With life insurance underwriting, each company has its own height/weight criteria used to determine your life insurance rate. End up with the wrong life insurer, and you will pay too much!
Get Your Best Life Insurance Rate Based on Your Weight
We know the guidelines and will show you the best life insurance companies based on your individual build.
How to get your best life insurance rate:
- Know Your Height and Weight.
Make sure you know your current height and weight. This is especially important if you are trying to qualify for the best rate classes as underwriting will strictly enforce their guidelines.
- Has Your Weight Changed Recently?
For most companies, if the weight change is 10 pounds or more, underwriters want to know why. Most life insurers will average your weight over the past 12 months if there has been a recent change.
- Ask for the Build Chart
Each life insurer publishes its guidelines for preferred best, preferred, standard plus and standard rate classes. Ask for the cutoffs based on your height and weight so you know which life insurer is best for you.
- Ask about underwriting credit programs
If your build is the only factor keeping you from getting a particular rate class, some insurers like Banner offer credit programs to help you get the better rate if you otherwise meet their guidelines.
- Share Your Positive Factors
If you’re taking positive steps to improve your health, tell us. Weight loss programs, exercise regimens, as well as favorable cardiac workups may help you get a better life insurance rate.
A few things you should know about build charts:
- The best rate classes are strict, rarely allowing 1 pound over the cutoff.
- Standard rates can be very lenient, especially if you have no other health issues.
- Table ratings may apply if your build is greater than the “standard” cutoff.
- Many life insurance companies offer better underwriting for universal life insurance policies vs term life insurance policies.
How Weight Loss Affects Life Insurance
If you’ve lost more than 10 pounds in the past 12 months, don’t rush out and apply for life insurance just yet.
Most life insurers average your weight when there is a gain/loss of more than 10 pounds.
Example – You weighed 175 pounds last year, and this year you weigh 150. Underwriters will use an average of 162.5 pounds when determining your rate class.
Did you change diet and exercise habits or did you have an illness that caused weight loss?
If the weight loss/gain is due to improvements in health, it’s not a big deal and we can push for the best rates based on your current weight.
Insurance Company Weight Charts
Every life insurance company publishes its weight chart in their underwriting guidelines.
Carriers will indicate the weight limits for the preferred best, preferred, standard plus and standard rate charts.
Some companies such as John Hancock use an overall approach build that can generate great offers when all other companies will only consider standard rates.
We’ll tell you the weight cutoffs for the company you are applying to so you know upfront what to expect.
A note about paramedical exams – The paramedical examiner will weigh you (with your clothes on) as part of the paramed…wear light clothing if you are close to the cutoff limits as it may make the difference.
While often overlooked, being underweight raises underwriting concerns with insurance companies.
In underweight situations, life insurers look for indicators such as eating disorders, other illnesses, or recent weight loss.
If your medical records indicate a steady weight history and no underlying health issue, it’s generally not a problem as long as we explain it to underwriters.
When you’re overweight according to the guidelines, we look for positive factors to help improve your life insurance rate.
Companies such as Principal offer healthy lifestyle credits that may get you a better rate class with your positive factors.
Positive factors that help with underwriting include:
- Recent cardiac workup (past 12 months) with favorable results.
- Controlled blood pressure
- Well-controlled cholesterol levels
- Recent weight loss.
- Consistent exercise regimen
- Routine physicals
- Preventative screenings for cancer and heart disease
Let us know of any positive factors and we’ll use that information to get you a better rate.
Negative factors that may hurt your underwriting offer:
- Heart problems -Bypass, heart attack, stent history, abnormal EKG, etc.
- Endocrine disorders such as diabetes.
- Respiratory problems such as asthma.
Any other medical problems that are chronic and require ongoing treatment may negatively impact your underwriting outcome.
Were you rated or declined for life insurance due to your weight?
The life insurance company is required to provide you with the reason why they declined or rated you.
If you received a table rating or were declined for life insurance, the first thing you want to do is get the exact details for the underwriting decision.
Was the decision based on your paramedical exam results, existing medical records or was there something else that caused this decision?
If you are a smoker, most life insurers will be tougher on you than non-smokers.
Make sure you request a copy of your lab results from the paramed exam as you are entitled to receive them.
Weight Chart Underwriting Tips
The following tips will help you find the best companies based on your individual build.
Some underwriting tips that are helpful to know include:
Unisex Build Charts – Some companies use male and female charts while a few use unisex charts. A unisex chart usually provides an advantage for our female clients who don’t meet the female guidelines.
Older Age Guidelines – Some companies have build charts for under age 65 vs over age 65 that may be helpful to you.
Crediting Programs – Most life insurance companies offer more favorable underwriting if you buy permanent life insurance vs. a term life insurance policy. Other companies look at all factors and may improve your offer by one rate class if your build is the only issue.
The following are general build guidelines.
Weight Chart for Males
|Height||Preferred +||Preferred||Standard Plus||Standard|
|5′-0″||143 – 151||145 – 161||166 – 179||185 – 208|
|5′-1″||148 – 156||149 – 167||159 – 185||191 – 216|
|5′-2″||153 -161||154 – 172||166 – 191||197 – 223|
|5′-3″||158 – 166||159 – 177||172 – 197||204 – 230|
|5′-4″||163 – 172||164 – 183||177 – 204||210 – 237|
|5′-5″||168 – 174||169 – 189||183 – 210||217 – 245|
|5′-6″||173 – 183||175 – 195||187 – 216||224 – 252|
|5′-7″||179 – 188||180 – 200||194 – 223||231 – 260|
|5′-8″||185 – 194||186 – 206||199 – 230||238 – 268|
|5′-9″||190 – 200||191 – 212||206 – 236||245 – 276|
|5′-10″||196 – 205||197 – 219||210 – 243||252 – 284|
|5′-11″||201 – 211||202 – 225||216 – 250||259 – 292|
|6′-0″||206 – 217||208 – 231||223 – 258||267 – 301|
|6′-1″||212 – 223||214 – 237||228 – 265||274 – 309|
|6′-2″||218 – 230||220 – 244||235 – 272||282 – 318|
|6′-3″||224 – 232||226 – 251||241 – 279||289 – 326|
|6′-4″||230 – 242||231 – 257||248 – 287||297 – 335|
|6′-5″||236 – 249||238 – 264||253 – 295||305 – 345|
|6′-6″||242 – 255||244 – 271||261 – 302||313 – 354|
|6′-7″||249 – 262||250 – 278||268 – 310||321 – 363|
|6′-8″||255 – 269||257 – 285||282 – 318||329 – 372|
|6′-9″||261 – 275||263 – 292||289 – 326||338 – 382|
|6′-10″||268 – 277||269 – 299||296 – 334||346 – 391|
|6′-11″||274 – 283||277 – 306||304 – 343||355 – 400|
Weight limits vary widely by company. Make sure you know the weight limits of the company you are considering before you apply!
Ask us about the special rules that apply for those aged 60 and above.
Life Insurance Build Conclusion
With our life insurance service, there is no pressure or obligation.
We’ll match you with the life insurance companies that will be best based on your build and medical history.
Please take a few minutes to complete your life insurance quote request today. Thank you.