Can you get life insurance if you’re overweight?

Yes. The good news is, even if you’re classified as being obese it’s still possible to secure life insurance.

Generally speaking, if your BMI is under 39 and you’re in good health your application will be accepted.

If your BMI is in excess of 45 you’ll most likely be declined, (unless on an over 50s plan). However, an insurer will also factor in your age alongside your BMI reading.

For example, if you have a BMI of 46 and are aged under 30 you’ll probably be declined. However, if you’re aged over 40 you may be accepted.

It’s important to emphasise that even if you can secure cover; the higher your BMI, the more expensive the premium.

As with many aspects of life insurance, things are rarely cut and dry and there are many considerations.

Read on to learn about how best to secure life insurance for overweight individuals…

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Life insurance for overweight individuals

It’s estimated that 26% of UK adults are classified as being obese[1].

Being overweight brings with it added health implications, including being more likely to develop certain cancers and hypokinetic diseases, such as increased blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

These associated health problems bring an increased need for life insurance.

If the worst were to happen to you, could your loved ones:

A life insurance pay out could cover all of the above and more. Securing the financial future of your loved ones without creating further strain at an already stressful time.

Did you know that life insurance cover starts from just 20p-a-day?

What is the weight limit for life insurance?

You’re unlikely to be declined cover due to being overweight unless your BMI is over 45.

If your BMI is over 45 the main insurers are likely to decline your application, (although this depends on your age).

If declined, you may be able to secure cover through a specialist insurer, however, your premiums will be high.

How does BMI affect life insurance?

BMI is one of the factors taken into account when calculating the cost of your life insurance premiums.

According to the NHS website:

Insurers use this metric to determine whether your weight may affect your health and as a result, make you more likely to make a claim.

Generally speaking, life insurance costs more if you’re overweight because of the associated health implications, such as heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes and fatty liver disease.

These implications put you at higher risk of making a claim.

Depending on how high your BMI is, insurers may require access to your medical records or GP before acceptance.

Am I overweight?

UK guidelines state that anyone with a BMI of 25 or over are considered overweight.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the most accurate measurement as those with high muscle density, such as bodybuilders, have a particularly high BMI.

As a result, this demographic would be considered overweight, even though their fat percentage is extremely low.

However, BMI is currently still the measurement used to determine whether or not you’re a healthy weight.

In the instance of a high muscle mass distorting your BMI reading, insurers may reward you with standard rates.

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Life insurance for obese

Obesity is considered a pre-existing condition in the eyes of life insurance providers.

As a result, it’ll be taken into account when calculating the cost of your premiums.

It’s still possible to secure cover if obese, as long as you don’t suffer additional complications as a result of your weight.

The threshold to which insurers will increase your premiums as a result of your weight can vary significantly between insurers.

Therefore, to ensure you receive the best possible deal, it’s essential to compare quotes.

Can you get life insurance if you’re morbidly obese?

It depends on your BMI reading and the individual insurer.

You’re classified as being morbidly obese if you have a BMI of over 40.

Some insurers have an upper BMI threshold of 45, (or 46 depending on your age); for others, it’s just 40.

Other insurers will cover you if you’re BMI is between 42 – 45, but request that you undergo a medical exam.

However, the major insurers are unlikely to offer you cover if your BMI is over 46.

Life insurance for morbidly obese

When morbidly obese, insurers will charge inflated premiums due to the associated health implications.

However, the rate at which they inflate premiums can vary significantly between insurers.

At Reassured we can provide you with multiple quotes and all the information you need to make an informed decision.

The cost of life insurance for overweight people

The cost of premiums takes into account your age, smoking status and health, calculating a price based on the level of risk you pose.

This will be affected by your BMI with insurers charging more the higher your reading.

Different insurers will be more tolerant of BMI readings; therefore, it’s important to compare quotes.

The policy type and amount of cover you arrange will also be a factor in the amount you pay each month.

See below the various types of life insurance available to you.

Term life insurance

Term-based life insurance provides cover for a specified length of time.

If you pass away within this predefined period, a pay out will be issued to your loved ones.

For all intents and purposes, the cover you receive when arranging term life insurance when obese will be exactly the same as your healthy weight counterpart.

The only difference would be the monthly premium cost.

Level term life insurance provides your loved ones with a lump sum pay out if you pass away during the policy term.

The pay out sum holds its value throughout the policy, making it ideal for covering the financial aspects in your life which don’t reduce over time.

For example, an interest-only mortgage or providing an inheritance.

Decreasing term, on the other hand, provides a pay out sum which decreases over the policy term.

As a result, it tends to be the cheapest form of life insurance and is ideal for covering a repayment mortgage.

Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance provides a lump sum pay out after you pass away.

It remains in place for the rest of your life and as a result, a pay out is guaranteed.

Because of this, it tends to be the most expensive form of life insurance.

If overweight, whole of life cover will be exactly the same as your healthy weight counterparts, but you’ll likely pay inflated premiums.

Depending on your age, whole of life may not be the most cost-effective option as it’s possible to pay more into the policy than the sum assured.

Over 50s life insurance

Unlike other forms of cover, over 50s life insurance provides guaranteed acceptance to all UK residents aged 50-85.

No medical information is required, making it ideal if you’re in poor health or struggling to get accepted on standard terms due to your weight.

Over 50s plans last for life, however, premium payments can cease at 90, although your cover still remains valid.

Due to the risk to the insurer being significantly higher because of the lack of medical knowledge, they mitigate this risk by only providing a small sum assured. (Usually up to £25,000).

As a result, this form of life insurance can be relatively expensive in comparison to other types offering a similar sum assured.

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Life insurance with other pre-existing conditions

As previously mentioned, you may not have your life insurance application declined purely based on your weight alone.

However, if additional health complications exist, whether this be as a result of your weight or not, you may find it more difficult to get accepted.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t still options available to you though.

At Reassured we’ve a dedicated impaired risk team who specialise in finding cover for those who have been declined elsewhere.

Our team have helped find cover for 45% of people who have previously been declined due to a pre-existing condition.

Get in touch with our specialists today and find out what options are available to you.

Life insurance after weight loss

Losing weight could help you secure cheaper life insurance premiums.

If you’ve recently lost a significant amount of weight, it’s good to inform your life insurance provider.

You may be able to undergo a new medical and benefit from reduced premiums due to your new weight.

Normally this weight loss would need to have been maintained for at least 12 months before you’ll receive the full benefit.

In some instances, your insurer may not reduce your premiums, in which case, you could benefit from arranging a new policy.

Depending on how much your previous weight inflated your premiums and your age, comparing new quotes using your new weight may offer a saving.

At Reassured, this is a process we can carry out on your behalf, completely free of charge.

Life insurance after surgical weight loss

Surgical weight loss or rapid weight loss, however, could have the opposite effect.

Arranging life insurance immediately after surgical weight loss could result in abnormally high premiums or even being declined due to your recent major operation.

It’s likely your application would be deferred until you’ve made a full recovery.

Rapid weight loss, on the other hand, can point to underlying serious medical conditions.

As a result, you’re likely to experience significant loading of your premiums or possibly even being declined.

Non-disclosure

Due to the cost implications associated with being overweight, it can be tempting to lie about your weight on the application.

This is known as non-disclosure, and if discovered, can result in your life insurance being invalid.

As a result, when making a claim, your loved ones will be denied and your selfless investment wasted.

Terminal illness cover

All life insurance policies arranged through Reassured come with terminal illness cover as standard.

This means that if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than 12 months to live, you could claim early.

An early pay out could be used to cover private medical care, enjoy with your loved ones or simply provide peace of mind, knowing your finances are sorted.

Critical illness cover

At Reassured, we provide the opportunity to add critical illness cover to your life insurance policy.

This means that if you’re diagnosed with a serious, yet non-life-threatening illness you could make a claim.

The pay out could then be used to pay for necessary adaptations to your home, replace a lost income or simply to enjoy with family.

The cost of adding critical illness to your life insurance if you’re obese is likely to be much higher than if you’re a healthy weight, due to the increased risk of health implications.

It’s also possible that exclusions will be written into your cover, stating that if an illness occurs as a result of your weight, you won’t be able to claim.

Again, the cover and cost will vary between providers making it essential to compare quotes.

How to lose weight

When making the decision to lose weight, it can be daunting to know where to start.

It’s important to lose weight the correct way to ensure you remain healthy and safe.

As you’ll now know losing weight can help you secure cheaper life insurance premiums.

For information and support on losing weight, please see below:

Life insurance quotes for overweight applicants

Whilst it’s possible to arrange life insurance cover if you’re overweight, the cost can vary significantly between insurers.

Therefore, to ensure you receive the best deal available, it’s recommended to compare multiple quotes.

At Reassured, our award-winning team can do all the hard work, saving you time and money.

Our award-winning FCA registered broker service is completely free to use.

So, get in touch today and secure your loved one’s financial future, whatever it may hold.


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*Whilst we will try to secure you life insurance we can not guarantee you will be accepted.

Sources:

[1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet-england-2018/