Last Updated: April 2021
If you’re overweight or obese, you may be having a hard time finding affordable life insurance rates. If this is the case, the information in this article can help.
Below we’ll show you how life insurance companies view obesity, how to calculate your life insurance rates, what you can do to improve your rates, and the 3 best companies for life insurance for overweight people.
- Can Overweight or Obese People Get Life Insurance?
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Health
- Life Insurance Charts for Overweight or Obese People
- How Much More Does Life Insurance Cost for Obese People?
- Types of Life Insurance Policies for Overweight People
- The Best Life Insurance Companies for Overweight People
- How to Apply for Life Insurance for People who are Overweight
Can Overweight or Obese People Get Life Insurance?
Yes. There are always options for obese people to obtain life insurance, even if you’ve been turned down before.
Normal life insurance has between 12 and 16 health classes. Usually 4 standard classes, 8 substandard, then a set of smoker classes. Your BMI will initially put you into one of those classes. Other health complications and medical history will impact that initial health class assessment.
Once you get through the top 4 (preferred plus, preferred, standard plus, standard) then you get into the table ratings (see below). Table ratings are also called substandard classes. Table ratings typically range from Table 1 to Table 8 or Table A thru H.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Health
During the life insurance application process, the company is going to look at dozens of different factors to decide how much they are going to charge you for life insurance, or if they will accept your application.
One of the biggest factors that the company is going to look at is your weight. If you’re overweight, then you’ll be considered a “high-risk” applicant, and that’s going to make it more difficult to find affordable life insurance.
However, every life insurance company uses different height and weight charts.
While one company might offer you a Standard health classification, another company might offer you a health classification that would double your rates!
This is why it’s so important to survey every major carrier to see who would offer the best rates based on your height and weight.
Why Being Overweight Makes Your Insurance Rates Go Up
Insurance companies don’t assign rates willy-nilly. They meticulously collect data to support their pricing.
The Center for Disease Control and the National Health Institute both reference studies correlating life-threatening diseases with higher BMI.
These health risks of being obese include:
- Heart disease
- Increased risk of stroke
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder disease
- Increased likelihood of gallstones
- Sleep apnea
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Pregnancy problems
An increased risk of disease translates to life insurance companies charging higher premiums.
Because obesity is directly linked to several health complications, insurance companies consider this high risk life insurance, and charge more to compensate for the extra risk of someone passing away earlier than their expected lifespan.
Life Insurance Charts for Overweight or Obese People
Our instant life insurance quote engine doesn’t actually ask for your height and weight to factor it into your quotes.
So, if you’d like to estimate your rates without speaking with an agent, here’s how you can do that.
1. See where your height and weight fit in on this chart
|Height||Table 1||Table 2||Table 3||Table 4||Table 5||Table 6||Table 7||Table 8|
An example of how to use the chart above:
- If you’re 5’10, 308 lbs, you would qualify for “Table 6” rates.
- If you’re 6’2, 370 lbs, you would qualify for “Table 8”.
Based on your table, you will get that percentage added above normal rates.
- Table 1: + 25%
- Table 2: + 50%
- Table 3: + 75%
- Table 4: +100% (2x the Standard rates)
- Table 5: + 125%
- Table 6: + 150%
- Table 7: + 175%
- Table 8: + 200% (3x the Standard rates)
**This is to give you ballpark rates. The build chart is for 1 of our more lenient overweight life insurance companies and the Table Ratings above don’t apply to every company.
2. Run “Standard” or “Regular” rates on our life insurance quote engine
Standard & Regular are the same health classification.
Once you get those quotes, then add the Table Ratings in there.
5’10, 295 lbs with “Standard” quotes for $100/mo.
- This would put you at a “Table C” on the build chart above or + 125%
- $100 x 125% = $125
- Add that $125 to the $100/mo. quote
- Your premiums would be $225/mo
If this is confusing or you want exact life insurance quotes (as opposed to ballpark rates), give us a call.
How Much More Does Life Insurance Cost for Obese People?
This depends on how obese you are. Each health class increases premiums by 25%.
For example, the average man in the US is 5’ 9” tall. If he takes out a $250,000 policy for a 30-year term at 45 years old and is in standard health (one above table ratings), he is looking at $87.29 each month.
If you look at this same man, same policy amount based on a 25% increase for every additional table rating, his rates might look something like this.
|Health Class||Sample Premium|
|Standard (+0%)||$87.29 / month|
|Table 1 (+25%)||$109.12 / month|
|Table 2 (+50%)||$130.94 / month|
|Table 3 (+75%)||$152.76 / month|
|Table 4 (+100%)||$174.58 / month|
|Table 5 (+125%)||$196.41 / month|
|Table 6 (+150%)||$218.23 / month|
|Table 7 (+175%)||$240.05 / month|
|Table 8 (+200%)||$261.87 / month|
You can also use an instant quotes tool with your potential health class to see what your rates may look like.
How BMI Impacts Life Insurance Rates
In almost all cases, a higher BMI will mean higher rates.
Each company has height & weight charts listing the maximum weight for each health class.
Some companies separate men and women into different categories. The male weight limits for each health class tend to be a little higher than the women. Some companies have unisex charts. These offer advantages for heavier women who might otherwise fall into a higher category in female-only charts.
There are other factors aside from BMI and gender that play into how BMI impacts life insurance. Your age is a big one. Your build is the other.
Studies show that seniors carrying a little extra weight tend to be healthier and live longer than their thinner counterparts. This has to do with frailty. Insurance companies worry that seniors with a lower BMI may be frail instead of lean.
