I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2021

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Did you know that if you believe yourself to be overweight, you could still qualify for life insurance and even at a ‘Preferred Rate’?

When it comes to being overweight, life insurance companies are much more forgiving than you might otherwise think.

If your health is relatively good, you are a non-smoker, and you don’t have any other underlying health conditions, then you can still find affordable term life insurance at affordable rates.

How Affordable is Term Life Insurance If You’re Overweight?

person being weighed for their life insurance exam for overweight

To give you an idea of what rates to expect, I ran some quotes for individuals in the 40 – 70 age bracket. I looked at a ‘Preferred’ rating for a 20 year term policy with a face value of $500,000.

These life insurance quotes are for a non-smoker and in relatively good health.

40 Year Old Male$39.59$455.00
50 Year Old Male$96.57$1,100.00
60 Year Old Male$258.99$2,910.00
70 Year Old Male$985.69$11,265.00
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(Disclaimer – These rates are sample rates only, subject to change, pending underwriting)

AIG is one of the most consumer-friendly life insurance providers as they tend to put their applicants in the more favorable weight class to help them get a better rate.


  • Wide Selection of Policies
  • Best for High Cholesterol
  • Favorable Underwriting

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Weight Requirements for Life Insurance

A male who is 5’10 can get ‘Standard/Preferred’ rates or better if they weigh 265 pounds or less.  (If you are over age 65, then that same person can weigh up to 278.)

What If I Weigh More Than 265 Pounds?

If you are 5’10 and weigh more than your term insurance rating cut off point, it will most likely cost more if you weigh more than 265 pounds.

I’ve adjusted the rates to reflect a rough ballpark estimate of how much more it might cost you.

If you weigh more, such as in the following increments, you will need to add on this additional % to the quotes provided above for your age group.

  • 266 lbs – 341 lbs – add 25% to 50% to the above quote
  • 342 lbs – 356 lbs – add 100% to 150% to the above quote
  • 357 lbs – 389 lbs – add 200% or more to the above quote

If you weigh more than that, you should know that a 5’10 person can still weigh up to 420 lbs and qualify for a ‘Graded’ death benefit policy.

Weight Requirements Are More Lenient As You Age

Did you know that as you get older that life insurance companies are even more tolerant when it comes to your weight?

That’s right! Many insurance companies become more lenient on how much you are allowed to weigh.

If you happen to be a senior over the age of 65, then that same 5’10 person can weigh up to 278 and still qualify for a Standard/Preferred rate.

It’s actually quite surprising how much some of the insurance companies let you weigh.

For example, a lot of people who are 5’10 and are 229 lbs might think they are 30 to 50 lbs overweight.

However, some companies will approve that person at a preferred class.  And, if that person was over age 65, he could weigh up to 243 lbs and still be approved at preferred rates.

So, as you can see, being overweight isn’t as much of an obstacle to finding affordable life insurance as you might have thought.

RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance

Should You Lose Weight To Lower The Cost of Life Insurance?

Many people think that it would be better if they could lose weight before they apply for life insurance. There are both pros and cons to this way of thinking.

Losing a few pounds never hurts, and if you schedule your life insurance medical appointment 2-3 weeks down the road, and do some moderate cardio (Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise regime), and watch your calorie intake you will likely improve your cholesterol levels, and maybe even lower your blood glucose and blood pressure, than that will look good on your exam.

But, you also have to keep in mind that the insurance carrier is going to ask you if you lost or gained 10 pounds or more in the last year.

So, even if you’ve dropped 10 pounds since you last got weighed by your own doctor, the weight you’ve dropped may not be all that advantageous.

Another thing to consider about losing weight is that many people simply have trouble losing that weight and keeping it off.

So, what happens?  They keep putting off applying for life insurance altogether.

This is not a good idea because you and your family have no life insurance coverage and the policy you do eventually buy is going to be more expensive because you’re also getting older.

Life insurance becomes more expensive as you get older so don’t put off applying for it.

Life Insurance for “Big Boned” or “Muscular”

If life insurance companies factor in height and weight into the way they classify you, won’t they charge people who weigh more a higher premium?

Does that seem fair?

Usually, I would say yes, but what about big-boned and muscular people?

For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger measured at 6’1, 250 lbs in the 1970s. By many standards, you would have to say Arnold was “overweight”. But he was clearly all muscle.

If Arnold were to buy life insurance or someone with a similar build, should he be excluded from the best life insurance rates?

Here’s where you need a knowledgeable life insurance agent.

You want a carrier who will look closely at your Chest and Waist measurements to help determine whether you are muscular, or just overweight.

Case Study

Here’s a real-life scenario I encountered for a very healthy male who was both big boned and muscular.

I went the extra distance to get him the best possible rating for his unique situation.

His particular case was a bit more complicated because he also had PTSD, but as always, when I get a tough case, rather than just “throwing out” a few quotes off the top of my head, I sent out a trial offer request to over 2 dozen life insurance companies.

Summary of the Trial Offer Request:

I have a very unique case.

Male, 52 years old, non-tobacco, superb health, retired from military after 23 years with 80% VA disability for a combination of (elbow problem, carpal tunnel, and PTSD).

However, he is not your average PTSD guy!

He has a Rx (as needed) which he never takes. He is also listed by the VA as “fully employable”.

For the last 12 years, he has been working as a Department of Logistics Director and makes 300K+ per year.

The other special consideration is that he’s 5’9, 220 lbs.

However, he’s not your average 5’9, 220 lbs guy either!

He’s a health nut. For 37 years, on the side, he has been an active personal trainer and former bodybuilder. He has 9.5% body fat.

He’s very offended that other people who are 5’9, 220 lbs who are not in good shape at all, could potentially qualify for the same health rating as him.

Bottom line. This guy is former military and runs his life like a machine. Super health, doesn’t drink or smoke. He wants to be rated as such. Is this possible?

RELATED: Check Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age (No Personal Info Required)

What Were the Results?

I sent this man’s scenario to a number of carriers that specialize in high risk cases.

The best rating I received was from American General and they made a tentative offer of “Standard Plus.”

The reason why I didn’t get a better rating of “Preferred” or “Preferred Plus” was due to the mitigating factor of PTSD.

One underwriter told me that had it not been for PTSD, they would have made a tentative offer of a “Preferred” rating.

I know that the companies will give you credit if your chest is wider than your waist (they measure when the examiner comes out to take your blood).

If your chest is substantially bigger than your waist, such as a 50-inch chest and 34-inch waist, the underwriters can usually give you credits to bring you up at least one health class.

So, the bottom line is that if you are “big boned” or” muscular”, and in good health, then you want to use an agent like me who knows which companies are more lenient when it comes to your size.

Life Insurance Testimonials and Success Stories

At Huntley Wealth, I back up my ability to succeed with real life trial offer stories, please check out our Testimonials Page, and see what other satisfied clients had to say!

AIG is one of the most consumer-friendly life insurance providers as they tend to put their applicants in the more favorable weight class to help them get a better rate.


  • Wide Selection of Policies
  • Best for High Cholesterol
  • Favorable Underwriting

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Affordable Term Life Insurance Policies For Overweight

Working with an independent life insurance agent will gain you access along with research to many great life insurance companies that you do not have to individually reach out to yourself.

We can help assist you in finding the best rates for the policy that you need. If you have health issues that may cause issues with underwriting, we can help guide you through that process as well.

Whatever your needs or questions then please call me direct at 888-603-2876.