One of the factors that determine life insurance rates is weight, specifically the height to weight ratio or BMI (Body Mass Index). According to the CDC the correlation between a high BMI and the likelihood of developing dangerous health conditions is strong.¹ This translates into more risk for life insurance companies. As a result, individuals with high BMI measurements are often charged higher rates. In extreme cases, the application could end up being declined.
But even if you do not have the ideal BMI ratio right now, do not give up on getting affordable Term Life Insurance coverage to help protect your family! Insurance companies have varying standards in determining rates. One company may be less restrictive for BMI ratings than another. Working with an agency like AIG Direct, which represents multiple highly rated insurance companies, could help you in getting lower rates.
Maintaining a healthy BMI not only helps you lower your life insurance premiums but it also improves the quality of your life. Healthy weight has been associated with lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol, lower joint problems and healthy blood sugar count.¹
BMI Exceptions: According to the CDC, BMI calculations are a quick and inexpensive way to measure body fat in most of the population. However, there may be individuals where a BMI calculation shouldn’t be used. For example, highly trained athletes tend to have high BMI because of high muscle ratio as opposed to fat.
Life insurance companies may make exceptions for such individuals provided the rest of their medical exam results and medical records are in line with preferred rate requirements. If your BMI is high due to high muscle ratio, talk to your licensed agent about your options.
1. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight /assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/ index.html - July 11, 2014