This page is aimed at helping people, who may be considered overweight, find important life cover.
Find information to help you understand how insurance companies view weight and how it can affect the price and availability of cover.
Can I get life insurance if I’m overweight?
Yes, life insurance is available for people who may be considered overweight. The difficulty comes from knowing which insurance company to use because they all have different approaches to weight. A BMI above 35 could lead to a price increase and above 50 could require a specialist insurer. It’s important to seek advice because life insurance companies have different thresholds. An independent specialist broker will be able to help you quickly identify the best option by researching the market for you.
Submit an enquiry and we’ll put you in touch with a helpful, experienced, qualified adviser (not a call centre) with knowledge of the market.
People who are overweight can sometimes struggle to find cover but with the right help it may still be possible get cover and for a competitive price.
Being overweight could potentially lead to health problems in later life and for this reason life insurance companies may charge more to provide cover because there is a greater chance of a claim during the term of a policy compared to someone who is not overweight.
Life insurance companies mostly use Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of height and weight, as a guide for determining if someone is overweight but not all insurers use the same guidelines.
Some insurers may increase the price of cover for someone with a high BMI, some may not and some might decline cover altogether!
If you have been turned down it doesn’t necessarily mean you wont be able to get cover. A different insurer may still be able to offer cover but shopping around could take time so it’s a good idea to speak to an adviser.
Mainstream Insurance companies can insure overweight people up to certain BMI levels and currently FriendsLife will consider people with a BMI up to 48 for life cover and up to 40 for critical illness cover and Ageas will allow up to a BMI of 50 for life insurance only.
Some specialist insurers may be able to offer life cover with a BMI of up to 60 provided there are no other health issues but the cost will be considerably higher.
Because BMI is a ratio of height and weight it may not always seem a fair way to assess possible future health problems because some people are very muscular. Some insurers will ask for a persons waist measurement or dress size to determine if they are overweight or just well built and this can result in a more favourable decision.
Having a low BMI may sometimes cause a problem for life insurance companies because being underweight can also lead to potential health problems in later life.
Anyone with an average BMI who is not overweight and has no other medical conditions is likely to be offered life insurance at ‘standard’ rates and a lot of insurers can offer the same ‘standard’ rates to people with a slightly above average BMI who are only slightly overweight.
However, if there are other medical conditions combined with an above average BMI it could make finding competitive cover even harder.
We work closely with a firm of financial advisers who have direct access to the underwriters of life insurance providers and can discuss specific conditions to find a company that can offer the most competitive cover.
The advisers we put you in touch with will research the market, speak to underwriters and do what they can to find you cover without charging any fees.
Using the services of an experienced adviser to research the market can save a great deal of time and make finding cover a much less stressful exercise.
Once you have cover in place it’s worth knowing that some life insurance companies will review the price of cover if a previously overweight policy holder loses weight and reduces their BMI.