September 21, 2020

feet on scales

How does Body Mass Index (BMI) affect a life insurance application?

Our client

We were recently approached by a 44-year-old lady who was hoping to arrange a £100,000 level term life insurance policy, to help cover her mortgage if she were to pass away before it is repaid in 13 years’ time.

However, she had been struggling to find a mortgage protection insurer who would accept her application in view of her ongoing medical issues.  The problem was that she had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 48, and was also taking medication for raised blood pressure, although this was well controlled.

Our process and advice

At Future Proof, we have access to specialist insurance companies who don’t deal directly with the public. They offer more specialised policies, designed to provide cover where other major insurers can’t.

Our research process involves us contacting many insurers to find out the best possible outcome for our clients, which avoids any nasty shocks later on during the underwriting process.

Would the insurer add a ‘loading’ to their standard premium? (this is an additional sum charged on top of their standard monthly premium to reflect their additional risk)

Might they decline the application? We want to avoid wasting time by making applications which may be declined.

Once we had discussed her requirements, we spoke to several of the UK’s leading insurers and discussed whether they would be prepared to offer cover, and if so, on what terms.

The outcome

Six insurers said they would decline her application.  Three said they would ‘load’ their standard premiums by 225 – 250% (making the cost of the cover unaffordable for her).

However, there was one insurer who indicated that they would add a ‘loading’, but only 125 per cent, subject her undergoing a medical examination and obtaining a report from her GP.

This meant we were able to give our client a clear indication of the ‘underwritten’ premium that she was likely to be offered. Therefore If she decided to make an application, there would be no unexpected surprises during the process.

She was happy with our feedback and wanted to proceed, so we helped her to complete the application over the phone which took around 15 minutes.

One happy client

Once the underwriting was completed, an offer of the cover was issued by the insurer.  We were delighted to have secured a £100,000 level term life or terminal illness policy for her over a term of 13 years, for a premium of just £28.66 per month.

Finding the right provider could save you thousands of pounds

The difference between the insurer we recommended and the next cheapest was approximately £14 a month.  To put it another way, this saved our client over £2,200 over the full term of the policy.

This really does demonstrate that if you have a high BMI which you think may affect a life or critical illness insurance application; you need to speak to a specialist adviser who can offer you expert advice.

The ‘cheapest’ deal is not necessarily going to end up actually being the cheapest or best deal for you, once the underwriting has been completed.

We have up to date knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of underwriting for all providers in the UK and are committed to thorough research so that you don’t have to. What’s more, our advice comes at no obligation and with no hidden costs.  You don’t pay us directly but we do get paid by the insurer if you decide to start a policy with them.

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online but we would recommend you talk to one of our advisers.

Call me back

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account to your circumstances, your medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof.

Call me back

Interested in related stories

Jon’s moving story – being diagnosed with cancer.

The protection industry pays out over £5.7bn in claims in 2019

What questions will an adviser ask me?

Why you can trust Future Proof.

The benefits of an index-linked insurance policy

Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Please note that all life, critical illness and income protection quotes will be subject to full medical underwriting and the premiums that you are quoted will not necessarily be the same as the final premium you are offered by the insurance company.