Height & Weight Charts for Life Insurance

Man standing on weighing scales beside nurse in hospital

Life insurance companies face greater risks if a person has a poor height and weight that can lead to serious health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. An individual who is healthier is less likely to die early. So when an insurer offers coverage to someone in good health, the statistical odds are in the insurer’s favor: the insured person won’t die early, and the insurer won’t need to pay out a death benefit.

This is why when you apply for life insurance, you are asked to complete an application that includes questions about your medical history and health, including your weight & height. The height and weight you provide will help an underwriter assess your health – insurance companies need to know as much about your health as possible so they know just how much risk they are taking on if they offer you a policy.

Every insurance company has height and weight charts and limitations to determine whether a policy can be issued. By considering the weight and height of an individual, the insurance company can determine the person’s BMI – body mass index. This is an indicator of your body’s bones, muscles, and fat, which helps determine whether or not a person is overweight.

And if you are in doubt if you can get coverage, just go ahead and get a quote from us, it’s quick, free and we are very flexible when it comes to this.

Life Insurance Height & Weight Chart

Each insurance company uses a unique insurance weight table in order to determine your rate class, which you will have to meet when applying for life insurance. Even so, there isn’t a lot of discrepancies between them, so the table below is a good indicator of where you stand in terms of your expected rating:

Weight & Height Life Insurance Chart by Sproutt

   Maximum Weight  
HeightPreferred Plus MalePreferred Plus FemalePreferred M/FStandard Plus M/FStandard M/F

How Underwriters Determine Life Insurance Rating

Insurance companies need to know as much about your health as possible, specifically when it comes to term life insurance because the entire business model is based on people living and companies not having to pay out death benefits.

Statistically, the healthier someone is, the less likely they are to die early. So when an insurer grants coverage to someone in great health, the statistical odds are in everyone’s favor: that person won’t die early, and the insurer won’t need to pay out the death benefit.

Now we can see why your weight & height can have such a big impact on life insurance rates. While they won’t show the entire picture of someone’s health, you can look at it and say, statistically, x and x health issues are on the horizon.

Other factors that affect life insurance rates include:

  • Type of life insurance policy
  • Length of policy (relevant for term life insurance only)
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Smoking status
  • Family health history
  • Your own health history
  • Occupation/hobbies

Life insurance underwriters examine all of these factors, along with your current health, to assign you a specific rating which in turn helps determine your monthly premium.

Mortality Risks and Life Insurance Premiums

A person in good health is statistically likely to live longer than someone who’s not in good health, which means that this person poses less of a risk to the insurer (in terms of paying out the death benefit, the reason runners or athletes pay less for life insurance).). Since the risk to the company is low, they are charged lower premiums.

A person who has health issues, on the other hand, is “penalized” for them, and this comes in the form of higher monthly premiums. Of course, it’s not really penalization, but how insurance companies cover their risk.

If a life insurance company offers coverage to people who have serious health problems, it’s taking on a big risk. The statistical likelihood that the insurer will need to pay out the death benefit is high. Therefore, they charge these customers higher premiums to cover their risk.

Bottom Line

Life insurance rating and acceptance by an insurer are greatly affected by your height & weight. But it’s good to know that being a little overweight or underweight doesn’t have a significant impact on your insurance rates – your rates might not be affected at all if you have good health other than a slightly abnormal BMI.

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