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You Can Get Affordable Senior Life Insurance Even if You're Overweight

Lenny Robbins
May 2, 2017 12:01:00 PM

The short answer is yes it's possible.  But I know you want to know more than that, so let me explain the ins and outs of getting life insurance if you are overweight. 

How Do Insurance Companies Look at Weight?

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Every insurance company looks at weight slightly differently. Most carriers have a height and weight chart.  Some use a BMI (body mass index) chart.  Some carriers are more lenient with their weight guidelines than others.  Many carriers have a different chart for men and women.  Many carriers have different charts for age 60 and over which is more lenient than for younger applicants.

I'm Overweight.  How Do I find the Best Deal?

As you might imagine, it would be hard to figure out which company will be best for you if you are overweight.  Let's make this easy.  If you speak with an independent life insurance agent they will have software that takes your height and weight into account.  Additionally, they can put in other medical information that might affect your quote to get you the most accurate idea of what you will pay for insurance and which carrier will be best.

What If I'm Losing Weight?

Losing weight is great for many reasons besides life insurance pricing.  But don't wait to get coverage.  (See below for Shouldn't I wait?)  Better to understand how weight is treated and use that to your advantage.

All policies requiring a medical exam will ask if you have lost more than 10 pounds in the last year (or 6 months, etc.).  If the answer is yes, they will add back half of the weight you have lost to get the weight they will use to underwrite your insurance.


  • You currently weigh 150 pounds
  • You have lost 30 pounds in the last year
  • Today your weight for insurance underwriting is 165 pounds

What If My Weight is Just on the Line?

Height and weight may be the first measurement the insurance company underwriter looks at, but there are many more that will be considered.  Having an independent agent means you have an advocate in your corner. 

Your agent may be able to go back to the carrier and see if they can bump you up by giving you credits for other measurements and lifestyle choices that are healthy.  Having an independent agent with an in-house underwriter can really help in cases like this.

Shouldn't I Wait Until I Lose All the Weight?

Probably not for a number of reasons!

  • What if you hit a plateau and stop losing weight?
  • What if you put more weight on?
  • What if you develop a new medical condition?  It could make your cost higher or even make you uninsurable.
  • How long will it take you to lose the weight?  You will be older.  Older translates into a more expensive premium.
  • None of us know what will happen tomorrow so protect your loved ones today. 

We suggest you put a policy in place now.  Then keep working on your weight.  When your weight is stable we can look at replacing this policy. 

Just remember, even if you can't get as much coverage as you would like right now, if the unthinkable were to happen, your loved ones will be happy you have insurance.  Ask anyone you know who's been through it, some insurance is better than no insurance.

What Kinds of Policies Can I Get?

Are you looking for term life or a permanent policy?

Depending on the amount of insurance you want, your age, build, and health will determine which of types of policies will be the best fit for you.

Your independent life insurance agent will show you which policy is best to fulfill your goals. Your budget will be another factor that determines what type of policy and how much coverage you get.

You can get a fully underwritten policy, either permanent or term. You can also get a policy that doesn't require a medical exam. These policies often have liberal weight guidelines.

What About Getting Quotes On-Line?

There are many on-line calculators that ask your height and weight before giving you a quote.  But the truth is that there are so many issues that impact your choice of policy type and company and premium that it's nearly impossible to get the best deal by yourself.

Buying life insurance is one of the most important purchases you will ever make.  You want to be educated and understand what you are buying and why it's the right choice.  There's no cost to you for having an agent.  The insurance policy prices are set and registered with your state Insurance Commissioner. 

The Bottom Line

Your weight is an important measurement for the insurance carrier underwriter.  An independent life insurance agent will make your search for the best policy easy.  They will help you get the lowest pricing for your policy as well.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using an independent life insurance agent if being overweight is one of your concerns and you want life insurance now.

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