Does Being Overweight or Obese Affect Life Insurance Rates?

BMI and Life Insurance Rates

When it comes to life insurance, weight and height are two of the main factors that help insurers set premium rates. Unfortunately, being obese or overweight would result in much higher premiums.

There have been cases where cover has been rejected altogether, though this only happens if your weight affects your mobility, or if you are severely obese. If you are looking for the best possible insurance quotes, then reducing your body fat percentage will result in better life insurance quotes.

Furthermore, if you are someone who has a high BMI but low body fat, such as an athlete, you will be eligible to receive credits to qualify for the best insurance ratings.

Get your life insurance rates if you are overweight or obese!

Correlation Between Life Insurance Rates and Weight

When calculating your insurance price, insurers refer to a specific build chart, which looks like a BMI calculation chart. Like. Here are the ratings used:

  • Preferred Plus: Fit individuals without any major health problems. If you are more than a few pounds heavier than the recommended weight, you probably won't earn this rating.
  • Preferred: This is most likely to be awarded to you in the event that you have someone in your family with some form of mild health condition, but you are generally in excellent health. There is also a Preferred rating dedicated to smokers who might otherwise be eligible to get better prices were it not for their tobacco consumption.
  • Standard Plus: This includes individuals who are overall in good health, but either have someone in their family with major issues or have one single condition that does not allow them to qualify for Preferred rating.
  • Standard: Individuals who are generally healthy but may suffer from common yet treatable health problems, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. For smokers, there is also a dedicated Standard rating available. A Standard rating is likely to be assigned to you if you are very overweight, and specifically if you are obese.
  • Table Ratings: This is used for individuals who are at high risk. This is usually assigned to those who have an extremely high BMI.

An insurance company's maximum and minimum weight restrictions for a particular height will vary depending on the rating category.

Additional variables considered when calculating premiums are your gender and age. The adoption of a unisex weight chart by certain insurers, such as Prudential, Mutual of Omaha, and Allstate, is advantageous to women who may be slightly overweight because the range of permissible height to weight ratios for males is greater than the range for women.

The age of the applicant is taken into consideration by some insurers, which is advantageous to younger individuals who are a little overweight, since the acceptable height to weight ratio becomes more "flexible" as you grow older.

Examples of acceptable height and weight limitations for MetLife coverage are shown below to give you a feel for how life insurance companies evaluate your physical fitness level. So, even though your BMI is not at a desirable level, you may still be eligible for the top rating group, as shown above.

For example, a six-foot man weighing 195 pounds would fall under the "overweight" category if a conventional BMI calculator were to be used. On the other hand, weighing 225 pounds would put him in the "obese" category, yet he might still qualify for better rates.

Being overweight does not automatically prevent you from getting cheap life insurance rates. However, if you have health issues related to your weight, this might affect your rates.

The price of term life insurance may rise as a result of higher weight as well as changes in the weighting category, independently of the insurance company. That being said, each insurer's cutoff point for each rating group is distinct. A 195-pound overweight male might be put under the Preferred rating by John Hancock, while only being eligible for Primerica's Standard rating, for example. At the same time, a 230-pound obese male with no medical history may be eligible for the American General's Standard Plus rating.

There are also other exceptions that can be made, whereby BMI and weight are not taken into consideration for athletes or healthy individuals with a high chest to waist ratio. A high BMI does not automatically result in poor rates, especially if you are very fit overall. Should your BMI be extremely high due to a particular health condition, you should notify your insurer to see if you can be included in the Preferred ratings group based on your medical exams.

Are you overweight or obese? Get your rates today!

Why Do Life Insurance Companies Use BMI To Estimate How Much Your Policy Will Cost?

Life insurance companies calculate premiums depending on how much of a risk you are, or your death probability within the policy's term. Obesity is associated with a variety of factors that raise your risk of mortality, including:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High cholesterol

Although these circumstances may currently not apply to you, the insurer will not give you a preferred rating if you go over a certain weight, since a high BMI is likely to cause you health issues in the future.

Life insurance policies may last for many years or for the rest of your life, and since the insurer can not change your rates at a later date, they must estimate risk based on the facts available at the time of purchase.

Getting The Greatest Life Insurance Premiums When Overweight

Answering some health and lifestyle related questions during your life insurance policy application, is an important requirement that will enable your insurer to cross-check your answers against your medical record.

Being honest is crucial, and you should make sure that you answer all questions as accurately as possible, so that you have a better chance to get the best available rates. For example, letting your insurer know that you exercise regularly or that you have no health issues caused by weight, will result in a better life insurance rating.

