I'm Overweight: Is There Affordable Life Insurance?

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Millions of Americans are obese or overweight and the number is getting bigger every day. About 127 million adults in the United States are considered overweight, while 60 million more are obese and another nine million are severely obese, according to the non-profit American Obesity Association.

Obesity has a devastating effect on the nation's healthcare system, but it also plays a key role in how life insurance companies determine whether to offer coverage and how much to charge for a policy.

People who are overweight or obese may still be able to secure affordable term life insurance, whole life insurance, or another form of life insurance to help provide financially for their loved ones after they die. However, being overweight likely means they will pay more for coverage.

Being 10 pounds or so above an "ideal" weight is not usually a problem in terms of a person's life insurance rates, but if people are obese or have medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, they could have a hard time getting life insurance at the lowest rates.

The bottom line is, don't let being obese or overweight keep you from obtaining affordable term life insurance to help financially protect your family after your death.

Obesity is a Key Factor in Deciding Term Life Insurance Rates

Most insurance companies use a measurement called a Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine which rates apply to individual policyholders. Standards vary from company to company, but generally, to get the cheapest life insurance rates (also called Preferred Plus), a person must keep their BMI within recommended limits. A higher BMI likely pushes life insurance seekers into Preferred, Standard, or other higher rate classes, with cost more in premiums.

So it turns out that in addition to the countless health benefits, being in good shape can also can save you money on affordable term and whole life insurance!

Contact Your Life Insurance Carrier if You Shed Some Pounds

When someone loses a substantial amount of weight, the first thing they often do is run out to the mall to purchase a new outfit or two in their new, slimmer size. Well, add a call to your life insurance carrier to the list.

If you already have a term life insurance policy, your recent weight loss should be reported to your carrier and may result in a reduced premium. So feel free to brag about your recent weight loss – it could save you money on your term life insurance premiums.

Common Medical Problems Linked to Obesity

Being obese or overweight increases the risk of the following conditions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and may also cost individuals more in premiums for term or whole life insurance:

  • Cancer, including endometrial, colon, and breast
  • Heart attack and heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Liver disease
  • Osteoarthritis (degeneration of bone and cartilage in joints)
  • Respiratory problems, including sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes

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