Remember that insurance companies err on the side of caution until proven otherwise. On paper, your weight might look high to insurance companies. They will assume it’s obesity until you can get to your health exam and prove your extra weight is from muscle. Professional athletes encounter this problem. People with athletic hobbies like bodybuilding or obstacle races can also face this issue.
If your body composition is muscle instead of fat, make sure to talk with your insurance agent about it. They can let you know what sort of things you need from your doctor to get exceptions from the insurance company.
Types of Life Insurance Policies for Overweight People
There are a number of types of policies to choose from, but depending on your weight and health, you may have limited options. Below are the most common types of life insurance that we recommend for obese people.
No Medical Exam Life Insurance
If you want to bypass the exam and find a no exam life insurance policy, we do have a life insurance carrier that will follow these height/weight limits:
Height — Weight
- 5’1 — 257 lbs
- 5’2 — 266 lbs
- 5’3 — 274 lbs
- 5’4 — 283 lbs
- 5’5 — 292 lbs
- 5’6 — 301 lbs
- 5’7 — 310 lbs
- 5’8 — 319 lbs
- 5’9 — 329 lbs
- 5’10 — 339 lbs
- 5’11 — 348 lbs
- 6’0 — 358 lbs
- 6’1 — 368 lbs
- 6’2 — 378 lbs
- 6’3 — 389 lbs
- 6’4 — 399 lbs
This is the best height/weight chart on the market for no medical exam life insurance coverage.
Although this requires no medical exam, they will look at your medical records. They’ll write 10, 15, 20, and 30-year term life insurance up to $250,000. If you need more coverage, you’ll want to look at policies with a medical exam.
This type of coverage is a little more expensive than traditional coverage where you take the medical exam. If you’re looking for convenience and fall within the life insurance build charts above, then give us a call and we’ll provide the rates for this company.
One advantage of these no exam life insurance policies is that you can be approved much faster than you can with a traditional insurance policy. Rather than waiting weeks or month, you can typically get approved in days.
Graded Death Benefit Life Insurance
If you don’t fall anywhere on the build charts above or if you do fall somewhere on the weight charts above and have some moderate to severe health issues, you’ll have to buy a graded death benefit policy.
A graded life insurance policy is a high risk life insurance policy. The difference between a graded death benefit and a traditional life insurance policy is a 2 year waiting period for benefits. This means during the first 2 years of the policy, your beneficiaries would receive the premiums you paid into the policy plus interest (typically 10%) if you passed away. After 2 years, you have full coverage.
Graded death benefit policies have more lenient underwriting than the weight charts above and they’re less expensive than a guaranteed life insurance policy. On top of that, there’s no medical exam, just an application to complete.
Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
In the worst-case scenario, you’d apply for a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy.
Also called guaranteed issue life insurance, this is the most expensive type of life insurance, but usually, you can avoid it. It is designed for people who have severe health problems like serious cancer.
It is a last resort policy, but if you have been denied on other types of life insurance, this is still a viable option.
The Best Life Insurance Companies for Overweight People
Before we get into discussing why they are the best, let’s take a minute to briefly introduce our top 3 best life insurance companies for obese people.
When it comes to finding the best overweight life insurance company, there are a number of factors that should be taken into account in order to find the best provider for you and your family’s needs.
- Financial History
- Claims History
- Life Insurance Customer Reviews
- Best Life Insurance Rates for Obese People
When compared to other companies, each of our top 3 carriers has a very healthy combination of dependability, low rates, customer satisfaction, and good claims history.
|Company||J.D. Power Rating||Customer Satisfaction|
|Principal Life||789||4.1 / 5|
|Banner Life||748||4.2 / 5|
|MetLife||777||4.3 / 5|
Principal Life Insurance Company has an A+ from AM Best for superior financial strength. They offer an enormous range of insurance products. Plus, their staff is quick to help with any questions.
Principal uses unisex build charts, an advantage for heavier women. They also split their charts into three age categories: 20 – 44, 45 – 64, and 65+. This coincides with studies that correlate a little more weight in older people with improved health and longevity.
Banner Life is one of the best life insurance companies for obese people because of the superior rates they are able to offer for people in health classes that are less than standard.
Across 10, 20, and 30-year term policies, and whole life policies, Banner Life consistently has some of the best life insurance rates for obese people. Banner life insurance reviews also have a history of being outstanding in the industry.
MetLife (officially Metropolitan Life) is a big player in the insurance world. They have a stadium named after them and the rights to use Snoopy in their advertising. Like the other two companies on our favorites list, AM Best gives them an A+ for superior financial stability.
MetLife tries to do everything. And they succeed at it. They split their build chart into male and female for the best rate classes, but switch to unisex in Standard and Table health classes. Their weight limits are not quite as generous as Principal, but still some of the best you will find.
MetLife life insurance reviews also speak for themselves, constantly keeping them as one of the best life insurance companies for obese people and many other health classifications.
How to Apply for Life Insurance for People who are Overweight
Don’t let being overweight stop you from acquiring life insurance. You can still find affordable options.
Here are a few steps to take to lower your rates.
- Compare quotes from multiple companies. Each will have a different rate chart for obese people, so you need to find the one that gives you the lowest rate.
- Choose the right type of policy. If you can qualify for a fully underwritten term life insurance, you’ll get lower rates than if you immediately apply for guaranteed issue.
- Adjust your death benefit. Most overweight people will lower the amount of coverage they purchase so it fits into their budget. Some coverage is better than nothing at all.
If you’re ready to start the process, pick up your phone and call us today to compare overweight life insurance quotes from all the best companies. We’ll be able to recommend a policy specific to your situation.