Being overweight with no health issues could still allow you to take advantage of the best life insurance rates. If you are someone with a high enough BMI to fall under the "obese" category, you may still be able to get a good rating. It all depends on various factors and on the insurance company itself. Poor ratings are typically the result of weight-related issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and so on.

Are you overweight or obese? Get your rates today!

Life Insurance Application Questions Concerning Weight

  • Height and Weight: Although you should be honest about your weight, you should also provide any other pertinent information. The insurer may offer you credits and enhance your rating, if you have a high BMI but a low body fat percentage compared to your peers.
  • Recent Weight Changes: Do not go on a crash diet in the hopes of getting the best life insurance rating. A fast weight shift might make your insurer suspicious. However, if you have started a diet or exercise routine, ensure that you mention it in your application even if the insurance does not explicitly ask about it.
  • Smoker or Nonsmoker: If you are an overweight smoker who does not qualify for a Preferred Tobacco rating, you will likely pay higher rates.
  • Most Recent Medical Appointment: Not being regularly cared for by a doctor may reduce the likelihood of you getting the best insurance ratings, since weight is correlated with various health problems. Insurers want to be certain that your health is frequently checked to prevent any issues from arising.
  • Mobility or Health Issues Caused by Weight: Reduced mobility and health problems caused by obesity will cause your life insurance rates to be poor.

One way to improve your health rating is to schedule your medical examination for the morning, as this will help you receive the best rating.This is due to the fact that your weight fluctuates throughout the day, so taking the test in the morning can eliminate some fluctuations.

Finally, talk to your insurer about the possibility of taking a new medical exam two years after purchasing your insurance. If you have begun a weight loss journey, you may be eligible for cheaper and better rates, by reassessing yourself and showing that the low weight has been maintained throughout. Alternatively, you may check quotations from other companies to see whether you'd be eligible for more affordable coverage via a different life insurance provider at that time.

Overweight? Check your rates here!

Life Insurance Premiums and Weight Loss

Losing weight prior to applying for a life insurance policy will allow you to get better rates. However, you will probably only get credit for half of the weight you lost during the previous year. This is because insurers want to be certain that you are planning on sustaining your weight loss and that you will not put the weight back on once the policy has been accepted.

For example, if you have lost 60 pounds in the past 12 months, you will only receive credits for 30 of those pounds lost. So if you are a 5'6" tall individual who initially qualified for the Mutual of Omaha’s Standard rating, you will now receive a Preferred rating.

However, if you lose 30 pounds over the course of more than 12 months, you may be eligible to gain a Preferred Plus rating as a result of your weight loss being sustained for a longer period of time.

Weight loss via surgical means can still award you with some credits, but at the same time, your rating will go down due to having gone through surgery.

In addition, if you suddenly lose more than 10 pounds, insurers will be concerned about the possibility of an underlying medical condition, and you may either get a poor rating or be denied coverage altogether.

Before you can qualify for a positive rating, the insurer will want to understand what exactly is triggering the excessive weight loss and how this problem is being handled.

Get your life insurance rates if you are overweight!

What If Your Weight Prevents You From Getting Life Insurance?

In the majority of situations, having a high BMI will not result in the rejection of a life insurance policy.You may still be eligible to get coverage from another insurer, even if you are turned down by a different life insurance company. Only severely obese individuals are likely to be rejected by many insurers. It's possible that your weight as well as other health problems are the primary reasons you were turned down for coverage.

If, for any reason, you are unable to obtain a life insurance policy, we suggest that you lose weight, and then reapply for life insurance.
This may increase your chances of receiving coverage on your next policy application.

However, you may wish to seek a guaranteed life insurance policy if you really need coverage as soon as possible. These plans ensure acceptance, as the name indicates, so that you are insurable regardless of your weight. There are, however, some disadvantages to guaranteed life insurance:

  • More expensive than standard life insurance policies.
  • Limited coverage of no more than $25,000.
  • Dying within the first two or three years of the policy will result in just a partial payout to your beneficiaries, unless the death was accidental.

Providing the Incorrect Weight to Avoid Life Insurance Application Rejection

Fully underwritten life insurance policies involve a thorough medical exam, so lying on your application would result in your policy being declined. You may be able to lie and still get policy approval if you buy a guaranteed life insurance policy or a no-exam one, since these do not require a medical examination.

It is advisable that you do not lie about your weight, as your policy may be cancelled in the future. Even worse, should you pass away, your insurer may refuse to pay your beneficiary. Lying may seem like a good idea at first, but you should always consider the long-term risks of such shady actions.

Get your life insurance rates if you are overweight!