Everyone believes they should get the preferred plus rates that are advertised everywhere. “Di you know that John can have $500,000 of term life insurance for just $12 per month?”. The truth is that many qualify for those rates and get them, but for the average person with average health issues, we don’t.
Probably the quickest group to rebuff anything but a best rate approval on life insurance are those folks that are overweight and know they’re overweight, but simply don’t see it as an issue. It has been my experience that this group, more than any other, seems to have a firmer grasp on denial than most. They, inspite of knowing the link between obesity and other health issues, don’t believe it is fair for them to be charged more for life insurance than someone who is fit and taking care of themselves.
Now let me be clear about this. Using a body mass index calculator I appear to fall into the overweight category at 5’10 and 175#’s. But insurance companies aren’t abusive about the build issue. With most companies, even though I am clearly in the overweight category, would actually allow another 20#’s or so before they would bump me out of the best rates as long as I didn’t have any other health issues that would preclude that.
Having said that, 5’10, 220#’s is going to catch the prize with any company. They aren’t going to care if that is the same weight that you played football at in high school. They aren’t going to care if you work out five times a week or run five miles a day. They aren’t going to care if your health is perfect in all other aspects. Obesity is obesity and along with it comes substantially increased risk of health issues that have the ability to shorten your life span and assessing your mortality risk is what life insurance underwriters do.
So, the folks whose weight (or lack of height) doesn’t get them what they want, in general, will blow off whoever is honest enough to tell them what life insurance they can get for high BMI, and go on to another agent. Many are apparently so offended, in my experience, by honesty that they will never return a call again. It’s as if I called them fat or ugly or something, when all I really did was gave them an accurate quote. To them, possibly it feels as though I am just one more person in their lives who is treating them unfairly.
I don’t know what is going through their minds really, because they don’t call back to discuss it.
The truth is that the rates are fair based on build and that evenly the morbidly obese can put together a plan of life insurance that should fit into their budget. The challenge is to get over the fact that weight is an issue and it’s not going to change and work with your independent agent to find the company and the plan that will work best for you. There is not a cookie cutter interpretation of the weight issue from company to company and there are good rates to be found.
Bottom line. With obesity ranking high among the leading causes of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, underwriters can’t afford to ignore the struggles of life insurance for high BMI. Even if those health issues are currently present, you are at a greater risk than the average sized person of coming face to face with one, or more of them.