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Life Insurance for Overweight or Obese

Researcher & Writer
March 01, 2019

It’s no secret that insurance companies use height and weight ratios to determine what premiums they’re going to charge or to determine if they’re even going to offer life insurance coverage at all. In fact, height and weight ratios (also known as "body mass index," or BMI) are one of the first things considered by a life insurance underwriter.  Which means that it can be more difficult to get life insurance for obese or overweight people—those with a high BMI. However, we specialize in aligning our readers with the most overweight or obese friendly high risk life insurance companies in the marketplace.

But do not despair, being overweight or obese when it comes to getting life insurance isn't the end of the world.  There are many other conditions out there that are far more serious that being obese, you'll just need to be aware that your BMI may make you a higher risk applicant—and raise your life insurance rates—which is why you really need to be careful with who choose to apply for life insurance with.

For example, ask any life insurance agent which insurance company is best for those who have:

  • diabetes
  • suffered from a heart attack
  • been diagnosed with anxiety or depression

And they'll be sure to have a recommendation for you as to which life insurance company will best "cater" to any one of these particular conditions.  However, ask that same agent which insurance carrier is the most "lenient" when it comes to those who are obese, and the most likely answer you'll get is, "all insurance companies are the same," which simply isn't the case!

Life Insurance if overweight or obese

Not all Life Insurance Companies are the Same!

What’s not largely known is that not all life insurance companies use the same height and weight (BMI) ratios when determining their rate classes.  Which means that even if you are considered obese by one life insurance company you may not be considered obese by them all, depending on their BMI scale. This makes finding the best life insurance for overweight applicants much simpler when you work with an agent.

So if you’ve recently been approved but aren't satisfied with the offer you received, postponed or denied for life insurance due to obesity, there’s a good chance that the professionals we can help. After all, we review the best life insurance companies in the U.S. to help align you with the best insurer at the lowest premiums for you. We can also recommend some awesome no medical exam life insurance companies if you would rather avoid an exam as part of the underwriting process.

For example:

We work with a very well known and respected insurance carrier that considers the following not obese:

  • A 6 foot tall man weighing 295 pounds and a 5 foot tall woman weighing 205 a “standard” risk.

Meaning that according to this carrier, these individuals would be considered completely normal and not obese.

These same individuals, if sent to one of the many less forgiving towards weight life insurance carriers would be considered a “high risk” application and be offered what is called a “table rating.”  This “table rating” would ultimately end up costing these clients hundreds if not thousands of dollars more over the term of the life insurance simply because they didn’t apply with the right insurance company from the beginning.

Also, if you are obese and have diabetes, check out Life Insurance with Diabetes.

5 steps to getting the best rate on overweight or obese life insurance

1.  Be Honest about your Weight

If you use an insurance agent, every question they ask has one purpose: to find you the best life insurance policy out there.  So don’t guess about your height and weight or be afraid to give your measurements. Just a few pounds one way or another could have a significant affect on which carrier is best for you.  So again, be honest about your height and weight when applying for life insurance. 

2.  Find someone that is working for you, not the insurance company

With so many options to choose from and so many different life insurance companies competing for your business, it’s key for you to work with an agency that is not bound to any one specific life insurance carrier.

You need to be sure that your agent can shop your application to dozens of different life insurance carriers forcing them to compete for your business. Only by choosing to work with an agency that represents dozens of top rated life insurance carriers can you ensure that you are getting the best insurance policy to protect you and your family. Only then can you find the best life insurance companies for overweight applicants.

3.  Be Prepared For Your Exam

For obese people taking a life insurance exam it is important to take the exam first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink, other than water.

On average, a normal individual will see their weight fluctuate several pounds over the course of the day.  Such fluctuations are completely normal and can be caused by many different factors such as eating, excessive salt intake, water retention, etc.

The point being is that first thing in the morning your weight should be at its lowest. That is what we want! So plan the day of your exam accordingly.

See: Tips on Acing Your Life Insurance Exam and Exploring What Life Insurance Exams Test For

4.  Beware of Significant Weight Loss

Insurance companies like to see that an applicant’s weight hasn’t changed beyond 10 lbs within the last 12 months. 

So if you tell the examiner you lost 20 pounds in the past year most top rated life insurance companies will add back half of the weight that you lost. Therefore, instead of using your current weight, life insurance companies will consider you to be 10 pounds heavier than you actually are when you apply.

Our advice: be honest but be aware. Some people like to "embellish" when it comes to recent weight loss on their life insurance application. However, when it comes to a life insurance approval, it is better to just stick to the facts, even if the facts don't hide obesity.

5. Don’t Place Your Family at Risk

Any insurance agent that has been in the industry for a while will have a “potential” client who died while the client was “waiting for a better rate.”

In other words, the client never took the insurance policy because the client thought they could do better. Unfortunately, the client dies shortly after without life insurance.

Don’t wait to take the life insurance you have been offered. If you’re waiting to get coverage until after you lose weight, you're risking an uncertain future without the protection of life insurance coverage.

Our advice: get the best insurance coverage you can today and spend the rest of your life trying to get a better rate once you have a life insurance policy in place. This way you aren’t gambling with your families future.

Next Steps

Not sure where to start? Let us help. Our main goal is to help guide you through the process of:

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.