Life Insurance BMI Requirements

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Important things to know...
  • BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and it is a measurement of the amount of fat in your body in relation to your height
  • People who are overweight and obese, have a much better chance of coming down with the dread diseases of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and liver disease than do people with lower BMI scores>
  • Life insurance companies will rate the premiums extra for overweight and obese people who apply, and if the BMI is too high, the applicant will be declined
  • About two thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, which means their life insurance premiums will be higher
  • Education on how excess weitht affects life insurance premiums will not only protect people from disease, but their life insurance premiums will be lower too

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a measurement of the fat in your body that relate to height and weight which applies to most adult people age 20 and over.

BMI should not be used for diagnostic purposes but is an indicator of the amount of body fat an individual about the height of an individual.

BMI is used as a tool for screening which indicates whether an individual is underweight, overweight, obese, or is of a healthy weight. If a person falls outside of the BMI healthy ranges, that person’s health problems tend to increase in a significant manner.

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How Does A Life Insurance Company Look at BMI?


In the United States. Approximately 25 percent of the entire population is obese. That is remarkable because obese people have a much higher incidence of all the diseases that shorten our lives sooner.

High blood pressure, heart issues, kidney problems, and more results from obesity.

Obviously, life insurance company underwriters know that people who are overweight and obese are going to have to pay more for their life insurance premiums and even be declined for higher weights.

BMI is used by most life insurance companies as an indicator of weight height about how it relates to insurability. A BMI score of between 20 and 25 is considered to be a healthy one.

If a person’s BMI score tops 25, it is in the overweight range, and if it is above 30 the person is considered to be obese.

As mentioned, an obese person is wandering into very serious territory in regards to their health.

Diseases such as high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, major heart issues, stroke, sleep apnea, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and many forms of cancer.

Consequently, the life insurance companies, who study health and bodily function trends constantly, are going to charge more to people whose state of health is more likely to kill them.

In a general sense, the lowest life insurance rates are issued to people with BMI scores below 26. Higher scores will be in the standard premium ranges.

If a person has a BMI above 35, a person will be in a “high risk” category and could be flirting with a decline for insurance.

 How is the BMI Calculated?

The formula for the calculation of BMI for adults is:

Weight in pounds times 703 divided by height in inches squared.

If a man is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds, his BMI is 31.45

Why Are So Many People Overweight?

Today, according to experts, two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. One big factor is the drinking of sodas as though they are water.

One can of soda is said to contain eight tablespoons of sugar. Sugar is changed to fat in our bodies. We also consume mountains of so-called “junk food” which is made up of white flour and processed foods.

There is a considerable lack of vegetables and fruits. When you have a triple decker cheeseburger with supersized french fries and a giant soft drink you probably not eating the best you know how.

The average American is about 23 pounds heavier than his or her ideal weight. We like to eat on the go, we eat sporadically, and we eat fast.

Obesity also tends to predominate along cultural lines. In states where “biscuits and gravy” are cultural norms, the BMI is up. Rural areas tend to have more obesity and overweight people.

For the most part, we are a sedentary culture, loving live in front of the television, using video games, and following social media. Lack of exercise coupled with our eating habit are habits that are eroding our health.

What Can Be Done?

If a person is contemplating the purchase of life insurance and he or she is overweight or even obese, they should go ahead and get a policy if they can.

Yes, initially the premium price might be high, but if they can get coverage, remember, it cannot be taken away from them once it is issued.

Get the insurance in force because you never know when you might get a report from the doctor that would render you uninsurable.

Conditions like cancer, heart issues, liver problems and other chronic situations would fit the “uninsurable” category in many instances, yet you will already have your insurance in effect.

Life insurance rates can always be modified if a ratable condition improves. So if a person is way overweight, he or she can lose the weight and a possible rate reduction will be considered by the life insurance company.

Life insurance underwriters are very interested in providing better rates on an existing policy if proof can be offered that a condition that caused the increase in rates in the first place has been moderated or eliminated.

Shop The Insurance Market

If your BMI is in the overweight or obese range, look for a life insurance broker who is able to work with several different companies.

The broker will help you shop the different companies to see who might look the most favorably on your BMI situation. In many cases, you may only have to get one physical, but that physical can suffice for all of the companies.

It is not hard to apply to a life insurance company, yet not commit until you find out the amount of any extra premiums might be charged for your extra weight.

The broker will know the fine details of the different companies, and the whole process will give you a better chance to get the best policy for the money.

Once you have your policy, you are in the driver’s seat. If you do have a rate-up of your premium, you will be able to find out what it will take to reduce or remove the rating by reducing your BMI. That is information that is worth knowing.

In Conclusion

BMI is a measure of how much body fat a person has about height. It is universally used as a screening device to determine how much extra weight is allowable in a situation where a life insurance applicant is buying life insurance.

A more educated public helps people know that there are guidelines for height and weight, and it can prompt them to become more health conscious in the effort of purchasing life insurance.

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