Did you know that each life insurance company has its own height and weight criteria used to determine your life insurance rate?
It’s true, and this guide gives you weight chart information to help you choose the best company for your life insurance underwriting.
Quick Overview for Build
These links take you right to the sections that interest you.
- Life Insurance Weight Charts
- Overweight and Underweight Tips
- Denied Life Insurance Due to Weight
- BMI Calculator
We know the guidelines and will show you the best life insurance companies based on your individual build.
Life Insurance Weight Charts
Life insurance companies publish build charts in the underwriting guidelines made available to insurance agents.
While many companies still use height/weight charts, more and more companies have begun switching to the use of BMI charts.
Whether a height/weight chart or BMI chart is used, carriers will indicate the limits for the preferred best, preferred, standard plus and standard rates, and we make those available to you.
You’ll also find that some companies are more lenient with their weight cutoffs if the type of life insurance you choose is universal life insurance vs term life insurance.
We created the following BMI calculator to help you convert your build to BMI.
Life insurance companies have been updating their underwriting guidelines to use BMI weight charts rather than the traditional height/weight chart.
Some life insurance companies such as Lincoln National now publish both height/weight guidelines and BMI guidelines to determine your rate class.
Some companies such as John Hancock use an overall approach build that can generate great offers when all other companies will only consider standard rates.
We’ll tell you the weight cutoffs for the company you are applying to so you know upfront what to expect.
A few things you should know about build charts:
- The best rate classes are strict, rarely allowing 1 pound over the cutoff.
- Standard rates are lenient, especially if you have no other health issues.
- Table ratings may apply if your build is greater than the “standard” cutoff.
- Many life insurance companies offer better underwriting for universal life insurance policies vs term life insurance policies.
- Some companies offer more lenient cutoffs for ages 60+.
- There are companies that have female and male build charts.
How Weight Loss Affects Life Insurance
If you’ve lost more than 10 pounds in the past 12 months, don’t rush out and apply for life insurance just yet.
Most life insurers average your weight when there is a gain/loss of more than 10 pounds.
Did you change diet and exercise habits or did you have an illness that caused weight loss?
The paramedical examiner will weigh you and will also ask about your weight history.
If the weight loss/gain is due to improvements in health, it’s not a big deal and we can push for the best rates based on your current weight.
Underwriters become concerned when there is an unexplained weight loss that was unintentional.
Denied Life Insurance Due to Weight
If you’ve been denied life insurance due to weight, let us help you.
The first thing to do is to find out the exact reason for the life insurance company’s denial.
Was it just your build or were there other factors involved? You’ll find additional info later on regarding overweight and underweight factors.
We have the underwriting guidelines for many companies, including their table rating charts for people who are overweight.
Overweight and Underweight Tips
When you’re overweight, we look for positive factors that we can use to benefit you, such as:
Positive factors that improve underwriting include:
- Recent cardiac workup (past 12 months) with favorable results.
- Controlled blood pressure
- Well-controlled cholesterol levels
- Recent weight loss.
- Consistent exercise regimen
- Routine physicals
- Preventative screenings for cancer and heart disease
We use positive factors to offset any negatives.
If you have any of the following high-risk medical conditions, underwriting will factor in those conditions with your build.
Negative factors that affect underwriting:
- Heart problems such as a heart attack, abnormal EKG, etc.
- Endocrine disorders such as diabetes.
- Respiratory problems such as asthma.
Life insurance companies that have higher weight cutoffs include Prudential and John Hancock.
When you’re underweight, it creates underwriting challenges similar to or greater than for people who are overweight.
Underwriters look for indicators of an eating disorder and are also concerned about conditions such as cancer or hyperthyroid conditions.
It’s important that your medical records show stable weight and no concerns for the above conditions.
Weight Chart Underwriting Tips
A note about paramedical exams – The paramedical examiner will bring a scale and weigh you (with your clothes on) as part of the paramed…Make sure you wear light clothing if you are close to the cutoff limits.
The following tips will help you find the best companies based on your individual build.
Companies such as Principal offer healthy lifestyle credits that may get you a better rate class with your positive factors.
Some underwriting tips that are helpful to know include:
Unisex Build Charts – Some companies use male and female charts while a few use unisex charts. A unisex chart usually provides an advantage for our female clients who don’t meet the female guidelines.
Older Age Guidelines – Some companies have build charts for under age 65 vs over age 65 that may be helpful to you.
Crediting Programs – Most life insurance companies offer more favorable underwriting if you buy permanent life insurance vs. a term life insurance policy.
Other companies look at all factors and may improve your offer by one rate class if your build is the only issue.
Life Insurance Height-Weight Conclusion
The most important factor is getting to the right life insurance company based on your height and weight.
With our underwriting service, we’ll match you to the best company based on your individual history.
There’s never any pressure or obligation with our service. Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request today. Thank you.