What do insurers deem as high risk and how will this impact…
Yes, it’s possible to get life insurance if you’re classified as overweight or obese.
Depending on your BMI rating and general health, you may be able to secure cover on standard terms with normal premiums.
Today, around 63% of all UK adults are classified as overweight and of these, half are living with obesity.
As a result, it’s not unusual for insurers to provide cover for people with a high BMI reading.
If you’d like to arrange financial protection for your loved ones should the worst happen to you, then contact Reassured.
Our team of life insurance experts have helped thousands of overweight individuals find suitable cover at a price within their budget.
For more information, continue reading this guide as we help to answer some of the common questions regarding overweight and high BMI life insurance, including:
We also explore the different policy options and how you can save money on your monthly premiums…
Life insurance is worth taking out if you have a family who rely on you financially.
With the additional health risks associated with having a high BMI, this also brings the increased need to have life insurance in place.
Secure cover today and have peace of mind that your family are financially protected no matter what the future holds.
BMI is one of the key factors taken into account by insurers to calculate the cost of your monthly premium.
Insurers use this metric to determine if your weight will increase the likelihood of a claim being made on your policy.
Due to the health implications of being overweight or obese, having a high BMI could indicate that a claim is more likely.
This means you could be charged a loaded premium, or in rare cases, be declined life insurance.
However, it’s unlikely that your BMI alone will affect your chances of securing cover.
Furthermore, an overweight or obese individual without any pre-existing medical conditions shouldn’t have a problem obtaining a policy on standard terms.
What is BMI?
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure that uses your height and weight to determine how healthy your weight is.
When applying for life insurance, insurers will request your height and weight so that they can calculate your BMI.
Typically, your BMI reading is combined with your waist measurement (trouser or dress size) for a more accurate measure of your weight.
Standard terms means that the monthly premium isn’t increased to compensate for the higher level of risk to the insurer.
Life insurance with standard terms start from just £5* a month through Reassured.
The table below shows the most likely outcomes of your life insurance application based on your BMI reading alone:
|BMI||Weight range||Most likely outcomes|
|Under 18.5||Underweight||Accepted with increased premiums or declined. May require medical screening (depending on BMI rating)|
|18.5 - 24.9||Healthy Weight||Accepted with standard premiums|
|25 - 29.9||Overweight||Accepted with standard premiums|
|30 - 39.9||Obese||Accepted with standard premiums or increased premiums. May require medical screening (depending on age and BMI rating)|
|Over 40||Morbidly Obese||Accepted with increased premiums or declined. May require medical screening (depending on BMI rating)|
Please note, the outcome of your life insurance application will also depend on other key factors such as your age, health and waist measurements.
The maximum BMI level for life insurance can go up to 47 with some mainstream insurers.
Although, if your BMI is in excess of 45 then your application will probably be declined.
If declined, then you may be able to secure cover through a specialist insurer.
Reassured can help to arrange high BMI life insurance for applicants with a reading of up to 53.
Whilst we’ll try our best to secure a policy for you, we can't guarantee you’ll be accepted.
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 your weight range.
In the instance of a high muscle mass distorting your BMI reading, insurers may reward you with standard rates.
There are different types of life insurance to suit different needs and budgets, allowing you to choose the right option for you and your family.
When taking out a policy it’s important to emphasise that the cover itself would be exactly the same for an overweight individual as it would be for anyone else.
The only difference is that your BMI rating could impact the monthly premium cost.
Continue reading as we look at the main policy options, which include:
Term-based life insurance provides cover for a specified length of time (the term).
If you pass away within the term, a pay out will be issued to your loved ones.
There are two types of term-based life insurance; level and decreasing term:
Level term life insurance has a pay out sum which remains level 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 life insurance, on the other hand, provides a pay out sum which decreases over the policy term.
Decreasing term tends to be the cheapest form of life insurance (as the risk to the insurer reduces over time) and it’s ideal for covering a repayment mortgage.
With both level and decreasing term life insurance a pay out will only materialise if you pass away during the term and therefore it's possible to outlive a policy.
Terminal illness cover
All term 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 make an early claim on your policy.
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.
Whole of life insurance provides a lump sum pay out after you pass away.
Cover 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.
Depending on your age and BMI reading, whole of life may not be the most cost-effective option.
Particularly as it’s possible to pay more in premiums than what the policy pays out eventually.
