Your overall build and BMI can have a dramatic impact on the amount you’ll need to pay for life insurance. However, if you are looking to lose a few pounds prior to applying, you should take the following factors into consideration.
How Does My Height and Weight Affect Life Insurance Costs?
As you likely already know being overweight is not a good thing and could be a cause of health problems either now or in the future. If your BMI is higher than it should be it increases your likelihood of developing health issues and therefore poses a greater risk to life insurance companies. They will likely still be willing to insure you. However, they will need to balance the risk of doing so accordingly. What that means to you is if you are overweight is you will have to pay more.
The price that you pay for life insurance is determined by the level of risk that you pose to the insurance company. Your lifestyle habits, overall medical history, and even your job, can have a direct impact on your risk classification.
For instance, if you are not a smoker and you do not have a history of ill health in your family, then you will pose a far lower risk than most people. Thus, you will likely qualify for a better risk class than most people. If your mother died prior to age 50 from cancer and you smoke and are overweight, you will be considered higher risk than the average person.
Is It A Good Idea To Lose Weight To Save Money On Life Insurance?
It is a common notion to want to lose weight in order to purchase life insurance. Losing weight can certainly be a very good thing if you weigh a few extra pounds. The concern though is that many people will not purchase life insurance until they have lost weight. Purchasing life insurance is not something that should be delayed until the perfect moment. The fact is that we never know when our time is up. Losing weight to potentially pay a lower premium is admirable. However, the longer you wait, the longer your loved ones will be left entirely unprotected.
Also, each year that you wait more life insurance costs simply because you’re now older. And when you apply most companies will add back half of what you lost in the last 12 months. For example, if 12 months ago you weighed 200 pounds and now you are 140 pounds, they would underwrite your application as if you were 170 pounds today.
Unfortunately many that lose weight quickly add it back after a period of time. Insurance companies are aware of this and this is how they account for it. If you keep the weight off and you are 140 pounds for a full year they are more likely to underwrite you at the 140 pounds. They want to see a history of stability in your weight. In the meantime, the cost of coverage has gone up anyway because you are a year or two older.
The best thing to do is lock in the coverage that you need now. Then if you lose weight in the future you may be able to apply for a rate reduction with the same company. If not, you can apply with another company. If are approved for the same coverage at a better price you can take the new policy instead.
Here’s an example:
50 year old non smoking woman seeking $250,000 20 year term policy. Current build is 5’2″ 225lbs. She might pay $64 per month.
Let’s say she loses 50bs over the course of the next year. She would then be 51 so it will cost a little more since it’s a year later. Since she lost 50lbs the insurance companies will usually credit her with a 25lb weight loss. Therefore she might pay $52 per month.
Certainly it’s nice to have this $12 savings per month. However, is it really worth not having the $250,000 of coverage this person needs. I don’t think so.
Let’s say she gets the policy that costs $64 a month. Then if she qualifies next year and can save the $12 she can switch over to the new policy then.
What Factors Make You High-Risk For Life Insurance?
There are numerous factors that will place you as high-risk for life insurance coverage. Some of these are far more obvious than others. Some examples of high-risk factors include the following:
- Being overweight
- Being underweight
- Binge drinking
- History of alcoholism
- Your age
- Any pre-existing medical conditions
- Riskier occupations
- Extreme sports
- Travel to certain countries
How Much Does Your Weight Impact Life Insurance Premiums?
The more overweight you are the higher your premium. As an example a man is 5’9 175 pounds would pay more if he were 225lbs, and would pay more than that if he were 275lbs. Most insurance companies have a limit as to how much you can weigh and still qualify for coverage. For instance if this 5’9 man was over 330 pounds most all insurance company’s would not approve him for coverage. The only company’s we are aware where he could get approved are with a few that limit the coverage you can get to about $25,000.
What BMI Is Deemed Too High For Life Insurance?
Many life insurance companies will approve people for coverage even if their MBI is in the 45 range. However this is only if there are no pre-existing health issues present. Unfortunately, if you have some health issues you are dealing with with you may be deemed too risky for coverage overall.
As mentioned, losing weight prior to obtaining life insurance is only beneficial if your weight loss has been consistently maintained for 12 months or more. Therefore, while losing weight is always advisable to avoid certain health conditions, losing weight drastically prior to taking out life insurance does not always have the desired impact upon life insurance premiums. Get the coverage that you need today so your family is protected. We can always help you again in a year to see if we can lower the rate you have to pay. To get started you can go here and run quotes.