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  • affects 1 in 4 women / 1 in 5 men before retirement
  • 94.1% of the critical illness claims are paid
  • protect yourself and your family if you get seriously ill
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  • get the cover that will pay when you need it
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Insurers: Aviva, Legal & General, Liverpool Victoria, Scottish Widows, Vitality, Zurich

Lose Weight and Save on Critical Illness Insurance Premiums

Obesity Facts

What is obesity? This is clinically defined as having excess body fat that is linked to an increased health risk:

  • Type 2 diabetes: Five times more likely to occur in obese men and 13 times more likely to occur in women
  • Colon cancer: Three times more likely for obese men
  • High blood pressure: 2.5 times more likely in obese men and over 4 times more likely in obese women
  • Heart attack: Over 3 times more likely to be developed in obese women

(These are comparisons between obese men and women vs. of healthy weight. Source: National Obesity Observatory website)

One’s weight can seriously affect the premiums that are paid for critical illness insurance.

In essence, the heavier one is, the heavier his premiums will be. Obesity may be linked to an unhealthy lifestyle – poor eating habits and a lack of exercise. Obesity is also one of the primary causes for a long list of critical illnesses and other physical ailments – diabetes, heart disease, and surprisingly, even cancer.

Now, if one wants to save on premiums for a critical illness insurance policy, they should also shed those extra pounds. Having a “healthier weight” would mean that one can cut off up to a third of their premiums. This is because being overweight can tack on an additional 50% (to as much as 150%!) to standard premiums.

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Losing Weight and Premiums

Computing for the BMI

Metric:
Weight in kilograms ÷ (height in metres2)

Imperial:
(Weight in pounds x 703) ÷ (height in inches2)

When underwriting a policy, the insurance company will look at the applicant’s height and weight and use the BMI to determine if one is overweight.

The BMI (body mass index) provides an indication of one’s health by looking at the proportion of weight vis a vis height, as well as age.

  • If one has a normal proportion, his BMI will be from 18 to 25.
  • Someone who has a BMI that falls between 25 and 30 is considered overweight.
  • A person who has a BMI of 30 and above is already counted as obese.

During the evaluation of a critical illness policy application, additional medical evidence may be requested for high BMIs, vis a vis one’s age. The same is true if there are other risk factors accompanying a high BMI (such as a smoking habit, a medical history that shows obesity-related critical illnesses).

Sample BMI Effect on Premium Rates

Age BMI Premiums

≤ 30

17 – 30

Standard Rates

31 – 33

150% of standard premiums

34 – 35

175% of standard premiums

39

250% of standard premiums

≥ 40

Application is declined

31 - 49

17 – 32

Standard Rates

32 – 34

150% of standard premiums

35 – 37

175% of standard premiums

40

250% of standard premiums

≥ 41

Application is declined

≥ 50

17 – 35

Standard Rates

36 – 37

150% of standard premiums

38

175% of standard premiums

39

200% of standard premiums

≥ 41

Application is declined

The increase in premiums is preventive on the part of the insurance company. Even if one doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions, one will still be charged with higher premiums. So you can just imagine if a person is overweight and has a pre-existing condition – they may have to pay higher premiums or end up having their application denied.

Premium Reductions

If you have been issued a policy with an overweight standard rating, you can still work to lower your premiums by showing the insurance company that you are making an effort to lose weight.

With some insurance companies, you can earn points for every instance that you show that you are exerting effort and succeeding about losing weight. Points can be earned by going regularly to the gym or by having a healthier diet. If you have earned enough, then the insurance company may lower your premiums.

An Incentive

This fact that overweight persons are charged with more premiums can be used as an incentive for one to lose weight. So, if you have the same problem, maybe it is high time to think about living a healthy lifestyle.

Know the other things you can do to save on premiums.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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