Obesity and life insurance

If you’re classed as obese or have a high BMI (Body Mass Index), you may be concerned about applying for life insurance. Since insurance providers typically have different BMI limits, you may feel as if you’re being rejected at every turn. However, we are a specialist broker with expert knowledge in seeking out the best insurance providers tailored to your individual circumstances. Whether you have been declined life insurance elsewhere, are looking at taking out a new policy, or just don’t know where to start – we can help.

Lots of factors influence the outcome of a life insurance application when you are overweight or obese. Knowing what information you’ll need to provide during the application process will help you make sense of the process. Some questions you may be asked about include:

  • Height, weight and waist measurements/dress sizes
  • Your medical history
  • Any other medical conditions you have
  • The medications, if any, that you take
  • Any surgery, treatment or if you’re currently awaiting surgery

Specialising in ‘non-standard’ applications such as Obesity Life Insurance, Diabetic Life has experts on hand to help you find life insurance, even if you have been declined cover elsewhere due to a medical condition.

How Weight Can Affect A Life Insurance Premium

If you are classed as obese or morbidly obese, you may have to pay higher than the standard price for your life insurance cover. Applications are assessed on your personal statistics and health, so the premium is specific to you alone. Our advisors are expertly familiar with insurers and the rates they offer, helping to find the appropriate policy for you.

We recognise that everyone’s personal circumstances are unique to them, and life insurance is not a one size fits all situation. From the beginning, we will be available to guide you through the entire process, providing you with the information you need.

If your BMI levels are within a certain range and you have no further medical issues, you may be able to get life insurance at standard rates. However, applications for Obesity life insurance in situations where your BMI is considered to be more severe are likely to have varying outcomes. In particular, having a high BMI and other health conditions will increase premium costs. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, it will be particularly difficult to get life insurance. For example, having a BMI of 53 or over and having a more serious medical condition may result in your application being declined.

If you are overweight, life insurance premiums will often depend on assessing:

  • Your current health
  • Your BMI
  • Your age
  • The type of insurance you are looking for
  • The term of your policy
  • Whether or not you smoke

On top of this, other lifestyle questions you are likely to be asked about include:

  • How much is left on your mortgage 
  • If you have any dependents 
  • Your annual income after taxAny other outstanding debt, including loans, finance, credit cards and overdrafts If you want to leave behind any money for your spouse or partner
  • Any assets you may have, including car, house and business

Explaining BMI

Your body mass index is calculated by using your weight and height measurements. Although it does not take into consideration your age, gender or body composition, BMI is typically used as a way to analyse your body condition.

Most insurance companies will use your BMI to assess your personal height and weight ratio. While some insurers will use the UK version of the BMI scale, others will use the US version, which is slightly different. Providers using the US scale tend to be more lenient on BMI, and we can use this information to match you to the right policy based on your needs.

An ideal BMI for most adults is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range.

If your BMI is:

  • Below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range 
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range 
  • Between 25 and 29.9 – you’re in the overweight range 
  • Between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range    

Being aware of which category your BMI falls under is a good place to start when it comes to finding life insurance. If you do not know your BMI we can help work this out for you and then use this accurate information for the insurance company applications we do on your behalf.

As with all insurance policies, you should always provide accurate information. Supplying false or inaccurate information you may be assessed on, such as your BMI, can invalidate your policy if you or your family need to claim against it in the future.

The Risks of Having a High BMI

Having a high BMI and increased weight carries the increased risk of developing other medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, liver problems, type 2 diabetes and joint/bone problems.

While lots of people with a higher than average BMI do not have other medical conditions, there is a greater risk of doing so later in life. As such, your BMI can be a valuable indicator of how likely you are to live a long and healthy life.

As Insurance companies assess your level of risk when you apply for an insurance policy through them, a higher BMI increases the chances your application is rejected. However, Diabetic Life can provide you with support and guidance, finding an insurance company that is likely to cover you.

Getting Cheaper Life Insurance if You Are Overweight

If you’re concerned about heftier premium costs because you are overweight, there are some options you may be able to take to make the payments more affordable:

Reduce Cover

By selecting what you choose cover for, you may be able to reduce the overall premium costs. For instance, you may opt to cover the costs of your funeral or the amount of mortgage you have instead of leaving behind an additional lump sum for family members.

Reduce the Policy Term

Shortening the length of your policy can also cut costs. This option may be useful if you are already older, your children have moved out, and you have no payments remaining on your mortgage.

Quit Smoking

Non-smokers will almost always have cheaper premiums than people who smoke. Although difficult, if you were to quit smoking, after 12 months you would be considered as a non-smoker.

Lower BMI

Losing weight can be a hard thing to do but by lowering your BMI you are likely to reduce your life insurance costs.

Payments if you Lose Weight in the Future

Diabetic Life is proud of the way we look after our clients for the long term, with part of our service including free reviews to ensure you have the right cover at the right price.

From the beginning, no fee is payable to us. Instead, we are paid a commission by the insurer who you take a policy with. Through this, we are able to cover our costs and offer you a completely free service.

If your circumstances change in any way, we can assess your current policy to make sure you still have the best cover available to you. Often, we find that people may need to take a look at their policy if they have started a family, moved house, taken out a mortgage or started a new job.

Significantly reducing your weight means you may be entitled to cheaper cover and we are able to review your policy at any time to find this. This may be because you have lost enough weight to be able to take out life insurance previously unavailable to you, or your premiums may be reduced now that your BMI is lower.

While losing weight can be difficult, do not hesitate to reach out to us before you have achieved your ideal weight. Even slightly reducing your BMI can make a significant impact on your premiums, offering you better protection for a lower monthly payment.

Life Insurance and Weight Loss Surgery

Following any surgery, insurers may want a postponement period, but this will also depend on the type of procedure you have had. In particular, different weight loss surgery options can have different effects on your body, and you will need to highlight this when applying for your life insurance policy. Recovery times and results can vary, so considerations will need also need to be made about when you had the surgery.

In some instances, you may have to postpone full cover, but this does not mean you need to go without any insurance protection at all. Part of our service at Diabetic Life means we can help arrange interim cover that would exclude any pre-existing conditions. Our dedicated advisors will carry out regular reviews and will contact you to update your cover after the allocated postponement time.

The interim insurance service means you have peace of mind that if anything were to happen to you, you’d be covered by a life insurance policy.

Being Declined Elsewhere

If you’ve previously been declined for life insurance, we can still help you.

Applying through a specialist broker such as Diabetic Life means carefully selected insurers are approached to find the right cover based on your individual needs. Having been finding cover for people in higher weight brackets for many years, we are able to connect you to insurers across the entire market to find the most appropriate cover for you.

Over 70% of customers that were rejected by insurance companies previously, are covered through us.

Why Apply Through a Specialist Life Insurance Broker?

Diabetic Life regularly sources Obesity Life Insurance for people, so we understand how insurance providers will view an application.

We obtain any medical reports or other materials that may be needed to ensure your application is successful. We will also research the market for the best policies from the best insurers, leaving you with the freedom to carry on enjoying life.

Getting Critical Illness Cover if You are Obese

As long as you are within a certain BMI level, you should still be able to obtain critical illness cover policy, with most insurers offering this to people with a BMI of less than 40 with no other issues.

Even if you have applied for critical illness cover in the past and have had your application declined, Diabetic Life can help you.

Some things you may need to consider when applying for critical illness cover are:

  • Your annual income (after tax)
  • Your annual mortgage or rent payments
  • Your annual cost of living
  • How much you pay on bills per month
  • Any other costs across the year including medical treatment

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