I have often written about the downside of life insurance underwriting of weight issues, but there actually an upside. Back when I was posting weekly about the reality TV shows Fat March and Biggest Loser, while I did point out the health issues that can be caused by obesity, I also provided some very good news when it comes to the prices that a few companies offer on people with weight issues.
Let’s face it. We live in a heavier America than I grew up in. That being a reality drives home the need for affordable life insurance for those who are overweight, even obese, but really don’t have any health issues. Gaining weight doesn’t generally impact your health adversely for some time. It is the years of your body working to accommodate all the extra pounds that eventually takes it’s toll. So, before that happens, or while you’re in the process of getting your weight under control, consider putting life insurance in force.
To kind of put this into context, let’s assume a 50 year old male is looking for $250,000 of 20 year term insurance. No health issues, but his build is 6′, 260#. With most companies that will be approved at a standard rate based on the average build chart. This surprises clients occasionally. Yes, companies have build charts and yes, your build does impact your rate class.
The best rate available for our client is $510 annually with Savings Bank Life. West Coast Life isn’t far behind at $542.50. But what if his weight happens to be 280#? Because you have knocked the back wall out of Savings Bank’s build chart their rate would jump to $735 annually. West Coast Life would still be at $542.50.
This is another one of those times, you guessed it, when you really need to have an independent agent who can shop all of the companies and find out where to accommodate both your budget and those extra pounds. Once you have that coverage in force, work on your weight and let your agent work on acquiring lower rates as you slim down.
Bottom line. Insurance is going to cost you more if you are overweight than the rates you see advertised, but don’t let that stop you from doing the right thing. Get coverage in force and know that your responsibilities are taken care of.