February 26, 2018

I’m overweight – can I get life insurance if I have a BMI of 49?

Why do insurance companies ‘discriminate’ against me because I’m overweight?

This is a question we are frequently asked.

Will I be able to get cover – even if I’ve previously been declined?

Unfortunately, we don’t set the underwriting policies for the UK’s insurance companies (we wish we did). What we can do, however, is use our expertise to help you find the most affordable cover if you are overweight.

We have helped people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of up to 55 arrange cover, even if they had previously been declined before coming to us for help.

We use our in-depth knowledge of the protection market to make sure we recommend the right company for you. Plus, we help you to apply and obtain the best possible terms for the most competitive monthly premium.

Check your BMI on the NHS website HERE

If, once you’ve read this case study, you’d like to talk through your situation, please call 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

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Our process

When a client has a pre-existing condition or has suffered a serious illness in the past, the first thing we do is pick up the phone. We speak to Underwriters at many of the UK’s leading Insurance companies. Discussing all of our client’s medical history helps us to identify the best company to apply to. This also means we avoid applying to companies who will end up being too expensive or worse, decline an application. By completing our research thoroughly, we are able to avoid wasting time and obtain the best terms possible for our clients.

Why do insurers ‘load premiums’ or even decline applications in some cases?

A loading is applied where the applicant pays a percentage or fixed additional charge on top of their standard premium.

In essence, insurance providers believe that being overweight can cause related health issues and can lead to cancer as well as cardiovascular conditions.

Ultimately being overweight can shorten our lives. This, in turn, means the risk to the insurance company increases, hence why they charge a premium on top of their standard premiums. In some cases, the insurer can decline an application altogether if their risk is deemed too large.

Cancer Research Uk say  ‘Being overweight or obese is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, more than 1 in 20 cancer cases are caused by carrying excess weight.

The risk is higher the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight for.’ Sept 2018.

Being obese as an adult is linked to 13 different types of cancer – Cancer Research UK.

 Our Client 

We were contacted by Mrs T, a 26-year-old non-smoker.

She wished to arrange a life insurance policy to offer financial security to her 4-year-old daughter should she pass away.  Mrs T was frustrated after having been turned down by a number of insurance companies before approaching us.

Although Mrs T was in overall good health, she had been declined life insurance due to her height and weight ratio.  Mrs T told us that she was 5’ 6’’  tall and weighed around 21 stone and 7 lbs.

This gave her a Body Mass Index of 48.5 which is beyond the limits of most ‘High Street’ insurance companies.

Mrs T felt that a policy offering a sum assured of £150,000 over 25 years would meet her requirements. The insurance provider initially indicated the premium would be approximately £83.00 a month. This was beyond Mrs T’s budget but we recommended that she apply for the policy anyway, enabling us to then reduce the sum assured as necessary to fit her affordable budget.

A good outcome

We submitted an application with Mrs T and the insurance company arranged a medical.  A nurse contacted Mrs T and booked an appointment in the privacy of her home. The medical took about 35 minutes and the fee was cover by the insurance provider. Applicants do not pay the medical fee even if the application does not proceed.

The medical report showed that Mrs T was in good health which meant that the insurer was able to offer the full sum insured of £150,000 for a standard monthly cost of £23.93. July 2019

Mrs T was more than pleased that we managed to arrange the life insurance she wanted, within her budget.

Client ref: 134321152

Please note that any premiums mentioned are indicative only and based on this specific case study/ example, which is shown for information purposes only. Your own circumstances will determine whether the amount payable is more or less than the figure quoted.

Next steps

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

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.

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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.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

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