For those that do read my blog, you might be thinking that I’ve made it my mission in life to point out everything wrong with obesity. And to some extent I have. But I hope the reason isn’t lost in all of the information I provide.
I care deeply about people’s lives and their ability to protect their families with life insurance. When I talk about all of the problems that obesity can cause, and that being one of the reasons that underwriters have build charts and use them, I don’t want to leave the impression that if you are overweight you can’t get insurance.
I recently followed two reality weight loss shows in this forum for two reasons. First I wanted to have another reason to talk about weight and the problems it could cause. Second, between the two shows there were initially 30 participants. These were all people who, anyway you sliced it, were obese. At the very beginning, out of 30 obese and morbidly obese people, only 2 were uninsurable due to weight. By the second week of the programs, those two had joined the ranks of the insurable.
With each passing week I tracked the weight lost and the downward impact it had on their life insurance rates. They were excited about their weight loss and I was excited for them. They were regaining their lives and at the same time proving their insurability could be improved.
28 out of 30 really big people were insurable from the get-go. They were at higher rates than someone at the pinnacle of the build chart, but they were insurable.
That brings me to kind of a pet peeve of mine. People who can’t get the best rates, the Superman rates, tend to not buy insurance. Makes me wish I had the ability to bring them back from the grave to explain to their family that, “well, I could have bought insurance and made your life a lot easier, but they wanted to charge me more just because I weighed 320 pounds instead of 180. I didn’t think it was fair so, well, you’re just going to have to suck it up and get by”.
Bottom line. Life insurance may cost more because of your weight but weight alone will rarely make you uninsurable. If you can’t afford what you would like to have, at least buy as much term insurance as you can afford and then get to work on your weight. If you lose the weight you will be able to get more insurance for the same money. If you die trying, you left your family something, which is always, always, better than nothing.