How your weight affects your life insurance?

There are over 60 things that life insurance companies are reviewing when considering your application for coverage. Out of these things, the one we have probably the most control is our weight. So, how exactly your weight affects your life insurance? We will answer this question and we will list how companies view your weight loss and what you can do to save on your premium.

Before we dive in, we want to mention that we are here to answer any questions you might have about life insurance. We are brokers and we have the ability to shop various companies and select the one that will over you the best rates and easiest approval process.

Here is what we will focus on:

OK, let’s dive in. 

How much wight companies put on your weight

Weight is important for life insurance purposes. There is a correlation between weight and your health. 

According to Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of preventive cardiology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“The latest science is quite clear that excess weight can carry considerable health risks, including a higher risk for heart attack and stroke,”…”While there is no one-size-fits-all number when it comes to a person’s ideal weight, men should not ignore significant weight gain and the implications it has for their future health.”

Life Insurance and weight loss

Companies have created various different weight charts and use them as guidance to place you in a different health tier. Companies use these tiers due to the link between weight and various health conditions, such as diabetes type 2, heart conditions and etc Just to clarify a bit more, there are over 11 different health tiers that you could qualify for based on your health and lifestyle. They vary a bit between the companies, however, they are as follow:

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard
  • Table 2
  • Table 3
  • Table 4
  • Table 5
  • Table 6
  • Table 7
  • Table 8

Preferred Plus is the best possible class a company offers. On the other hand, table 8 is the highest rating a company would offer.

Even 5lbs could put you in a different class group and make your premium higher or lower.

Below are the sample weight and hight guideless. This would give you an idea of approximately what category you might fall into. Just keep in mind that the guidelines differ between companies. Some companies have different guidelines for females and males. Also, companies are another set of charts for individuals over 70 years. 

Weight and life insurance

HeightMax Weight Preferred PlusMax Weight Preferred StandardTable 2Table 3Table 4Table 5Table 6Table 7Table 8

Did you know,

Life insurance companies could also deny an application for someone who is underweight? That is correct, if your weight is below their minimum guidelines, you could have a hard time getting your application approved.

Not all weight loss is the same

This is an important part of the topic of weight and life insurance. Every company would view your weight loss differently. If you’ve lost some weight recently, you fall into one of these 2 categories:

* Non-intentional weight loss

If you had lost more than 10lbs in the past year without an intentional diet or exercise, the companies would want to know more about it. They would be concerned with the underlying cause of weight loss. If you are experiencing unexplained weight loss, companies would want to postpone your application. Once your doctor is able to determine why you were losing weight, we could revisit your options for life insurance.

* Intentional weight loss

Intentional weight loss is weight loss achieved through a change in diet and or exercise. Even in this category, not every weight loss is the same. The different ways of losing weight could affect your premium differently.

Have you lost weight with diets such as Keto, Adkins or you’ve lost weight through a weight loss surgery?

The little secret companies do when you lose weight

Here is something that you would not like to hear: Companies would not give you full credit for your weight loss if it is too recent. They will add half of the weight loss to your current weight and use that as the rating. I know, it seems unfair, but this is their actuaries have determined that there is a good chance for a person to gain the weight back.

Here is an example:

Suppose you are 5’6’ and your weight 6 months ago was 200 lbs and you lost 40 lbs (Yay!!). For life insurance purposes, your weight will be 160+20lbs or 180 lbs. 

Based on the table above, you would qualify for preferred rating vs. preferred plus ratings, even though your current weight is within preferred plus guidelines.

Our advice:

Caution sign

Don’t let this discourage you from applying for life insurance NOW. We’ve worked with too many cases, in which waiting for a better rate has actually put the person at a disadvantage. Life is too unpredictable and there are too many moving parts to be able to time your life insurance application. 

Life insurance option based on build

This is where we come in. As insurance brokers, we have the ability to shop options among some of the top-rated life insurance companies. We are not employees of any companies and our main obligation is finding you the best possible coverage.

Here are your options to find coverage with higher than average weight

  • Medical exam – there are several companies that are more lenient on weight on others. Prudential has been leading the market when it comes to underwriting someone with higher BMI (Body Max Index). 
  • No-medical exam – Yes, you could get life insurance without a medical exam, even if overweight. We’ve helped clients who would have been rated with other companies, secure life insurance without a medical exam at a better rating. 
  • Final expense policy – based on how much life insurance you need and what is your reason for looking into life insurance, securing a smaller policy might be the way to go
  • Guaranteed issue policy – this is a policy that just about everyone qualifies for. Typically guaranteed issue policies are limited to the amount of coverage you could have on yourself. Another thing to look out is that they are structured differently for the first 2 policy years. In other words, should you pass away in the first 24 months, your beneficiary will not receive the full death benefit. 

How to save on life insurance if overweight

We will start with something we can’t stress enough:

Life insurance important stop sign

1 Be honest with us and on your life insurance application

We are on your side and when we have the accurate information upfront, we can present you with your options at the appropriate rating.

2. If you are taking a medical exam, be on the “good” side the days leading up to the exam

We don’t mean to go hard on the exercise bike or eat only salads. This could be actually counterproductive for the short term. We’ll advise you to increase your water intake, limit greasy and spicy foods, and try to take the medical exam in the morning. This will give a chance to fast through the night and have the best results possible.

3. Also, make sure your medical records are up to date

This is especially important if you’ve opted for life insurance without a medical exam. After all, companies would rely only on what’s on paper when reviewing your application.

4. Don’t wait for the perfect weight

We’ve been in business long enough to be able to advise you to secure what you qualify for TODAY. Yes, once you lose the weight you can re-apply and possibly get a better rating. However, as we mentioned above, there needs to be some time after your weight loss, before companies give you full credit. In many instances, we might not have the luxury to leave our loved ones without coverage.

In conclusion,

Yes, your weight affects your life insurance. We have various options for you to secure the best possible rate. Please reach out to us and let us do our job and match you with the coverage you need.

Thank you!