Life Insurance After Recent Weight Loss: A Complete Guide
Shedding weight usually means that you’re less susceptible to health issues, which is a major factor in how your premiums are computed. If you were previously overweight, you may think that you can get better life insurance rates after recently slimming down.
However, simply losing slimming down won’t automatically qualify you for cheaper insurance. While you do stand a better chance to get cheaper insurance with a lower body mass, insurers have other factors to consider before giving you lower rates.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how shedding pounds impact your life insurance. We’ll go over how insurance companies classify your health, why simply slimming down won’t guarantee you lower insurance rates, as well as some tips on how to get lower rates after recently slimming down.
Why Your Weight Influences Life Insurance Rates
Life insurance companies determine your rates as an applicant based on your mortality risk or your likelihood of dying before your insurance term ends. This risk is determined in a process called underwriting, where they’ll take into account factors that contribute to your likelihood of dying. If your mortality risk is high, then the insurers will consider you as a riskier client and give you higher rates on your life insurance quote.
One of the primary factors that insurers consider is your health. Because your body mass is closely tied to your likelihood of developing diseases, it will be one of the indicators of health taken into account by the life insurance company.
Typically, your weight relative to your body is determined by a body mass index (BMI) measurement that factors in your height and weight. Per the CDC, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy, 25-30 is considered overweight, while anything above 30 is classified as obese.
Being overweight is tied to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If you’re considered overweight or obese, you may see higher life insurance rates because you’re at a higher risk of suffering from diseases.
However, some insurers may have their own height and weight chart that differs from the CDC. The build table they use usually contains the acceptable height and weight range for your sex, helping them better determine your rates. So even if your build is considered overweight by CDC standards, some insurers may offer you more competitive rates based on their own life insurance weight chart.
How A Life Insurance Company Classifies Your Health
An ideal height and weight ratio may increase your chances of getting a better life insurance premium, but that isn’t the only consideration insurers take into account. During the underwriting process, insurance companies classify you into a health class based on your risk to insure.
While different insurers may have different underwriting guidelines, most will classify you into one of four categories ranging from Preferred Plus to Standard. If an applicant is deemed extra risky to insure, they may be categorized into the Substandard class.
To determine your mortality risk, underwriters take a look at several risk factors. We break them down below.
Your health status is determined using a medical exam. This factor includes your past and current health conditions as well as your build, measured by BMI calculations. Some life insurance companies may also examine your mental health history, as well as any past prescriptions and surgeries.
Family Medical History
In addition to your personal well-being, the life insurance company may also check your family history for diseases. History of hereditary conditions like cancer and diabetes may increase your life insurance premiums since it increases your risk of suffering the same health issues in the future.
Your occupation is one of the lifestyle factors that insurers look at. Since high-risk occupations like truck driving and construction may put you at higher risk of injury or death, it represents more risk to the life insurance company. Similarly, life insurance companies will also charge you higher rates if you have dangerous hobbies such as skydiving or bungee jumping.
Consumption Of Dangerous Substances
If you have a smoking habit, you can expect to be classified much lower compared to non-smokers. Because of its ties to numerous diseases, you can expect higher premiums if you smoke. Due to its medical and social risks, alcohol abuse can also cause life insurance companies to offer you higher rates.
To counteract these higher life insurance premiums, the only thing you can do is minimize your usage or abstain from consuming these substances altogether for an extended time period.
How Life Insurance Companies See Different Types Of Weight Loss
When determining your premiums, life insurance companies don’t just look at the fact that you’ve slimmed down. They will also want to see how you lost it before deciding whether or not it qualifies you for better rates.
Intentional Weight Reduction
Slimming down intentionally through exercise and a better diet will give you many benefits, one of them being better life insurance rates. However, simply slimming down recently won’t automatically give you better rates, because insurers will want to look at the timeframe as well
Insurers want to see a trend of consistent body mass reduction, not a sudden drop within a short period. You’ll still get lower rates, but you won’t see a significant improvement in your premiums if you experience a sudden short-term weight drop. They’ll only improve your premiums over time if you manage to maintain that loss for a certain period.
