Life Insurance For Overweight People

One of the factors that a life insurance company considers when approving new applications is the the weight of the applicant. A life insurance company’s height and weight guidelines play a part in determining what health class a person can qualify for. If a person is too heavy for their height it can be difficult to qualify for Preferred Plus or Preferred rates. Depending on a person's weight, it can even be difficult to qualify for Standard rates if the insurance company has very strict guidelines.

Fortunately, there are a number of companies right now that have more relaxed height and weight guidelines. This means that even if you are overweight, you might still be able to qualify for standard (or even preferred) life insurance rates. If you've been told that you don't qualify for life insurance coverage, or you've been told that you are going to be "rated" or charged a higher rate because of your weight, chances are we can help. Because we are an independent agency, we shop the entire market of carriers and can assist you in finding a policy from one of the many companies that currently has relaxed height and weight guidelines.

The definition of "overweight" varies from company to company

life insurance for overweight people
Photo by Marcel Oosterwijk
Some companies are just a better fit for overweight people. Here is an example. Before I sat down to type this, I was working with a client who is 5" 10" tall and weighs 275 pounds. I checked my database of over 70 carriers and picked three highly-rated life insurance companies to use as an example here. The first carrier, Banner Life, would not issue my client a policy at Standard rates. Their upper limit is 234 pounds for standard rates. The second carrier, Minnesota Life, has an upper limit of 263 for standard rates. They won't issue a policy to my client at standard rates either. The third life insurance carrier in this comparison is a company called Fidelity Life. Checking their underwriting guidelines, I found that they will offer standard rates to people up to 284 pounds!

Think about this: that is a 50 pound difference between what these carriers consider "overweight". What this means for you is that you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your life insurance policy if you choose the right company for your needs.

Two notes about your weight and applying for life insurance coverage

Since we are on the subject of weight, it's worth noting a few things. First, be careful about trying to lose a significant amount of weight just prior to applying for a life insurance policy. Most insurance companies like to see that your weight has been stable for at least a year. A large weight loss (or weight gain) is a red flag that might give some underwriters reason to pause. And if you do lose weight prior to your application, it's likely that the insurance company's underwriter will factor that in when making you an offer or coverage.

Second, if you happen to be an athlete and your weight falls over the underwriting guidelines for your height, don't worry. The normal guidelines about life insurance for overweight people might not apply to you. We can (and often do) get exceptions for people who are "overweight" but in otherwise great health. The best thing to do if you are in this situation is to discuss it with your agent when he is taking your application so that he can guide you to the right company. Not all companies will make exceptions; we know the ones that do.