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Life Insurance

Overweight Life Insurance applications can often be accepted at standard terms up to a BMI score of 33-36 (depending on age), provided that you approach the correct insurance provider; some insurers will increase prices from a BMI of 30. When considering Life Insurance, overweight individuals with a BMI of over 36 will likely look at price increases on their policy.

When you apply for Life Insurance, high BMI scores between 36 and 49 will typically be the stage at which insurers start to increase policy premiums. Insurers tend to provide more favourable results to older individuals with a high BMI. When you have a BMI of 50 or over you will need to place your application with a specialist insurance provider who may consider the cover, but you are likely to see the policy premiums increased highly or the policy declined.

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Critical Illness Cover

When applying for Critical Illness Cover, overweight individuals can often secure policies up to a BMI score of 45. A high BMI will generally start to affect Critical Illness policy premiums once you reach a score of 33 with many insurers depending upon your age; some insurance providers increase premium prices from BMI scores of 30 onwards. In general you will find that insurers will provide standard terms to individuals with a BMI of 33 or under (above 17).

If you have a BMI of 45 or over Critical Illness Cover is not currently available with standard insurance providers, however insurers regularly change their underwriting guidelines so it is worthwhile giving us a call to see if acceptance criteria has changed. Whilst this may seem frustrating it is due to the fact that having quite a high BMI places you at at greater risk of developing one of the conditions listed on the critical illness claims set.

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Income Protection

Income Protection applications for people who have a high BMI will generally follow similar underwriting guidelines to that of a Critical Illness policy. Ordinary terms will probably be available with BMIs under a score of 36 (above 17) depending upon your age and the cause of your excess weight; again, some insurers will place an increase on policy premiums from when a BMI is 30 or above. A BMI of 45 or over will probably result in your application being declined with all standard insurers, but it may be possible that a specialist insurance provider will consider your application on a case by case basis.

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For those with a high BMI who are struggling to secure Income Protection a different policy called Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover could be more suitable. An Accident, Sickness and Unemployment policy pays out a monthly replacement for your income for a short time period (between 12 and 24 months). You can make a claim on the policy if you are unable to work due to injury, disability or involuntary redundancy. The policies are not medically underwritten so your BMI will play no part in the acceptance terms of your cover. However if you do make a claim on the policy any inability to work due to existing medical conditions (your high BMI) will not be accepted.

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Possible Effects on Lifestyle

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have a high BMI include:

  • Low self esteem
  • Difficulty walking
  • Cellulite
  • Acne
  • Side effects of prescription medicine

Medications and Treatments

  • Balanced diet
  • Counselling
  • Methylcellulose (Celevac Tablets)
  • Orlistat (Xenical)

For more information on specific health conditions, pastimes, occupations and countries please select here:

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Please feel free to call us on 0800 567 7450 and one of our qualified insurance advisers will be happy to assist you.

Summary definition

Most medical professionals use what is known as a BMI score to assess an individuals height to weight ratio, to determine how "healthy" they are. General guidance suggests that once a person reaches a BMI score of 25 to 30, that they are considered overweight and higher scores than this are given more serious classifications such as obesity. For the purpose of this page and present insurance underwriting guides, a person is considered to have a high BMI for insurance applications when their score reaches 30 or above.

Other Services Available

You can apply for any of the following services through ourselves

* Please note that accident and sickness cover will likely exclude pre-existing health conditions.
** These services are placed with our selected partners.

Further Reading and Research