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Have you been refused Life Insurance due to high BMI?

Life Insurance for people with a high BMI ratio is far more common than you might think. BMI scores are arguably outdated and are not a fair representation of an individuals health. We have had numerous clients apply for Life Insurance who receive a rated premium due to their BMI, despite the fact that they are extremely fit individuals, this includes bodybuilders and health enthusiasts who have more muscle than fat!

The following table provides a general summary of the types of ratings that may be experienced by individuals applying for Life Insurance.

BMI Life Insurance*
Under 15 Usually unavailable but may be possible under a specialist policy
15-17 Usually non-standard terms (price increase)
18-33 Usually standard terms
34-37 Usually non-standard terms (price increase) but may standard terms depending on age
38-49 Usually non-standard terms (price increase)
50-60 Currently unavailable on the standard market but can often be sourced with a specialist insurer

If you have a BMI between 18 and 33 most insurance providers will class you in the "healthy" category. As long as there are no other medical disclosures, hazardous occupations or significant family history, an application for Life Insurance should be accepted at standard terms.

Life Insurance for those with a high BMI

Life Insurance for individuals with a BMI of over 33 becomes more tricky as the insurance application will most certainly have to be directed to specific insurance providers who underwrite higher BMIs more favourable. The insurer that you approach for Life Insurance may consider factors such as family medical history and your waist size when underwriting your application. If accepted the application might be subject to a special rating, whereby your policy premiums are increased. As a general rule of thumb the older you are the more leniency is given on BMI, for example a 60 year old may still get normal terms with a BMI of 35 with some providers.

If you have a BMI of 50 or over you will need to place your application for Life Insurance with a specialist insurer. It is possible to apply for Life Insurance when you have a BMI up to 60, but you should be prepared that your policy premiums will be increased in relation to the perceived health risks associated with your weight.

Life Insurance for those with a low BMI

Most people do not consider that there can be problems applying for Life Insurance if an individual has a low BMI. A BMI under 18 can be perfectly normal for some individuals but it can also be related to some eating disorders and to individuals who have undergone amputations. If there is an underlying medical condition that causes your low BMI you are likely to see your policy premiums increased.

What can I do to improve my chances of getting lower premiums?

The only way for you to get lower premiums for your Life Insurance is to aim to get your BMI within a "healthy" zone. It can be worthwhile to secure Life Insurance at your current BMI and then if you are able to improve your weight review your cover to see if cheaper premiums are available.

At no point should you lie or 'bend the truth' about your height or weight on your insurance application. If you provide false details about your height and weight the insurer will consider the policy void from inception.

What should I do now?

Please feel free to call one of our advisers on 0800 567 7450, email us at or request a quote online here. We'll be happy to give you indicative costs before you commit to anything.

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The more information that you can provide us about your health conditions, hobbies, travel and/or occupation the better as this will help us to provide the most accurate indications of price.

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