BMI graphic

Will my Body Mass Index (BMI) affect a life insurance application?

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure that uses your height and weight to calculate whether your weight is healthy.

BMI ranges

For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the range of 18.5 to 24.9.

For children and young people aged 2 to 18, the BMI calculation takes into account age and gender as well as height and weight.

If your BMI is:

below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range
between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range
between 25 and 29.9 – you’re in the overweight range
between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range

Source: NHS Choices July 2019


Risk factors

If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above the healthy range you are at a higher risk of the serious health problems linked to being overweight, such as type 2 diabetesraised blood pressureraised cholesterolheart disease and certain cancers.

Our process and advice

At Future Proof, we have access to specialist insurance companies who do not deal directly with the public. They offer more specialised policies which are designed to provide cover where other major providers can’t.

Our research process involves us contacting many insurers to find out the best possible outcome for our clients, which helps avoid any nasty shocks later on during the underwriting process.

Would the insurer add a ‘loading’ to their standard premium? (this is an additional sum charged on top of their standard monthly premium to reflect their additional risk)

Might they decline an application? We want to avoid wasting time by making applications which may be declined.

With BMI, all Insurance providers have their own underwriting criteria, so we contact them all to find the best option for our clients.

How does being overweight affect a life insurance application?

Insurance companies will take your height and weight into account when an application for life and/or critical illness is made. They offer non-standard or loaded terms to reflect their increased risk. In extreme cases, an application may even be declined.

When a premium is offered with a loading it is due to the additional risk that the insurer feels they are incurring. It’s worth noting that different insurers underwrite in different ways. If you have been offered cover with a loaded premium, or if your application has been declined, all is not lost. We can carry out a more detailed research and look at the many specialist policies that are available, albeit not directly to the public.

Our Client- we helped our client save over £14,000

We arranged life insurance for a 56-year-old male, non-smoker over a term of 24 years. He had a BMI of 36.4 and was also taking medication for high blood pressure. However, his most recent readings showed that this was well controlled.

The cheapest Insurer (on the face of it) said that they would ‘load’ his premium by 150%. The second cheapest quote came from an insurer who said they would ‘load’ the premium by 50%.

  • Insurer A quoted £51.24 a month for £100,000 of life cover which was loaded to £128 a month.
  • Insurer B quoted £53.51 a month for £100,000 of life cover which was loaded to £79.02 a month.

The difference in the total cost of the policies over 24 years between both insurers was £14,106.

We have current knowledge of the changing landscape of underwriting of all providers in the UK. Researching, so that you don’t have to. What’s more our advice comes with no obligation or hidden costs.  This means you don’t pay us directly but we do get paid by the insurer if you decide to start a policy with them.

All our case studies are based on actual client scenarios, many of which pre-date 2020.  We are confident that the acceptance decision made by the insurers would still be offered. Although it is likely that the rates will have changed, your own circumstances will determine whether what amount will be payable by you and would be fully discussed with you before any plan is implemented.

Please note that any premiums mentioned are indicative only and based on this specific case study/ example, which is shown for information purposes only. Your own circumstances will determine whether the amount payable is more or less than the figure quoted.

Interested in related stories?

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online we would recommend you talk to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account your circumstances, your medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof.


Links to third-party websites exist for information only and we accept no responsibility or liability for the information contained on any such sites.
The existence of a link to another website does not imply or express
endorsement of its provider, products or services by us or St. James’s Place.

Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

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