If you are overweight or even morbidly obese you may be concerned that you can not get life insurance. This isn’t always the case but life insurance for overweight people is more expensive and usually harder to get.

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How will your weight affect your life insurance?

When arranging life insurance and critical illness coverage, providers will calculate your monthly premiums based on the likelihood of you making a claim.

They take into account a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Amount of cover
  • Type of cover.

As well as any existing pre-existing conditions and the medical history of your family, insurers will also query your weight and lifestyle as determining factors of your health.

Your weight is used along with your height to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). This score is then used by the insurer to assess the likelihood of you making a claim.

Being excessively overweight or obese, morbidly obese, or extremely underweight brings associated health implications and medical conditions such as high blood pressure. Therefore, being at either end of the scale can bring with it its own complications with regard to life insurance.

Keep reading to understand how your weight can affect your life insurance…

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The most common concern when arranging life insurance if you are overweight is whether or not your application will be accepted.

The good news is that, in most circumstances, some form of life insurance coverage will be obtainable from most life insurance companies.

If you are considered overweight, you may be required to undergo a medical exam. Alternatively, the provider may request access to your medical records before accepting your application. This is to ensure you are not experiencing any medical issues as a result of your weight.

A BMI score of 39 or under is usually accepted. The healthy BMI range ends at 25 and anything above this is likely to increase premiums. Your application will still be accepted but your insurance will be more expensive than someone with a BMI under 25.

A BMI of over 45 is considered morbidly obese. As such, if you have a BMI of over 45 you may be declined coverage.

However, if your BMI is over 45 your age will also be taken into consideration. The older you are, the less likely a high BMI will be an issue.

If your application is declined then you may still have options.

An over-50s plan provides guaranteed acceptance for all UK residents between the ages of 50-85. No medical information is required and this includes your weight. So being overweight will not affect your possibility of obtaining this type of cover.

Alternatively, especially if you do not fall within this age range, it may be possible to obtain coverage through a specialist insurer that provides life insurance for overweight individuals. However, this life insurance costs more in most cases.

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It’s highly likely that if you are overweight, the cost of your monthly life insurance premiums will be inflated.

The higher your BMI (outside of the healthy weight range for your height/weight), the more expensive your life insurance cover will be.

The rate your monthly premiums inflate varies between providers. Therefore, to ensure you receive the best deal, it is always beneficial to compare quotes from different companies.

You may also experience inflated premiums if you are significantly underweight.

If you are over the age of 50, it may be possible to prevent your weight from affecting the cost of your life insurance. You can do this by arranging an over-50s plan as mentioned above.

As discussed, this type of cover only takes into account your age and sometimes smoking status. Therefore your weight will not be deemed a factor in whether you are accepted or not.

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Cover terms

Once your life insurance starts all cover terms will be as standard.

You and a healthy counterpart will be covered for the same causes of death.

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When arranging life insurance, it can be tempting to lie during the application process. You may do this to increase your likelihood of being accepted and reduce the cost of your premiums.

It is not uncommon for your medical records to have your weight included in them. 

When you pass away this could catch you out. If it is determined you lied about your weight or any other aspect of your health, then the claim may be declined. Your investment in your loved ones could be wasted.

It’s not uncommon for weight to fluctuate throughout your life as you may lose weight and gain weight often. For the most part, non-extreme changes in your weight will not affect your ability to obtain affordable life insurance coverage.

It is important to remember that, as long as all information is correct at the point of application, then subsequent changes from this point forwards will not affect your cover once it is instated. 

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Arranging life insurance

For the most part, your weight will not affect your ability to obtain cover. Premiums may be inflated due to your BMI but you will only be declined in extreme cases.

When arranging coverage, it is important to compare insurance providers. This is to find those most likely to accept your application and those who will provide you with favourable monthly premiums.

Using an FCA-authorised and regulated broker will provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision. This will enable you to leverage their expertise to ensure all of your questions are answered. These life insurance experts connect you with the best insurers for your individual scenario.

So, there you have it, weight may be a factor when arranging life insurance protection, but it’s more than possible to secure an attractive deal.

This is a guest post from an award-winning life insurance broker; Reassured.

My thoughts

I knew that weight would play a part in the decision as to whether you could get life insurance but never realised exactly how. I loved the information in this post as it explained how it works. Not only that but why we shouldn’t lie? Something I was tempted to do when applying for life insurance recently but about my asthma hospital admission!

Did you know that your weight could affect your life insurance in this way? Do you have any other concerns? Maybe we should all get life insurance sorted when we are at our ideal weight and then not worry too much if we fluctuate. What are your thoughts? It is definitely better to be prepared, isn’t it?

To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss section.

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