But how high is high?
How are your premiums going to be affected?
And how easy is it to get cover if you have a high BMI?
Don’t panic – put that burger down and I’ll take you through it one step at a time..
BMI refers to your Body Mass Index and is used to determine whether you’re at a healthy weight for your height.
It is calculated by dividing your weight in kgs by your height in meters squared to give you an individual result.
According to government guidelines a healthy BMI for an adult is somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9
But what if your ‘magic number’ is more than that?
Well then you may well be considered by a doctor, and therefore by a potential insurer, as overweight (having a BMI of 25-29.9), or even obese (having a BMI of 30+)
Why Do Insurers Care About Your BMI?
Because being overweight or obese can pose a real health risk, and even reduce life expectancy.
Among other conditions having a high BMI can be linked to:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Underactive thyroid
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Sleep apnoea
- Heart attack
And this list is by no means exhaustive.
Can I Get Life Insurance If My BMI Is High?
It doesn’t mean you can’t, but it does mean that you will be asked certain questions in order to give an insurer more of an idea of what kind of risk you pose when you apply for your policy.
For example, you might be asked your dress size or waist measurement! But there is a good reason for such a personal question.
Knowing your waist measurement for example means that it is easier to determine how much weight you carry around your middle – an important factor in highlighting additional health concerns such as type 2 diabetes, a common condition for those who are overweight.
Other questions about your lifestyle will be asked in order to determine whether you have a high BMI because you do bodybuilding, and therefore are heavy, but lean, or whether it is down to thyroid problems or other existing medical condition….
…or simply a result of your diet.
How Will Having A High BMI Affect My Life Insurance Premiums?
It is very rare for insurers to flat out refuse to cover a certain condition; it is much more likely that you will either be declined cover at all, or be charged higher premiums to account for the extra ‘risk’ of insuring you.
Many insurers will still offer terms even for those with a BMI exceeding 33 and beyond, but it goes without saying that the higher your BMI, the higher you can expect your monthly premiums to be.
Can I Reduce My Life Insurance Premiums If I Have A High BMI?
I’m sure it won’t come as a great surprise to learn that reducing your BMI will reduce your monthly Life Insurance premiums.
Most insurers will review the terms of your policy if you can show that your BMI is lower than when you took out the policy.
If your weight is down to poor lifestyle choices rather than as the result of a medical condition then you are one of the lucky ones, as reducing your BMI is certainly something within your reach.
You could always hit the gym, knock the beer and pizza on the head, and apply again!
Different insurance companies have different stances at which point they will increase your premium based on what your BMI is, therefore it is important to get advice first, as you may be paying more than you need to if you just take the first option given to you.
If you would like a quote for Life Insurance, or if you have any insurance-related questions please do get in touch.
Our advice is without obligation, and one of our qualified advisors would be more than happy to help.