Your build – the relationship between height and weight – is a key determinant for your life insurance premium. Insurance companies will use this and your age, first and foremost, to determine your risk classification.
A life insurance company will access your entire health profile when underwriting you for an insurance policy, which is why you need to provide information regarding your health history, any current medications and hazardous recreational activities.
To be considered for the best possible rates, it is important to keep your height to weight ratio at or near the ideal range for your body type – also known as your Body Mass Index (BMI).
The National Institutes of Health provides a free online BMI calculator, which will generate your BMI number for you.
Your number will be grouped into one of five risk categories – underweight, normal, overweight, obese and morbidly obese.
- BMI < 18.5 is underweight
- BMI 18.5 to 25 is normal
- BMI 25 to 30 is overweight
- BMI > 30 is obese
- BMI > 40 is morbidly obese
Insurance rates may be less expensive for women as they have longer life expectancies than men as recent studies have shown that women outlive men by an average of five years. This is because women tend to develop health conditions – such as cardiovascular disease – in their 70s and 80s, where men develop them in their 50s and 60s.
However, life insurance rates are determined on a case-by-case basis, so it is still possible for a man to secure a lower rate than his female counterpart.
Your premium price will be based off the weight taken during your medical exam.