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How Weight Affects Texas Life Insurance Rates

Many variables are evaluated in determining a premium rate for Texas life insurance.  The applicant cannot directly control some of these variables such as family health history or age.  Lifestyle choices such as piloting aircraft or parachuting affect rates.  Another variable that affects premium is a riskier occupation such as oil field employee, a deep sea welder, or a structural steel worker.  The fourth factor that determines premium is the applicant’s overall health.  One of the principal factors that can impact premium is weight, which to a large extent can be controlled with diet and exercise.

If the applicant is 100 pounds overweight, a higher Texas life insurance premium is expected.  The problem is that the premium can be significantly higher and will be paid for the life of the policy.  Even a small rate-up can cost a large amount of money when considering that the additional insurance cost will be charged each month over a 20- or 30-year term policy.  A licensed agent should always be consulted to obtain an accurate premium.  As of 2009, according to the Gallup Healthways Wellness Index, 63% of Americans were overweight, and as life insurance consumers would see a premium increase from the quote researched online.  The reason the premium would be rated up is because the additional 20 to 40 pounds can have a significant impact on an individual’s health, and insurance carriers must account for the higher risk.  As a rule of thumb, if the applicant’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 25, the insurance premium will be increased.  An experienced life insurance agent will evaluate health history and research which insurance carrier is the most tolerant regarding excess weight.  Not all companies assign rates for excess weight in the same manner. 

Why should the Texas life insurance companies care? Are they just being prejudiced and mean spirited?  Increased weight combined with a lack of exercise can lead to premature death, which reduces the number of years the premium is paid.  Texas life insurance carriers must generate a specific amount of premium revenue so claims can be paid.  In order to generate the required amount of premium, the carrier charges a higher premium to those individuals who will, according to actuarial studies, result in death benefits paid at a younger age than individuals who are healthier and weigh less.  The additional weight over a long period of time leads to a greater chance of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious health conditions.

What can the overweight consumer do immediately about insurance premiums?  Contact a licensed insurance agent and discuss what the life insurance premium is likely to be.  The agent can evaluate carrier options to determine an accurate premium and the impact on the applicant’s budget.  If the estimated premium is too high, the policy’s death benefit can be reduced in order to meet the budget requirements.  Once a weight loss strategy has been employed, additional carriers will be available, and the likelihood of reducing the premium increases substantially.




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