Overweight people are in the firing line again. Life insurance companies are increasing premiums up to four fold for fat people. They've always charged more for those of us who over-eat, but during the last year the penalties have got worse.
In moves to tighten the belts further, the life insurers are lowering the weight limits they use to categorise people. This tougher move means that those who are merely overweight and would have previously qualified for a standard premium, are now penalised with higher premiums – and the premium rapidly rises the more overweight they believe you are.
Height and weight are just two of the questions you have to answer when you apply for life insurance. From them, the life company calculates your Body Mass Index and if that exceeds the limits they define as acceptable, they might ask for a doctor's report. In bigger cases they might ask you to have a medical examination. If this confirms that your weight is of concern, then you can expect your premium to be loaded by at least 50% and as much as 400% if you're really obese. Recent research shows that around 25% of applicants will experience problems getting life cover due to their weight. In extreme cases the insurer will even refuse the application.
In an acknowledgement of normal middle age spread, the insurance companies do take your age into account when deciding your premium. They accept that people naturally tend to put weight on as they age. If you're young and overweight, however, they'll certainly hit you hard. So overweight and 38 will be hit much harder than overweight and 58.
For example, a non smoking healthy man aged 35 asking for £150,000 level cover over 25 years will currently be quoted £18.77 by Scottish Provident but this could easily jump to £35 if he is overweight and up to £47 if he's obese.
And obesity is certainly a growing problem. Over the last 20 years obesity in adults has rocketed with more than 60% of men and 50% of women being judged as overweight or obese. And signs are that the problem won't improve. In children aged between 2 and 15, 28% of girls and 22% of boys are overweight.
How do you rate on the Body Mass Index?
Calculate your own BMI.
Note your weight in pounds and multiply it by 703.
Divide the result by your height measured in inches
Again divide the resulting number by your height in inches
The result is your BMI
The typical insurance company considers a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 to as normal. Above 25 classifies you as overweight. Over 30 and you're obese.
To give you more of a fix on what this means for you, here are the BMI's for twelve famous people:
Paula Radcliffe – Marathon Runner - 18.0
Victoria Beckham – Footballers Wife - 17.0
Jennifer Aniston – Actress - 17.5
Alan Shearer – Newcastle Footballer - 24.4
Davina McCall – TV Presenter - 20.8
Cilla Black – Presenter - 20.7
Russell Crowe – Hollywood Actor - 25.6
Ann Widdecombe – MP - 25.1
Charlie Dimmock – Gardening Presenter - 26.0
Norman Schwarzkopf – US General - 30.5
Michelle McManus – Presenter - 34.4
Dawn French – Comedienne - 43.8
Whole life insurance also known as “permanent” or “straight” life insurance is one of the most applied forms of insurance. This life insurance policy covers one’s entire life. This is much in demand because of its ability to provide financial protection and accrue cash value and pay dividends to the insured. In other terms, you can say it as an investment, that you make to secure your future build up finance that helps you in your indigence.
Taking a whole life insurance policy leads to a number of benefits and advantages. Few of them are listed below.
1. The first advantage is The Death Benefit.
The whole life insurance policy guarantees you the death benefit that never decreases. Moreover no federal income taxes are charged upon death. And if you desire, death benefit can be taken as a monthly income instead of a lump sum.
2. Consistency of premium level.
Unlike term life insurance’s premiums, which increase at the time of renewal, the premium you pay in whole life insurance remains consistent. There’s no increase. However, use of dividends can minimize the premiums that you pay and contracted for.
3. “Cash value” is another beneficial feature of whole life insurance.
Unlike other life insurance policies, whole life insurance policy accumulates the useable cash reserves. This increase as one pays premiums and also accumulates tax deferred. And if you decide to surrender the policy, you receive your cash values.
4. Participation in whole life insurance policy earns you the dividends.
You are eligible to earn dividends if you own a participating whole life insurance policy. You receive this dividends in cash, which you can further use to either purchase a paid up additions, to minimize premiums or you can keep it within the policy to generate interest.
These advantages of whole life insurance policy are really worthwhile. If you are not confident you should consult an expert before taking up any policy.