Most Americans today are overweight. So if you find yourself with extra pounds and looking for life insurance, you are in a very similar situation with most people who purchase a life insurance policy. In this article I’ll provide some ideas of what type of health rating – and in turn pricing you can expect if you are overweight and looking for life insurance. I’ll discuss rates if you have had gastric bypass surgery, and what happens if you have recently lost a significant amount of weight. I’ll provide some specific examples of pricing as well. You can compare term life insurance rates right below this paragraph, or keep reading for more on overweight life insurance.
Overweight Life Insurance – Can I get Approved?
A common question that people have is can I get approved for life insurance if I’m overweight or obese? The answer is that most people who are overweight or even obese can get approved for life insurance. When we do see people who are overweight get declined, it is more likely as a result of other medical conditions and not just weight that is a factor.
Understanding Life Insurance Health Ratings
To better understand pricing for a life insurance policy, you first need to understand life insurance health ratings. Life insurance companies price your policy based on the type of coverage you are getting (for example a 10 year term is cheaper than 20 year term), the amount of coverage, and your health. For Non Smokers there are 4 Health Ratings that are at a Standard Rating or better, and then about 10 ratings below standard. The main 4 ratings are Preferred Plus, Preferred,Standard Plus and Standard. Smokers have 2 main ratings – Preferred Tobacco and Standard Tobacco.
There are also ratings that are lower than Standard – called Substandard ratings. People with pre-existing health conditions, like diabetics, or those that are overweight by more than 50 pounds would get substandard ratings. Substandard ratings range from Table Letter A-J (or some life insurance companies use Table 1-10). The higher the number, the higher the price of the policy.
To better illustrate the examples of health ratings, let’s take an example of a 40 year old male and provide an example of pricing.
We’ll take a 40 year old Male applying for a 20 year $250,000 policy. We’ll look at various weights to show the difference in pricing.
Let’s say our 40 year old male is 5’10. Let’s take various weights and see how the pricing changes:
5’10 180 Pounds – Can qualify for Preferred Plus – 20 year $250,000 policy = $18 monthly
5’10 205 Pounds – Can qualify for Preferred – 20 year $250,000 = $23 monthly
5’10 220 Pounds Can qualify for Standard Plus – 20 year $250,000 = $30 monthly
5’10 230 Pounds Can qualify for Standard – 20 year $250,000 = $37 monthly
5’10 250 Pounds – Substandard Table 2 – 20 year $250,000 = $41 monthly
5’10 300 Pounds – Substandard Table 4 – 20 year $250,000 = $53 monthly
5’10 350 Pounds – Substandard Table 8 – 20 year $250,000 = $77 monthly
The example above illustrates the difference in pricing based on the health rating you would get from the life insurance company. In the above example if the 40 year old would want a policy without a medical exam and was 5’10, he would need to be below 265 pounds to qualify.
Overweight Life Insurance – Losing Weight
If you are considering losing weight to save on your life insurance rates, here are some tips. Losing 5 or 10 pounds to potentially get a better rating could make sense and might save you money. However life insurance companies will ask you if you have lost more than 10 or 20 pounds over the last year – if you have they may give you the average of your previous weight and existing weight – because many people gain weight back after weight loss. If they order copies of your doctor’s records they will also see your previous weight and will take that into consideration as well.
Life Insurance with Gastric Bypass Surgery
If you have had gastric bypass surgery, most life insurance companies will require that you wait 6 months post surgery before you can get approved for coverage. In cases of Gastric Bypass you are likely to see a Standard rating, or possibly a substandard table rating.
Life Insurance Rates
Life insurance rates aren’t just based on the proportion of your height/weight. Factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, any medical conditions past and present are taken into account as well as your family history (for example cardiovascular disease in one of your parents).