LIfe Insurance: How Body Type Can Affect Your Life Insurance Rates

Learn More about this Quiz

Life inurance companies typically rely on factors such as body mass index (BMI) to determine premiums. Because of this, even if a person is healthy and active but considered overweight according to the BMI scale (such as bodybuilders), his or her premiums will be higher. Most people may never even consider their BMI until it's time to apply for life insurance, but unfortunately, a person's height and weight can affect how affordable life insurance rates can be for them.

In many cases, perfectly healthy people are considered overweight or obese according to the BMI scale. One example is bodybuilders, who generally have excess muscle mass and weigh more than might be recommended on the BMI chart. As such, if you're a healthy individual who is deemed overweight, you probably still feel entitled to a discount or preferred rate. This is why it's so important to compare insurance providers to see which companies might take these factors into account and reward you for being healthy regardless of what the BMI says.

What You'll Learn

Insurance underwriters use the BMI to determine rates. A BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight, and therefore might be considered unhealthy. Any BMI over 25 is overweight, with 30 and above falling into the obese category. A "normal" BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9, and only applicants who fall into this category will receive preferred rates, as long as they pass the other qualifications such as being non-smokers and avoiding reckless behavior. There's a problem with the BMI, though. In addition to healthy individuals often falling outside the normal range, age and gender can also affect a person's BMI. For instance, an older person might get worse insurance rates for having a low BMI because this is considered a sign of frailty. The BMI has never considered different body frames, which has resulted in perfectly healthy individuals paying more than they should for life insurance. Every insurance company is different, and no two will treat the BMI issue the same. Compare your options and go with a company that rewards health-conscious consumers regardless of body build, age, weight, or gender.

See More