Can you get life insurance if you’re underweight?

It may be possible to obtain life insurance even if you’re underweight or have a low BMI.

Most life insurance providers offer life cover for individuals with lower body mass index (BMI) ranges, but you’ll need to provide details on your personal circumstances.

There’s no specific ‘underweight life insurance’ or ‘low BMI life insurance’ policy, the term ‘underweight life insurance' simply refers to a policy purchased by individuals who are underweight.

If your BMI is less than 18.5, it technically falls within the underweight range[1]. If your BMI is lower than 18.5, this could impact your premiums, but there’s still a chance to find some form of cover that is affordable.

By exploring the market, you can discover the top offers from various insurance providers. It’s crucial to compare quotes, especially if you have a low BMI or are underweight, as this will assist you in finding the most suitable deal for your needs.

Reassured offer a fee free quote comparison service, with no-obligation, meaning you can explore our best options with no pressure.

Life insurance and underweight key points:

  • You can still apply for life insurance if you have a low BMI
  • Life insurance when underweight can also be referred to as Life insurance with Low BMI, this is because insurers can calculate your premiums on a variety of factors, one being BMI
  • The majority of insurers will use a standard calculation using your height and weight to assess your BMI
  • If your BMI is under 17, your application may be declined. Alternatively, the insurers may request further medication information from your GP (with your permission. However - without this the application can’t be processed as medical information is needed to underwrite your policy)
  • Your policy may not be affected by being underweight but additional factors such as smoking, age and occupation could

What is a low BMI for life insurance?

A BMI of under 18.5 is typically classed as being underweight.

Your BMI is typically calculated by:

  • Your height
  • Your weight
  • Age
  • Waist measurement / dress size

Below is an NHS body mass index chart:

BMIWeight range
Below 18.5Underweight
18.5 - 24.9Healthy weight
25 - 29.9Overweight
30 or overObese

Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator

Use our simple calculator to work out your BMI and discover the most likely outcome of your life insurance application based on your reading.

Less than 18.5 = Underweight

Between 18.5 - 24.9 = Healthy Weight

Between 25 - 29.9 = Overweight

Between 30 - 39.9 = Obese

Over 40 = Morbidly Obese

Please fill in the required fields

Does being underweight affect my life insurance?

Yes, it can affect your life insurance. When applying for a life insurance policy you’re typically asked about a variety of factors that may affect the cost of your premiums or eligibility for the cover - including providing your BMI.

This means, if disclosing that you’ve got a low BMI in the application process, this could pose as a risk to insurers, resulting in an inflated premium or refusal of your application. However, this will vary between insurers and the different underwriting processes used.

Your personal circumstances can determine whether insurers accept you at a standard rate, charge higher premiums or reject your application. These factors could include:

  • If you have an eating disorder affecting your BMI
  • If you have a medical condition affecting your BMI
  • You naturally have a low BMI

Understanding your individual situation allows insurance companies to determine your rates more accurately. For example, naturally being underweight may have a smaller effect on life insurance premiums than having a medical condition.

It’s important that you disclose all information required and answer honestly as you could risk your loved ones not receiving a pay out if you were to pass away.

Other factors that may affect your premiums, which you may be asked about when applying, are:

  • Age
  • Smoking status
  • Occupation / hobbies
  • Medical history
  • Policy type
  • Sum assured
  • Term length

In some cases insurers may require medical screening (depending on BMI rating). Typically this may be if your BMI is around 18.5 or less.

By comparing quotes through Reassured you can explore a variety of policies and rates that suit your needs and budget.

What policy options are available?

Whilst acceptance isn’t guaranteed, unless you are eligible for an over 50s policy, it’s important to explore what options are available and affordable to your budget.

The most popular options being:

  • Term length from 2 - 40 years
  • Fixed pay out up to £1,000,000
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Pays out if you pass away in the term
  • Comes with free terminal illness cover
  • Includes medical questions
  • Available through Reassured

A great option for those looking to support their family or cover the mortgage, the pay out will remain the same for the entirety of the allocated term.

