaustion of chasing your GP for the report.

I’m on 05793 20836 if you prefer a chat.

Talk soon!


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