Simple Life Insurance Guide: Obesity

Regardless of what circumstances led to a person’s physical condition, living with obesity profoundly impacts an individual’s life. Whether it be long, strenuous work hours that make it challenging to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and participate in regular physical activities, a pre-existing medical condition, medical trauma, and/or a genetic predisposition to the condition, people who live with obesity are often left feeling trapped in their position. And while entirely reconfiguring lifestyle choices to lose weight may feel like an uphill battle, there are alternative ways for people to alleviate obesity-related stressors, namely, by both financially and emotionally securing the futures of those who are nearest and dearest to them. Navigating the expansive field of life insurance as an everyday person is daunting; however, with the guidance of agencies like EMG, people with obesity can acquire protection for themselves and their loved ones with ease.

Recently EMG was presented with a case where a woman about forty years of age was recently denied life insurance coverage due to her ongoing battle with obesity. Fortunately, despite weighing well beyond what her doctor considers medically healthy, the woman is now protected with a substantial life insurance policy.

Being a $140,000-a-year-earning engineer, mother of three, and wife is no easy feat. To obtain and maintain such success, she has to work demandingly long hours to provide a high level of care and comfort for her family. As a non-smoker who is only on one prescription for hypertension, overall, she has a very clean bill of health. Genetically, there is no family history of health conditions. Both of her parents—who also struggle with their weight—are still living. 

Above all, the woman wants financial stability and long-term protection for her children. She’s aware that she’s not getting any younger or healthier, and wants to secure coverage for her family as soon as possible.

In years past, the woman felt sufficiently covered with term insurance and group life insurance from work. However, she recently felt the need to increase coverage to provide more for her family.

In a short amount of time, EMG secured affordable and improved coverage despite previous rejections. With her specific case, EMG determined a split-coverage plan (term and permanent insurance, with a death benefit at her desired amount) was the best strategy for her needs. This route secured a budget that she could afford with young children at home. It also enabled her to extend the term coverage through conversion to a permanent plan, should she need to do so in the coming years. She now sleeps with peace of mind knowing her family’s financial future is secured.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Obesity and Life Insurance:


Can I get life insurance if I’m overweight?

People who struggle with obesity are often able to qualify for life insurance. While some carriers will decline coverage to people who are extremely overweight, there are options within certain height and weight ranges. Depending on a person’s build, there are various factors insurance carriers consider that might impact a person’s eligibility for coverage.

Do life insurance companies check your weight?

Yes, it is standard for life insurance companies to request height and weight information to determine whether or not someone is a high-risk applicant.

How does weight affect life insurance rates?

Weight is one of many health-related factors an insurance carrier considers. Typically, insurance carriers will review a person’s historical weight gain, as large weight gain can aggravate several serious medical conditions.

Can I get term life insurance if I am obese?

Insurance carriers don’t have specific underwriting manuals that correspond with different life insurance products. Oftentimes, you can still qualify for term life insurance if you are overweight. This depends on a variety of other medical factors and it is best to contact a professional to get a better understanding of your specific situation. 

What is considered morbidly obese?

Individuals who weigh more than 80-100 Lbs. above their ideal body weight are typically considered morbidly obese. An ideal body weight calculation is utilized to determine whether or not a person’s body mass index (BMI) is at a healthy level. 

Does BMI affect life insurance?

Yes, a person’s BMI directly impacts the rates of their life insurance premium. Typically, The higher the BMI, the higher the cost for coverage. High BMIs indicate that a person is at an increased risk of other diseases, which causes concerns for insurance companies.

What is the maximum BMI for life insurance?

There is no industry-wide standard for a maximum BMI. Each carrier has unique underwriting guidelines that they use to determine rates.

What kind of life insurance policies can I get as someone living with obesity?

As long as a person with obesity qualifies, they can obtain life insurance coverage for any type, amount, or length that they desire. Carriers tend to look at permanent cases more favorably. Oftentimes, if a client is serious and motivated about coverage, they will seek permanent coverage as a solution for their insurance needs. That being said, it’s important to note that when a person is at a certain weight, carriers might be unable to offer the level of life insurance coverage a person desires.

What causes obesity?

There can be many causes of obesity. A person’s genetic history of weight struggles tends to be a factor, as family-wide issues with obesity and high BMIs are well documented. Certain pre-existing medical conditions can also lead to obesity. And finally, a person’s lifestyle choices—smoking, alcohol consumption, an imbalanced diet, and physical inactivity—can cause obesity.

What information should I know and gather in preparation to obtain life insurance as someone living with obesity?

To be well prepared, a person who struggles with obesity should obtain the following information:

  1. Pre-existing conditions, in as much detail as possible
  2. A comprehensive collection of their medical data and test results
  3. Any current treatments or medical prescriptions

Remember: There’s hope for obtaining life insurance with obesity!

Regardless of what roadblocks and challenges obesity forces someone to overcome throughout their journey, there are still ways for someone with obesity to protect both themselves and their loved ones. By systematically compiling an in-depth narrative of a client’s medical history, comparing various carriers’ coverage options, and reviewing routine lab work to further prove their case, EMG has developed a track record of securing some of the most appropriate and affordable plans possible for each individual.

Obesity might prompt a person to make many compromises throughout their life, but with the professional guidance and support of EMG’s brokers, securing life insurance and protecting their family’s future doesn’t have to be one of them. Contact EMG Insurance Brokerage to get the support you need today.