Unlike other forms of cover, over 50 life insurance (sometimes referred to as over 50 plans) 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 and your cover still remains in place.
The sum assured is lower than of other policies, usually up to £20,000. There’s also a waiting period from the start of the policy which lasts either 12 or 24 months depending on the insurer.
If you passed away during the waiting period, then your family wouldn’t be able to make a claim on your policy. However, they’d receive a refund of the premiums you’ve paid.
Over 50 life insurance can be relatively expensive in comparison to other types of life insurance, but can provide a good option for those who’re overweight and within the eligible age bracket.
Whether you’re overweight or not, the cost of your monthly premiums will be calculated based on the following key factors:
If you have a high BMI, then additional factors may influence the cost of your premium or your eligibility for cover. Insurers will want to know:
The information above will help insurers to assess the level of risk you pose and decide the terms of the policy they’ll offer you.
Generally speaking, if you’re classified as overweight or obese then you should be able to secure life insurance on standard terms.
This means that your monthly life insurance premiums won’t be inflated due to your weight.
Policies with standard terms arranged through Reassured start from as little as £5 a month.
Our team of life insurance experts can source quotes from major insurers as well as specialist insurers to help you find the right cover at the best price.
There are some life insurance companies that are better than others for people who are overweight and looking for suitable cover.
In any circumstance, it’s important to compare quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.
However, if your BMI is above what’s considered in the healthy weight range then it’s even more important to compare your options.
This is because every insurer will offer you different terms based on your specific BMI and age.
For example, if your BMI is 34 then some insurers will offer you standard cover with standard pricing, whereas other insurers will offer cover but with inflated premiums.
At Reassured, we know the criteria for each of the insurers on our panel - so we can help you find those who’re most likely to offer you the best terms based on your circumstances.
Yes, it’s possible to get critical illness cover if you’re overweight. However, if your BMI is over 30 then this could affect your application and the cost of your premiums.
Critical illness cover provides you with a lump sum pay out if you’re diagnosed with a serious, but non-life-threatening illness, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke.
You can add critical illness cover to a life insurance policy for an additional cost or it can be purchased as a standalone policy through some providers.
If you have a high BMI, the cost of critical illness cover is likely to be higher than if you’re at a healthy weight, due to your increased risk of health conditions.
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.
As with life insurance, the cover and cost will vary between providers making it essential to compare quotes.
As previously mentioned, it’s unlikely that you’ll be declined life insurance purely due to 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 life insurance team who specialise in finding cover for those who’ve 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.
Whilst being overweight can affect your life insurance, the fact that you’re male or female won’t make a difference to your application.
In 2012, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that gender can no longer be taken into account when calculating the cost of insurance premiums.
As mentioned, you shouldn’t have a problem securing life insurance if you’re classified as obese.
However, if you suffer with any additional pre-existing health complications, then you may be charged inflated premiums.
Life insurance premiums for obese people will vary between insurers, so it’s essential to compare multiple quotes.
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 47 depending on your age); for others, it's just 40.
Other insurers will cover you if your BMI is between 38 - 45, but request that you undergo a medical exam.
If you’re considered morbidly obese and suffer from a pre-existing medical condition then you may struggle to secure cover.
In these instances, your application could be placed with a specialist insurer.
At Reassured, we work with a variety of insurers so we can help you to identify those who are most likely to accept your application.
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, as well as your age, comparing new quotes using your new weight may offer a saving.
At Reassured, we can compare multiple quotes without charging you a fee.
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.
Fortunately, if you’ve been refused life insurance in the past due to a high BMI, it’s still possible to secure cover now.
Getting in touch with a specialist broker, such as Reassured, can help you to discover other options which may be available to you.
From our panel of insurers we can present to you the ones who’re most likely to accept your application.
As mentioned, our dedicated impaired risk team have helped 45% of applicants, who were declined elsewhere, obtain suitable cover through us.
Due to the cost implications associated with being overweight, it may be tempting to obscure the truth about your weight when applying for life insurance.
However, 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.
As discussed, it’s still possible to obtain affordable life insurance even if you have a high BMI, and being honest about your weight will ensure you’ve got the right protection in place.
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 help to source the best quotes for you, saving you time and money.
Our award-winning and FCA-regulated broker service is fee-free.
So, get in touch today and secure your loved one's financial future, whatever it may hold.
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