Can I get life insurance if I am overweight?

I have two young children and want to get life insurance in place to ensure that they are ok should I die. Where I am quite overweight I am worried I may not be able to get cover, will this be the case?

Question asked by Joe Murphy
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Answered by Andrew Jenkinson

As with any personal insurance your current health can have an impact on the life insurance terms a provider will offer. Being overweight is a factor the insurers do consider and they measure this by your BMI (Body Mass Index).

What is Body Mass Index and how is it calculated?

Your Body Mass Index is your weight (in kilograms) over your height squared (in centimeters) which is then categorised in bandings. The most commons are as follows:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Insurers take your BMI seriously as being overweight or obese can pose a real risk to your cardiovascular system. Being overweight also increases the risk of other serious illnesses such as diabetes which can also reduce your life expectancy.

If you have other health conditions in addition to being overweight such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure then it can make it more difficult to obtain cover and it is best speaking to a financial adviser such as ourselves who know the market and the insurers underwriting practices to ensure you obtain the most favourable terms.

Cost of life insurance if you are overweight…

Life Insurance providers very rarely exclude conditions, tending to either decline cover or put a loading on your monthly premium to account for the extra risk.

If your BMI is north of 30 but less than 33 you can expect to pay an extra 25% on top of the standard premium. For example if the standard premium was £10 per month you could expect to pay £12.50 per month.

If you’re BMI is above 33 many insurers are still able to offer terms however the higher your BMI the larger the increase in your monthly premium.

How to reduce your life insurance premiums

The single best way to reduce your life insurance premiums if you have a high BMI is by looking at ways you can reduce this. Most insurers are willing to review terms during the life of the policy if you can show you are in better shape than when you took out the policy.

Changing your lifestyle
If your weight is due to your lifestyle then by making proactive changes to eat healthier, exercise and stop smoking can all help to reduce your BMI and in turn reduce your life insurance premiums.

Including critical illness cover

Many people choose to take out critical illness insurance at the same time they set-up their life cover, where the risk of a claim occurring is far higher for serious a illness the providers tend to be more strict when it comes to offering terms and the premiums tend to escalate quite quickly.

Need help?

If you want to ensure you get the most competitive terms please do not hesitate to call us on 0208 432 733 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

We are independent insurance experts who work with the underwriters at all the main insurers all day everyday. Through experience we know which insurers are most likely to offer the best terms and the type of information they need to make the most competitive offer.

We will do all the hard work for you to ensure you obtain the most suitable cover given your circumstances.

 

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This information does not constitute financial or other professional advice. You should consult your professional adviser or contact us directly on 02084327333 should you require financial advice. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.
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