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

UPDATED: Nov 19, 2021

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Did you know your carrier has a life insurance weight chart?

Yep and they’re not all the same.

Each life insurance company has its own “build” chart that provides critical information about the maximum height and weight combinations required to qualify for specific rating classes.

Now if you’re aiming to get the best possible premiums, your height and weight ratio need to meet the standards outlined by a particular company that will qualify you for a preferred rating.

So let’s take a moment to review how your height and weight affect your life insurance premiums now!

Are You Ever Too Fat for Life Insurance?

I have some really good news for you, especially if you are struggling with the pounds.

Even if you are overweight, you will find some very good rates if you are in excellent health otherwise.

You heard me right!

This is why you need an independent life insurance agent. We know the ins and outs of all the carriers.

Let’s be honest.

I am not going to tippy-toe around the very real issues here.

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

The reason people associate extra weight with higher insurance premiums is that pre-existing medical conditions often go hand in hand with larger sizes.

Yep. There’s no way around it. If that’s not you, then AWESOME. 

….but for most us we need to take a look at the increased risk for conditions such as:

Each one of these medical issues dings your rate substantially. So my advice is to really think about your long term well-being. Getting into shape is one of the best things you can do for you and your family – besides buying life insurance that is 😉

Overweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. If you are pregnant, excess weight may lead to short- and long-term health problems for you and your child.  National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 

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Each Carrier Has a Different Life Insurance Weight Chart

As I mentioned above, life insurance companies all have weight charts or build charts, but each one differs.

Some life insurance companies are much more lenient than others and we know which ones to pick for your unique circumstances.

For those of you who are sitting on the fence – waiting to lose weight before applying for life insurance…

Why put your family at risk financially if you can avoid it? As far as I know, no one PLANS to die.

Accidents happen without warning.

You can always apply for a policy, get into better shape and reduce your rates when you’re ready. The road to hell, as we all know, is paved with good intentions.

Wanna Save Some Cash By Dropping Your Weight?

Ok, so you’ve decided that biting the bullet and applying for a policy today isn’t the plan for you.

You want to save some serious money and are confident that you can take the weight off fast and in a healthy manner.

Now what?

Is it worth the effort?

Let’s take a cold hard look at the pros and the cons of losing weight to save money on your life insurance premiums now.

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

Pros of Losing Weight Before Your Life Insurance Examination

The good news is that if you’re serious and stick to a healthy plan, losing weight before your exam can really save you a lot of money.  For example, one of my clients is 55 years old and wants a $400,000 in coverage for a 20 year term.  He’s in great health and doesn’t smoke, but his height and weight are a bit too high to qualify for any carrier’s preferred non tobacco rating.

Real Life Client Example: The client I mentioned above is 6’0 tall and 237 pounds.  Most carriers will offer him their standard plus non smoking rate if he were to apply today.

The best price available to him as of  May 8th 2017 is from Columbus Life Insurance Company at $136.85 per month.  However, if he drops just 7 pounds, he’ll qualify for their preferred non smoking rate. Their weight limit is 230 lbs for someone who is 6′ tall!

My client’s premiums will be $116.79 per month.

That’s a total savings of $4814.40 over the course of his term! 

So is this realistic? Sure is.  Most people who don’t watch what they eat or rarely exercise will drop 5-10 pounds in approximately two weeks. Simply cut down calories and fatty food, and workout at least 5 days per week.  Your exercise routine should also include cardio!

NOTE: Not only will you lose weight, but exercise and eliminating  fatty foods, even for a couple weeks, may help improve your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose readings…and more.

The Cons of Losing Weight Before Your Life Insurance Exam

Ok, let’s say my client works his bum off and weighs in at exactly 230 lbs. Hurrah! It was worth it…or possibly not. 

When your life insurance agent fills out your application, they will ask “have you gained or lost 10 lbs. or more in the last 12 months?”

IF you answer yes, which the man in our example will have to do, the insurance company will give him the benefit of only 50% of his weight loss.

Unfair right?

Not really.

Life insurance companies are looking for stable, and lasting weight loss, so they require 1-2 years of maintained weight before they give you full credit.

We often get clients who say, they’ve lost weight, and the doctor has reduced their meds as a result. This is great news – but I still have to explain the 50% credit issue. If they’ve lost 20 – 30 lbs over the past 12 months they unfortunately will only be credited with half that weight loss.

Note: It makes sense to lose a few pounds to meet weight chart requirements, but losing more than 10 pounds will be counter-productive.  So no crash dieting, please. More is not always better.

Whomp, whomp!

And Some More Bad News…

This is, unfortunately, a story we hear all too often.

Sooooo many clients tell me they are holding off on their life insurance application because they are going to lose weight.

Week after week and month after month pass….

and guess what?

They haven’t lost the weight AND they are still uninsured. These are people with kids, mortgages and debt. The primary breadwinners of their family – which means they are putting everyone they love at risk.

If you need life insurance and don’t trust yourself to lose the weight, buy it now and pay higher premiums. In a year or so, you can reapply (hopefully at a lower weight) to qualify for those cheaper premiums!

NOTE: Life insurance is also a great tool for your estate planning needs. To avoid family discord it’s important to think about your assets now.

Don’t delay estate planning until you are too ill or mentally incapacitated to deal with it. The potential for conflict – or being taken advantage of – can grow as a parent without mental capacity ages. Bradenton Herald, Planning for Your Estate: How to Avoid the Next Episode of ‘Family Feud’

How to Lose Weight & Save on Your Premiums

How does a life insurance weight chart affect your premiums?

As you can see the difference between rate classifications may not be that substantial.

You may not realize just how close you are to obtaining a better rate.

So if you are concerned about your weight and are in the market for life insurance, hear me out.

Hopefully, I can save you a pretty penny with these simple words of advice.

Plan Your Exam

Go ahead and apply for your life insurance right now and then schedule the medical exam 2-3 weeks out! 

If you have a target date it will be easier to motivate yourself to stick to a diet and exercise routine.

Get a buddy, make a bet, tell some friends – do whatever you need to do to get the job done. Trust me peer pressure or having some support works a charm when you are trying to attain goals.

A few ways you could “shame yourself” into getting something done publicly: Dieters could put up a weight tracking poster on the bathroom wall, weigh themselves and note it there every day, for everyone to see in the house… or cyclists could commit to raising money for charity doing a 100 mile ride. It’s hard to back out when advertise the whole thing and get sponsors involved. Life Hacker, Peer Pressure Yourself Into Achieving a Goal

But I Tried EVERYTHING and Couldn’t Lose the Weight…

What if you’ve tried your best and still haven’t hit your target weight?

You can always reschedule the exam.

That being said, if you know you’re a procrastinator and doubt your commitment to losing the weight, then it’s best to bite the bullet, apply now and try to qualify for a better rate at a different point.

GET REAL! 

It’s better to have life insurance at a slightly higher rate than leave your family unprotected altogether.

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Life Insurance Weight Chart Concerns? We Can Help!

So if you are shopping for life insurance and are worried about the requirements defined by a life insurance weight chart, we are here to help.

We have been in this business for over a decade and know how to avoid all the rookie mistakes.

We’ll go through your personal details such as your height, weight, and pre-existing medical conditions to find the best life insurance company for your particular needs.

Don’t let a few extra pounds scare you away from applying for the insurance your family needs. We can help you save money and find the best possible rates today.

With access to dozens of companies, no one will beat us!

Call today at 888-603-2876! We can help!