Obese? Fat Chance of Getting Life Insurance

Obesity has become increasingly prevalent in Australia in recent years, to such extent that more than 60% of Australians are considered to be overweight or obese.  Australia now has the dubious honor of being one of the fattest nations in the western world.

With the increased health risks that accompany obesity, it is not surprising that obtaining Life Insurance can be a little more tricky for those carrying excess weight. Obesity will sometimes lead to a loading (additional cost) being placed on an insurance premium because of the perceived higher probability of claim being made in the future.

Being overweight is a known risk factor for a variety of conditions such as

  • cardiovascular disease,
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • some forms of cancer. 

BMI (Body Mass Index) combined with waist circumference measurement is generally used by Insurance Companies to determine if you are overweight or obese at the time of application. A BMI between 18.5 to 24.9 is generally considered to be the ideal proportion of body weight to height. 

tape measure stomachIt is important to understand that BMI is not the only measurement of risk. People with a muscular physique such as athletes may often have a high BMI yet will most likely not be considered an insurance risk. Additional questionnaires, blood tests and medical check-up may be required by an insurer to further ascertain your general level of health and identify other health conditions that may affect your insurability.

If there is no indication of a medical issue as verified by a medical practitioner, even if your BMI is on the higher scale, your insurance provider may be able to offer you standard rates of premiums. However, if your medical examination results show that you pose additional health risks in the future, your insurer may choose to place a loading or an exclusion on your policy.

A benefit of going through this process at the outset is that the risk of providing you with insurance is assessed at this time and if you are offered insurance, the cover cannot be cancelled by the insurer in the future, regardless of your health situation in years to come. For example,  if you are offered a standard rate of insurance now, and your weight increases in years to come, you will always pay that standard rate.  If you are offered insurance with a 20% loading now but lose weight and maintain a healthy weight range into the future, you can apply for your loading to be reduced or even removed.

Regardless of your weight, life insurance can provide peace of mind to you and your family.  Life cover provides a lump sum payment to your family or dependents should you pass away.  Although losing a loved one is undoubtedly incredibly traumatic, life insurance can help with your family’s financial commitments into the future.

What You Can Do To Reduce Your Life Insurance Premiums If You Are Obese

If you have a BMI of 30 or over, you are considered to be obese.  This may result in heavy loadings on your life insurance policy.  Apart from the obvious benefits that will come from losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle, you may enjoy lower insurance premiums as well.  All you need to do is to notify your insurer of your changed weight and you can benefit from the lower standard rates.

If you have specific health conditions that you feel affect your eligibility for Life Insurance, contact the team at Make  A Difference Insurance.  Our Advisers have a wealth of experience in dealing with clients with specific health situations and can provide you with detailed advice regarding your personal circumstances.