How Does Your Weight Affect Life Insurance Rates?

It is a well known fact that in America there is an ever-increasing number of people that fall into the “obese” or “overweight” category. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than one-third of Americans are considered obese. In the past several years, the obesity issue has become more of a focus in America, and life insurance companies are taking notice too. Because of the negative health implications associated with being obese, many life insurance companies will offer lower rates for customers that are a healthy weight.

Weight plays an important role in the life insurance industry because of the effect that it can have on the health and life span of the customer; these factors can greatly affect the cost of insuring for a company, a cost which is passed on to the customer. Life insurance companies have a simple policy when it comes to rates and weight: the more you weigh, the more you pay!

Specifically, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is the main formula used by insurance companies to help them determine how your weight will affect rates. BMI measures the proportion of body weight to an individual’s height. The more a person weighs in relation to their height, the more likely they are to develop dangerous health conditions.

Obesity has been linked to such health problems as diabetes, heart problems and much more, as well as an increased likelihood of a shortened life span. All these factors are concerns for life insurance companies. Fortunately, many of the symptoms of obesity, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, can be counteracted by weight loss. As you lose weight and head towards a healthier weight and BMI, term insurance rates will typically drop too.

Even if you are overweight, you don’t have to resign yourself to high rates. Insurance companies differ when it comes to the conditions that determine rates. It is important to shop around and compare your options before settling on a policy. Shopping through an independent insurance agency, such as SelectQuote, can help ensure that you find the best rates. If at any point during your policy you lose a significant amount of weight, make sure to let your carrier know. You may be rewarded with lower rates!

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