Premiums drop among policyholders with a healthy, maintained BMI.
As weight plays an important role in an individual’s health, it is taken into consideration by the majority of life insurance companies and therefore becomes a factor that policyholders can often control to help to keep their premiums to a minimum.
Many insurers consider weight to be an important factor to be calculated into their rates.
If an individual is overweight or obese, life insurance carriers will frequently charge what is known as a “loading”, which is an amount above and beyond the basic premium level due to an increased risk level.
Insurers apply these charges to overweight and obese customers because of issues associated with excess weight. These include hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and even some cancers.
There are many diseases associated with excess weight, and life insurance companies consider this a risk.
Of course, the same can be said about people who are underweight. Life insurance companies typically classify policyholders within one of the following weight categories: underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. Any weight condition other than “normal” is generally considered to be an increased risk factor and therefore may have a loading applied to it.
The insurers are basing these designations of increased risk on many years of medical research, which has consistently shown that being overweight boosts an individual’s likelihood of experiencing more health problems than individuals in their healthy weight range. The more chance a person has to become ill, the greater the likelihood that this person will die at a younger age than a person who is within a healthy body mass range.
This means that there is also a larger opportunity that those individuals will need to make a claim, and therefore they become a higher risk to insure. It is for that reason that the costs go up.
Equally, if you are overweight or obese and you can bring your body mass index (BMI) down to a normal level and keep it that way, then you will reverse this designation by your insurer, which may be willing to lower your premiums as a result.