  • Term length from 2 - 40 years
  • Fixed pay out up to £1,000,000 which decreases throughout the term
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Pays out if you pass away in the term
  • Comes with free terminal illness cover
  • Includes medical questions
  • Available through Reassured

A cheaper option, suitable for those with a repayment mortgage as the policy decreases in line with your mortgage payments.

  • Guaranteed acceptance to UK residents aged 50 - 85
  • Guaranteed pay out up to £20,000
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • No medical questions / no BMI check
  • Premium payments can stop at age 90 with some insurers
  • 12 - 24 month waiting period before policy starts
  • Accidental death cover during waiting period
  • Available through Reassured

This could be an excellent option if you fit the age bracket and are underweight or have health problems as neither will affect premium costs (you'll not be asked about your medical history and BMI).

  • Cover for the rest of your life
  • Guaranteed pay out up to £1,000,000
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Includes medical questions, which could inflate your premium costs
  • Available through Reassured

This tends to be the more expensive option, however, it does offer guaranteed cover for the rest of your life and offers a larger pay out amount than an over 50s policy does (if you were looking for a larger pay out sum).

Reassured can help compare life insurance policies and quotes from a variety of leading UK insurers to help you find our best deal.

Can I be denied life insurance for being underweight?

You can be but this will depend on your personal circumstances, how underweight you are and the insurers threshold.

According to the NHS and medical experts, your ideal BMI range should be between 20 and 25.

If you have a BMI of 18.5 to 20 then you would be classed as ‘underweight’ and many insurers may offer inflated premiums or in some cases, decline. Anything that is below 18.5 BMI is classed as severely underweight.

If you’re a UK resident aged 50 - 85, you can be guaranteed acceptance with over 50s life insurance and being underweight won’t affect your application or premiums at all due to no medical questions being asked.

If you have previously been declined cover, Reassured offer an impaired team that specialise in helping those who have been previously declined or have concerns surrounding securing affordable life insurance.

Why not get in contact with one of our friendly professionals today and secure some form of cover today?

Underweight help & support

FAQS

Why do I need life insurance with a low BMI?

Life insurance is designed to help financially protect your loved ones when you pass away. The life insurance pay out can help cover debts or future costs.

Many people secure life cover to help with:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Funeral costs (the current cost of an average funeral is estimated at £4,141[2])
  • Childcare / education costs
  • Settle unpaid debts in your name
  • Living costs
  • Leaving an inheritance

What health conditions may relate to being underweight?

Can I get critical illness cover (CIC) with a low BMI?

There’s a chance that you can secure critical illness cover, although this will depend on the insurer and their BMI limits.

Just like life cover, a variety of factors will be considered and your likelihood of becoming critically ill will be assessed.

Reassured offer the option to add CIC to your term life insurance policy for an additional cost and can help you explore what options you may have.

What if I lose or gain weight?

You’re not obligated to tell insures of any weight loss or weight gain once your cover is in place.

If you’ve gained weight to enter the ‘average’ or ‘healthy’ range you may be able to secure a lower monthly premium if your premiums had been inflated due to a low BMI, although this will also depend on your current age and health.

It will depend on how much weight you’ve gained as to whether it’s worth arranging a new policy.

Before cancelling an existing policy, review your existing cover and shop the around for new quotes to see if there is a better deal.

Reassured can provide you with fee-free and no-obligation quotes.

Compare life insurance for underweight

It’s possible to secure life insurance if you’re underweight, but your eligibility and the price you pay will depend on your personal circumstances.

Especially as terms vary between Insurance providers regarding health conditions, highlighting the importance of comparing multiple quotes to secure your best deal.

At Reassured, our award-winning team can help you explore options from our panel of leading UK insurers and specialists.

If you have previously been declined or have any concerns due to medical history and/or low BMI, our specialist impaired team are here to help.

Don't delay getting a life insurance policy if your premiums are high because of your BMI. It's best to secure a policy as early as possible, as it can be more affordable when you're younger and it also provides financial protection sooner.

Why not get in touch today and financially protect your loved ones for the future?

Sources:

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/index.html

[2] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs/

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