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Life insurance policies can be a difficult issue to navigate. It’s not always easy to know how your particular circumstances will affect life insurance policies you may want to take out in the future.
The first point to make is that it’s still possible to obtain life insurance even if you’re considered obese. Do not worry that you won’t be able to secure life insurance. You are likely to pay higher premiums, and depending on a combination of other factors like your age, in the worst case some providers could decline you on the basis of your BMI.
We’ve compiled everything you’ll need to know about how BMI will affect your life insurance. First of all, let’s look at how BMI is seen by providers.
BMI is your body mass index, determining whether you have a healthy weight based on your weight and your height. An adult’s weight in kilos is divided by their height in metres squared. According to official guidelines, the ideal BMI lies somewhere between 18 and 25.
A high BMI, as far as most life insurance providers are concerned, is above 40. Anything above 45 is likely to be declined by most providers. Age will factor into this too, however; anyone under the age of 30 with a BMI above 40 will likely be declined, but for someone above 40, they may be accepted.
So, insurance companies don’t simply have blanket policies for certain BMIs. Other lifestyle factors are taken into account, too. It’s worth mentioning, also, that BMI can sometimes be misleading. It does not take into account that a person with a good BMI can still be an unhealthy eater, or that someone with a lot of muscle mass will be considered to have a high BMI.
Try and get a more accurate picture of your bodyweight, then, and share this with policy providers. It will be taken into account if you can provide details.
So, then, how best to secure life insurance for those with high BMI will depend on a few factors. For one thing, you’ll need to assess why you need life insurance in the first place.
We compare plans from the leading life insurance providers
For anyone looking at a life insurance policy, you first need to establish your needs. Most commonly, a life insurance policy is taken out to cover the remaining cost of a mortgage so that your family home is protected once you are gone.
Think about what would need to be covered financially if you were no longer around. The mortgage, funeral expenses, childcare, or any other costs that you might have. Protection against financial hardship for your loved ones is the main reason you would want to consider a life insurance policy.
Since your BMI is, as far as the providers are concerned, and indication of your overall health and whether or not you are overweight, the simple fact is that the higher your BMI, the higher your insurance premiums will be.
Medical conditions, and lifestyle, both play a major role in determining the specifics of your policy. High BMI and obesity can lead to numerous health complications which put you at a higher risk. Heart problems, blood pressure, even certain types of cancer are all a higher risk for overweight people.
Type 2 diabetes can also be a big factor. This condition is typically caused by a lack of exercise and unhealthy lifestyle, and providers will want to assess elements of your lifestyle and how healthy or unhealthy it is. A medical assessment of some form will be carried out during the application process, at which time you must disclose your BMI and any health conditions you suffer as a result.
As I said, most providers will likely decline your application if your BMI is in excess of 45. Exceptions may be made for those with high muscle mass. Some providers may be willing to have your policy underwritten manually for BMI in excess of 45, but your premiums are likely to be quite high. In general, though, you can expect that most major providers will not cover you with a BMI of 45 or above.
Thresholds for increasing premiums will vary a great deal between providers, so it is always recommended to compare as many providers as possible. Getting covered for life insurance when you have a high BMI or are overweight will not be as straightforward as it otherwise would, but quality cover is out there and available.
There are several primary forms of life insurance, and deciding which is right for you depends on a few factors. You will need to assess your own needs when it comes to life insurance. Decide how far you would need the policy to go to cover your financial needs.
Term life insurance covers you over a specified period of time. If you pass away within this period, your family will receive a pay-out. The pay-out received would not be affected by your high BMI; only the cost of the monthly premiums.
Term life insurance comes in the form of either level term or decreasing term. Level term policies pay the same specified amount no matter what point during the policy you pass away. Decreasing term policies provide a pay-out which decreases in value over the course of its lifetime. Decreasing term policies are best if you have a mortgage which is decreasing in value over time. Either way, term policies are likely to be the best choice for you.
In the UK, if you are aged 50-85, you may take out an over 50s plan which does not require you to disclose medical information at the application process. If you are in poor health and struggling to get accepted on standard terms, an over 50s plan could be perfect for you. The pay-outs are typically capped at £25,000 and there may be a waiting period during which, if you pass away, you won’t receive a payment. Over 50s plans can be more expensive than other plans, but you are not required to disclose health information.