Overweight & Life Insurance
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We appreciate that being overweight can cause you some concern, we are here to try relieve some of that by helping with the protection insurance process.
Things we need to know:
- What is your current height and weight?
Overweight life insurance applications can often be accepted at standard terms for those with a BMI score of up to 33-36 (depending on age), provided that you approach the correct insurance provider; some insurers will increase prices from a BMI of 30. When considering life insurance, overweight individuals with a BMI of over 36 will likely look at price increases on their policy.
When you apply for life insurance, high BMI scores between 36 and 49 will typically be the stage at which insurers start to increase policy premiums. Insurers tend to provide more favourable results to older individuals with a high BMI. When you have a BMI of 50 or over you will need to place your application with a specialist insurance provider who may consider the cover, but you are likely to see the policy premiums increased highly or the policy declined.
Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.
When applying for critical illness cover, overweight individuals can often secure policies up to a BMI score of 45. A high BMI will generally start to affect critical illness policy premiums once you reach a score of 33 with many insurers depending upon your age; some insurance providers increase premium prices from BMI scores of 30 onwards. In general you will find that insurers will provide standard terms to individuals with a BMI of 33 or under (above 17).
If you have a BMI of 45 or over critical illness cover is not currently available with standard insurance providers, however insurers regularly change their underwriting guidelines so it is worthwhile giving us a call to see if acceptance criteria has changed. Whilst this may seem frustrating it is due to the fact that having quite a high BMI places you at at greater risk of developing one of the conditions listed on the critical illness claims set.
Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
Income protection applications for people who have a high BMI will generally follow similar underwriting guidelines to that of a critical illness policy.
Ordinary terms will probably be available with BMIs under a score of 36 (above 17) depending upon your age and the cause of your excess weight; again, some insurers will place an increase on policy premiums from when a BMI is 30 or above. A BMI of 45 or over will probably result in your application being declined with all standard insurers, but it may be possible that a specialist insurance provider will consider your application on a case by case basis.
For those with a high BMI who are struggling to secure income protection a different policy called Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover could be more suitable. An accident, sickness and unemployment policy pays out a monthly replacement for your income for a short time period (between 12 and 24 months). You can make a claim on the policy if you are unable to work due to injury, disability or involuntary redundancy.
The policies are not medically underwritten so your BMI will play no part in the acceptance terms of your cover. However if you do make a claim on the policy any inability to work due to existing medical conditions (your high BMI) will not be accepted.
What is Overweight?
Most medical professionals use what is known as a BMI score to assess an individuals height to weight ratio, to determine how “healthy” they are. General guidance suggests that once a person reaches a BMI score of 25 to 30, that they are considered overweight and higher scores than this are given more serious classifications such as obesity. For the purpose of this page and present insurance underwriting guides, a person is considered to have a high BMI for insurance applications when their score reaches 30 or above.
Also known as: High BMI, obesity
Linked with: Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, depression, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Prader-Willi syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome
- Excess sweating
- Painful joints
- Low self esteem
- Difficulty walking
- Side effects of prescription medicine
- Obesity Statistics UK 2019 – National Obesity Awareness Week
- CuraVision – Health – Overweight Life Insurance
- Overweight Life Insurance
- CuraVision – The ABCs – High BMI
- Declined Life Insurance – BMI
- High BMI – How to make a managed life policy work for you
- www.nhs.uk – Obesity
By clicking on the link(s) above you will be departing from the regulatory site of Special Risks Bureau. The Special Risks Bureau (Cura Financial Services) is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site(s).
This is quite a tricky question to answer. When you do a quote online the majority of the time the forms do not take into account any health disclosures, before they give you a price. Having a higher BMI is something that will lead some insurers to increase the premium on the policy, compared to what you are seeing.
There is no-one set rule that a BMI of 32, 36, 43 over 60. Insurers have their own individual rules about how and when they will change the pricing. The important thing is to find the insurer that will increase the premium by the lowest amount.
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Review by Kari on 6th April 2021
“Evie Holmes and her team went above and beyond for me. Helped me out when I was turned away from other providers and gave me hope and piece of mind knowing I was protected after buying my first home. The team gave me regular updates and were always quick to respond to any queries!” - 5
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