It is estimated that millions of consumers are forced into stumping up higher life insurance premiums ever since insurers decided to re-write their dangerously overweight terms.
What will this mean for consumers?
It will mean that somebody who is a fraction above the stated healthy weight range will end up paying over half more than somebody within the healthy weight ranges. Some overweight consumers have been denied life insurance cover all together, whilst those that are offered cover, can pay up to 5 times more. This leaves many consumers completely wide open, left with no insurance to protect their families. The insurance companies currently use a measuring system based upon the Body Mass Index.
Underweight = less than 18.50
Normal = 18.50 to 24.99
Overweight = 25.00 to 29.99
Obese = 30.00 or above
Until recently, the acceptable BMI sat at around 33 to 35. Recent moves has seen this figure land at around 28 to 29. This now means that a male or female weighing over 13.5 stone, with a height of 5ft 7, would have a BMI of 29.41, therefore risking much higher life insurance premiums, sometimes by up to 50%. This could mean around an extra 120 per year for the average policy. Over the course of a 25 year policy this would mean amount to an extra 3000.
In past years, the higher rate of premiums would only affect those with a BMI of over 43, whereas now, the threshold is set at around 38.
Insurance industry experts are claiming that the recent spurt in UK obesity has led to insurers re-considering their current acceptable weight levels. Due to the fact that an overweight person is much more likely to die younger than a person within a healthy weight range, insurers are forced to impose much higher premiums onto those overweight, to compensate for the higher risk category.
It is known that over half of the British public are considered to have a BMI of over 25 (overweight or obese), and unfortunately, this percentage seems to be rising in an upwards trend, indicating that an increase in the average price of a life insurance premium could also rise