Life insurance underwriters look at all aspects of health when they are deciding at what rate to approve your application. The good news is they aren’t looking for models, but rather weight from a health standpoint….a much fairer expectation. I’m 5’9″ and while my weight seems to always hang around 165-170, most life insurance companies would approve me at their best rate class if my weight was 190, a few as high as 196. So, how much does weight affect life insurance rates, really?

So, what if I’m too heavy for the best rate class?

Let me put a little more detail to this so you can see how you fit in. I’m going to use Banner Life’s build chart for the first part of this and provide rates for a 50 year old male buying $500,000 of 20 year term life insurance. So Banner will allow someone 5’9″ to be 196 pounds for their best rate class. At that weight the term policy would cost $72 a month. If I weighed 210 pounds I would qualify for their preferred rate, the second best rate class, and the cost would be $86 a month. I would be in Banner’s third best rate class, standard plus, if I weighed 225 pounds. That rate would be $118 a month. If I weighed between 225 and 264 pounds I would be in their standard rate at a cost of 134.45 a month. Even though I would have a body mass index of 39, considered obese at 264 pounds, I could still get a very good rate for my life insurance.

What if I’m even too heavy for the standard rate class?

I’m not here to lecture about the potential health impacts of obesity, so let’s just stay on track with how life insurance underwriters will view your build. I will tell you that as they look at higher BMI’s they will be evaluating that with an eye on any health issues you might have. A few companies will approve life insurance up to a BMI of 50. At 5’9 that would be 338 pounds. That build is into dangerous territory for the health of your body. If you are in good health you can still be approved, but the rate will reflect the underwriting concern at about $450 a month. It might be prudent if you’re in that situation to buy a 10 year term at about $330 a month and look at your weight loss options. You might be surprised to see how much the cost can drop as you lose weight and keep it off.

If you have questions or want an accurate quote for your height and weight, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk