How does your weight affect your insurance premiums
(Source: Article published on ‘The Life Insurance Blog’ portal)
Life insurance is one of the best investments that can ever make for the future of your loved ones. It’s one of the only ways that you can guarantee that they have the money that they need, regardless of what happens to you. We know that finding the perfect life insurance plan can be a long and frustrating process, but it doesn’t have to be.
Something not many people consider when approaching a life insurance purchase is their BMI. Life insurance and BMI may not even seem like an issue for someone who is healthy and has an average weight, but it actually affects everyone.
If you feel your health would be an issue, such as needing a life insurance policy with COPD, there are companies who offer insurance policies with no medical exam required. If that doesn’t work for you, there are also guaranteed issue life insurance policies that are available.
Whether you think you deserve a discount, or you’re struggling to find affordable coverage because you’re overweight, both sides of the spectrum are affected by BMI.
If you want to know who will give you the lowest premiums considering your current BMI, we can help.
Life Insurance And BMI
Before we get too far into how BMI will affect your life insurance premiums, and even it’s capacity to affect your ability to qualify, let’s discuss what BMI is, and how it’s calculated.
BMI, or body mass index, is a ratio used to compare your height and weight as a rough estimate of fat content in your body. This is useful for many reasons, but especially good to know when offering someone life insurance. This is because your BMI can affect your overall risk for long term disease and health conditions. If you want to know if you can buy high risk life insurance, we can help.
There are healthy ranges for BMI, and there are also ranges for those who are underweight, overweight, and obese. Here is a calculator provided by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention if you’d like to calculate your own:
When you’re buying life insurance and BMI falls outside of normal ranges, this can cause marginal to large increases in premiums. If your BMI is too far out of range, typically on the overweight side, you can even be declined be some companies, although most get sub-standard rates.
Something a carrier is worried about for someone with an existing health condition such as being underweight is malnutrition, while obese risks are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and other health issues. Most fit individuals have nothing to worry about, although plenty of studies show someone who holds themselves to a strict diet and exercise routine can still get these disorders.
How BMI Affects Life Insurance Rates
So I’m sure you understand your height and weight affects life insurance premiums. It’s time we got into the numbers a little further. While you don’t need to know your actual BMI number when you submit your application, you will be asked for your height and weight. Your measurements will be confirmed when you complete your medical exam by your examiner as well.
This chart is reflective of what most underwriters will use, although each companies stance on each range varies.
Inside of these ranges, a carrier will also have even more specific ranges per rating class, usually to award discounts to those with exceptional levels, or more specific ones for the higher ranges of obese applicants. As an example, maybe one company will only insure someone up to a BMI of 36, while another might consider someone up to 40.
But BMI isn’t perfect. Let’s take, for example, two men who are identical in BMI. Should they get the same rating? Well if one is 6’2″ and 185 pounds of raw muscle (like athletes and bodybuilders), and the other is 6’2″ and 185 of raw fat, who would be more deserving of a healthy rating? The percentage of height to weight is the same, although one weighs as much as the other due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Here’s another scenario: let’s take a man and a woman who are identical in height and weight. Should they be looked at in a similar way or different?
Your age and gender can make a difference when considering life insurance and BMI. An older person might actually get a worse rating for having a low BMI, because it could prove to be a sign of being frail, not just in shape. As mentioned above, your gender could also play a role because men and women have different body frames, and therefore BMI’s. Your frame alone can alter your-body mass index if you’re super tall, or super short.
Getting Affordable Life Insurance Coverage
When you applying for life insurance coverage, your BMI is only one factor that the life insurance company is going to look at to calculate your premiums. There are dozens of other factors that they are going to account for when reviewing your application. Making a few simple lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on your premiums
The first thing that you should do is eliminate any tobacco that you currently use. If you’re a smoker, you can expect to pay much higher rates for your insurance plan. In fact, smokers are going to pay twice as much for life insurance versus what a non-smoker is going to pay for the same amount of coverage. If you want to get the most affordable life insurance, you’ll need to kick those cigarettes to the curb once and for all.
The next thing that you should do is start getting exercise and stick to a healthy diet. Both of these can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reduce your blood pressure, and much more. All of these are going to help you get lower rates from the insurance company, which is going to help you secure much lower rates from the insurance company. If you want to save money on your life insurance plan, it’s time to hit the gym.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest rates is to work with an independent broker. Unlike a traditional insurance agent, independent insurance agents represent dozens of different companies across the nation. That means that you can get dozens of quotes instantly, instead of having to spend hours on the phone.
Every insurance company is different, and every company is going to view BMI differently. That means that you could receive drastically different rates depending on which company that you get the quote from. Finding the right company for you could save you hundreds of dollars on your life insurance plan. Don’t waste your time talking on the phone, let us find that company for you and connect you with the perfect insurance plan for you and your family.
What To Expect When Applying
If you fall between normal ranges, you can probably expect to not hear another thing about your BMI when you apply. Frankly, it’s not usually a huge determining factor if you aren’t one side of the spectrum or the other.
If your BMI is in one of the outside ranges, you’ll need to contact an independent agent first to find out how much of an impact your BMI will have, and also what carrier would probably be willing to give you the best coverage. Life insurance and BMI can be heavily dependent on each other if your number is on one extreme or the other.
Also, if you feel you’ve been unfairly rated because of your body type (maybe you’re an athlete or bodybuilder), we’ll be happy to help you find a company willing to offer you what you deserve; maybe you were just a pound off and you’ve lost weight since your last medical. Someone with obesity can still qualify, as long as their health is otherwise good.
You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, which means that you shouldn’t wait any longer to get life insurance for your family. If something were to happen to you, and you didn’t have life insurance, your family would be left with a massive amount of debt and final expenses. They could be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, which can make an already difficult situation a thousand times worse.
We know that finding life insurance can be a long and confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. Our agents have years of experience working with clients of all kinds and we can help bring the best plan for you. We can help you decide which plan is going to meet your needs and get you the plan at an affordable price.