Can I Get Life Insurance with a High BMI?

Nowadays, when fitness is what everyone seems to be talking about as they spent their time sitting just at home. You might not be aware of this fact, but your health and fitness can affect the premium rates of your life insurance. The metric that measures the health and fitness of a person is Body Mass Index i.e., BMI. Now, let’s understand how to calculate BMI using BMI calculators and what is the effect of BMI on life insurance premium costs:

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What is Body Mass Index (BMI)? 

BMI or Body Mass Index is a measurement where the individual’s height is used to determine his/her weight. Also, BMI accurately estimates the percentage of body fat of an individual. Therefore, an individual with a high BMI value has more body fat. 

It is well-defined as the ratio of weight and height. Weight is measured in Kilograms divided by the square of height measured in meters. This BMI ratio is used to categorize whether the person is overweight, underweight, or obese. 

How To Calculate BMI? 

BMI measures the corpulence or leanness of a person based on their weight and height and is projected to quantify the tissue mass. It is majorly used as a basic indicator of whether an individual has a healthy or unhealthy body weight for their height. Precisely, the number obtained from the BMI calculation is used to classify a person under different categories such as overweight, obese, normal weight, or underweight. These values of BMI vary based on parameters such as age and geographical region and they are subdivided into severely obese or severely underweight. 

Methods To Calculate BMI 

  1. BMI Formula 

    The following formula for BMI has been used for a long time to determine the suitable weight of the person. 

    BMI = (Individual’s weight (in kg))/ (Individual’s height (in meters))2

    After calculating BMI, one can use the BMI Calculation chart to find suitable results. The ideal BMI ranges between i.e., 18.5 to 24.9. 

  2. BMI Charts 

    The easiest way to understand your weight is to refer to the Body Mass Index Charts available for men and women. The charts have weights mentioned horizontally at the top and height vertically defined. It is simple to find an ideal BMI for your weight and height. Also, you will be able to know how much at risk you are for weight-associated diseases. 

  3. BMI Calculators

    Using an online BMI calculator is one of the most accurate methods to calculate the BMI of men and women. By just entering your height and weight, it gives your BMI. This number is one way to tell you if you have an unhealthy or healthy weight. After obtaining the BMI value, you can use the BMI chart to determine if you require to gain weight, lose weight or maintain your weight.

    As per World Health Organization (WHO), BMI values for the adult that is used for both women and men are: 

    Body Mass Index – BMI  Status of Weight
    <18.5 Underweight 
    18.5 to 24.9 Normal
    25.0 to 29.9 Overweight 
    >30 Obese

    **All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C apply.

    The BMI Calculator for teenagers and children is different than for adults. While it uses weight and height, but it also uses gender and age. This is because females' and males’ height and weight change at the time of growth and development. In the case of children, the BMI is expressed as a percentile. 


Effect of BMI on Life Insurance 

When it comes to life insurance for overweight or high BMI of females or male policyholders, finding a pocket-friendly insurance option is never that easy. The insurers use BMI charts to determine how much premium is required to pay. So, if you are somewhere on the low side of the BMI chart of the overweight range, you can be offered a reasonable price of the premium. However, if you are on the upper side in terms of weight on the BMI chart, then your premium will be more. The policyholder’s weight directly impacts the premium rates as many insurance companies increase the rate of premium by a certain percentage for obesity. 

Since BMI indicates the individual’s health status., it impacts the premium costs of life insurance. A high BMI value simply means that the person is at a higher risk of cardiovascular-related illnesses and might regularly visit the clinics because of weight-related problems, which indicates higher medical expenses towards the insurer. Hence the higher the medical bill, the higher the life insurance premium. In the same way, an individual having a low BMI than the ideal one is also called unhealthy or not fit, as they might be having some sort of underlying diseases that might not be diagnosed instantly.  

One of the smartest ways to decrease the premium is by purchasing life insurance online. Using online mode, you can easily compare life insurance policies for overweight or high BMI person to find a suitable insurance product. Purchasing a policy via digital mode will help you in paying low premiums as compared to buying a life insurance policy offline.  

Do Insurance Companies Only Consider BMI as a Health Indicator? 

The straight Answer is No. The insurers do not only depend on the Body Mass Index to show the person’s heath as there are other factors also. An individual with a high BMI might be fit and healthier than an individual who smokes on a regular basis. Hence, other factors should also be taken into thought such as: 

  • Age: Since younger people are less likely to be an obligation to insurers, they are given better rates of premium as compared to older individuals. In such cases, the older individual request the insurance company to check their levels of BMI which might help in lowering the premium rates of life insurance. 

  • Family History: There is a more probability of an individual having a hereditary illness that might affect the person in later life stages. Parkinson’s is a good example. Hence, the insurer often asks for a complete medical history of the family before making any decision on the premium prices. 

  • Alcohol and Tobacco use: If an individual has a medical history of smoking or chewing tobacco or drinking heavily, it surely affects the prices of premium. Users of Alcohol and tobacco might have the ideal BMI value, but their internal organs might be impacted because of substance abuse. This way, your lifestyle selection also affects the premium rates of your life insurance. 

Wrapping It Up!

High BMI might result in heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory issues or hypertension, and other related problems. These ailments can effectively shorten your life span. Hence, if you have a high BMI or are obese, you need to consider purchasing life insurance for overweight individuals. Your weight can affect your life insurance premium rates. So, before buying a life cover, always understand the BMI calculators, effect of BMI on life insurance and how the weight of your body affects it.

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