Life insurance is an extremely important investment. In fact, it’s one of the best safety nets that you can purchase for your family. It’s one of the only ways that you ensure that your family will have the money that they need, regardless of what happens to you. We know that finding the perfect life insurance plan can be a long and difficult process, but we are here to help.
If you’re packing on a few extra pounds, or even more than just a few, you’re in good company. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control over 35% of Americans over age 20 are obese, while 69% are considered overweight. In this blog post I’ll cover how being overweight or obese can affect your life insurance rates.
In another article, I wrote about understanding life insurance health ratings, and I’ll give a quick recap here. When you apply for life insurance, you are typically eligible for one of four possible health ratings – Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, and Standard. As you can imagine, someone who gets approved at Preferred Plus, gets better pricing than someone applying for the same coverage who gets approved at Standard.
There are several factors that determine which health rating you will get. Factors include any pre-existing health conditions, your blood pressure, cholesterol, height & weight, as well as family medical history are just a few. Assuming that someone is otherwise very healthy, let’s take an example of a male and a female and see where you would fit in based on your height & weight in terms of health rating.
Life Insurance Ratings Based On Weight
The average male is about 5’9. At 5’9, you could be up to about 190lbs and get a Preferred Plus rate. Up to 210lbs that same male would get a preferred rate, up to 220lbs the rate would be Standard Plus, and up to about 230lbs the rate would be Standard.
The average female is about 5’4. At 5’4, she could be up to 145lbs and get preferred plus. Up to 180 would be preferred, up to 188 would be Standard Plus, and up to 195lbs she would get a Standard rate.
What happens if you are obese and don’t fit into one of these categories? You can still get approved for life insurance, however you will be paying higher rates – also called “Sub-Standard rates”. As I wrote about in the article on health and table ratings, life insurance companies use something called “table ratings”. These are either numbered from one to eight, or from letter A to H, and are reserved for those that don’t qualify for regular Standard rates, but can still get approved for coverage. If your weight doesn’t qualify at Standard pricing or better, you may be able to get approved, but at a higher substandard rate. Let’s go back to our example of the 5’9 male. One he reaches over 230lbs he can not qualify for Standard (also called regular) pricing anymore. Let’s say he is 259lbs – in this case, he would qualify for a Sub-standard Table 2 rating, paying about 25% higher rates than at Standard Pricing. Our 5’9 male, could probably still get approved up to about 330lbs or so – assuming he is generally in good health – although at 330lbs, he would be facing much higher rates for coverage.
High Risk Life Insurance
What if our 5’9 male was over 330lbs? In this case it is unlikely that he could get approved for a regular life insurance policy. We would have to look at high risk life insurance options, or buy a policy that would cover him for accidental death only. With a high risk policy – or a graded benefit policy – there would be an initial waiting period before the coverage was in effect.
Even if you’re considered overweight and high-risk, there are plenty of life insurance companies that are going to offer you affordable life insurance coverage. Each company is going to look at your weight differently,
With a graded benefit policy, there is a two-year period that starts once you purchase the life insurance plan. If you were to pass away within the first two years after buying the plan, the insurance company isn’t going to give you the payout from the plan.
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
Aside from getting the best type of plan, it’s vital that you get enough insurance coverage for your family. Not having enough life insurance protection can leave your family with leftover expenses and no money to cover those bills. Before you apply for insurance, you should calculate your life insurance needs.
There are several things that you should account for before applying. The first thing is your debt and any final expenses that you would leave behind. The next thing that you should calculate is your paycheck. Your life insurance plan should be able to replace your salary f something tragic were to happen to you.
Getting Affordable Coverage
There are several ways that you can improve your chances of getting life insurance or getting affordable rates for your protection. The best way that you can do this by improving your health. Before the insurance company is going to approve your application, they are going to require that you take a medical exam to see how your health is. There are several ways that you can do to improve your health and lower your insurance rates.
The first things that you should do is start a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Both of these can help you lose extra pounds and lower your cholesterol, which is going to translate into better rates from the insurance company.
Another way that you can get better rates is to eliminate any tobacco that you use. If you’re listed as a smoker on your life insurance application, you’re going to pay twice as much for life insurance versus someone that doesn’t smoke. If you want to save money on your life insurance, it’s time to kick the bad habit once and for all.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest insurance rates is to work with an independent insurance agent. Unlike a traditional insurance agent, our independent agents work with dozens of highly-rated companies across the nation. Because our independent insurance agents work with so many companies, we can bring all of the best insurance rates directly to you. Don’t waste your time calling all of the companies yourself, let us do all of the work for you.
Our agents have years of experience working with high-risk applicants, which includes anyone that is considered overweight or has high cholesterol. Don’t waste weeks calling different companies, let us bring the best insurance policies to fit your needs directly to you.
If you have any questions about life insurance or about getting coverage if you are overweight, please contact one of our agents today and we would be happy to answer those questions and ensure that you’re getting the best rates for your insurance protection.
Because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, you shouldn’t wait any longer to get the coverage that you and your family deserve. You never know when something tragic is going to happen, and not having life insurance is one of the worst mistakes that you could make for your family.
Hopefully you have a better understanding of how to quote yourself for coverage based on your height and weight. You can use our quote tool on this page to compare quotes. If you would like to speak with us so that we can go over your options and provide you with an idea of what to expect in terms of pricing for coverage, call us at 800-574-0245.