If you lose weight through surgery such as a gastric bypass procedure, you won’t get any short-term benefits. While your premiums will be partly adjusted for the lost pounds, you’ll be placed on a table rating until two years after your surgery. This means that you may need to pay 50% more premiums for two years after your procedure.
Unintentional Weight Reduction
Sometimes, you may lose weight due to disease or age. In this case, the insurer reserves the right to deny or postpone your life insurance coverage. In addition to this, the insurer will also ask for your medical history to investigate why you lose weight. To be eligible for coverage again, the insurance company will want to see your weight stabilize for at least a year.
Caveats Of Losing Weight To Save On Insurance
If you’re planning to start exercising so you can slim down for your insurance application, here are two things that you should keep in mind.
Rapid Weight Reduction Won’t Get You Significantly Better Rates
Exercising and dieting to slim down in a short period of time will allow you to get better rates. However, you may not save money on premiums if you lost a large amount of mass in a short period.
Insurers usually give you credit for 50% of any extra weight loss above 10 pounds until you maintain that loss for 12 months. So if a 300-pound man dropped to 200 pounds in the past year, he’ll be rated as a 250-pound man.
Weight Reduction Efforts Take Time
Because insurers examine the timeline of your weight reduction, reaping the full insurance rate benefits of it may take a full year. Due to the time it takes, we don’t recommend that you try to lose weight before applying for insurance.
If you wait until you slim down and maintain it for a year before applying for life insurance, it means that you’re applying for insurance as an older person. You should remember that you’re charged higher rates as you get older. So, the higher rate you get being one year older may offset the money you save by shedding any extra pounds.
Getting The Best Life Insurance Rates After Recently Losing Weight
If you’ve recently slimmed down, you may be able to get more affordable insurance rates. Here are some options you can choose to get lower rates.
Ask For A Life Insurance Policy Reconsideration
Some insurers offer the option for policyholders to ask for reconsideration. Getting a reconsideration on your life insurance means that you’re going to undergo the underwriting process again, so you can potentially receive a lower insurance rate. Usually, insurers offer reconsideration after your life insurance coverage has been active for one or two years.
If you apply for a reconsideration, you need to show that your current weight has been maintained for the past year. You’ll also need to undergo another medical exam to better determine your current classification.
After you finish the process, then the insurer will determine your eligibility to receive better premiums. If they decide that your better BMI doesn’t warrant a better rate, you can continue paying the same amount of premiums as before.
Apply For A New Policy
If reconsideration doesn’t work out as expected, you can opt to buy life insurance from another insurer. To avoid paying double the premiums, you should cancel the policy you currently have before getting a new one.
However, you need to keep in mind to keep your current policy alive while you shop around and go through underwriting. If you cancel your current policy before your new one activates, you’ll experience a coverage gap. If you die in that period, you won’t be protected by insurance.
Opt For Annual Renewable Life Insurance
If you decide to slim down before you buy life insurance, you should take steps to ensure that you’re still protected. This is where an annual renewable life insurance policy comes in.
Annual renewable life insurance, similar to a term life policy, provides coverage for a limited term or 12 months in this case. When the term life ends, you can choose to renew it for another year for a higher cost.
Because insurance companies usually need one year of maintaining a healthy BMI to make sure you qualify for lower rates, you can use this policy as temporary protection for your loved ones.
Consult An Independent Insurance Agent
Everyone has unique life insurance needs, and researching information about it may be difficult. This is where an independent life insurance agency comes in. Their experience and expertise can help you choose the best life insurance policies that reward you the most for slimming down.
While slimming down usually leads to better physical well-being, it doesn’t mean that insurance companies will automatically give you a better rate on your life insurance quotes. To qualify for a full rate reduction after losing some pounds, you need to maintain your new weight for at least one year. Insurers will also typically examine why you lose weight since not all weight loss is a sign of good physical well-being.
If you’ve recently lost weight and would like to find the best way to save on insurance, Wesley Insurance, LLC is here to help! Our team of professionals can assist you in finding the best policies that will reward slimming down with affordable rates. Contact us today for more information!