Did you know that each life insurer has its own weight chart they use for life insurance medical underwriting?
It’s true, and if you end up with the wrong insurer, you will end up paying more for life insurance than you should!
How to Get Your Best Life Insurance Rate Based on Your Weight
How to get your best life insurance rate based on your weight.
- 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.
- Life Insurance if You’re Overweight or Underweight
- How Weight Loss Affects Life Insurance
- Insurance Company Weight Charts
- Weight Chart Underwriting Tips
With life insurance underwriting, while the build charts are general guidelines here are a few things you should know:
The best rate classes are strict with their weight cutoffs…rarely allowing 1 pound over the cutoff.
With standard rates, underwriting is more lenient as they are already charging you a higher price.
Table rated cases where you are over the standard limits have their own build guidelines.
How Weight Loss Affects Life Insurance
If your weight loss occurred within the past 12 months, don’t rush out and apply for life insurance just yet as your life insurer may average your weight loss!
That’s right. You may have lost the weight through diet and exercise, but most companies will average your weight over the prior 12 months which may leave you out of the best life insurance rate classes if that’s what you were trying for.
If you’ve lost more than 10 pounds recently, life insurers want to know why you lost weight?
Did you change diet and exercise habits or did you have an illness that caused weight loss.
Underwriters look at:
- Weight gain/loss greater than 10 pounds
- Weight loss surgeries if any.
Assuming you lost weight from dieting and exercise, underwriters will average your weight loss over a 12 month period.
Example – You weighed 175 pounds last year, and this year you weigh 150. Underwriters will use the average of 162.5 pounds when determining your rate class.
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.
If your weight is outside of the above guidelines, some carriers will publish their table rated build charts.
It’s important for you to know the cutoff for the company you are applying to, especially if you are close to the limit.
Unisex build chart vs chart by gender.
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 with companies as long as we explain it to them.
We’ll review your medical history with you and let you know which life insurance companies will be best based on your build.
Positive factors that help with underwriting and may reduce your life insurance rate include:
- Recent cardiac workup (past 12 months) with favorable results.
- Controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Recent weight loss.
- Consistent exercise routine
Let us know of any positive factors and we’ll use that information towards getting you the best rate possible.
Why did the life insurance company rate or decline you due to your weight?
The life insurance company is required to provide you with the reason why they declined or rated you. Was the decision based on your paramedical exam results, existing medical records or was there something else that caused this decision?
It’s important to get this so we know if their reason was based on your
The first thing to do is ask the life insurance company exactly why you were rated or denied life insurance.
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.
Were you declined due to the paramed exam results or was it due to notes in your medical records.
If you did complete a paramed exam, make sure you request a copy of your lab results from the paramed exam.
You want to do this to make sure there was nothing else in the labs that caused the decline.
We’ll walk you through some underwriting questions and let you know if there is a better option available to you.
Weight Chart Underwriting Tips
Some things to look for when your build may be keep you out of certain rate classes.
- Unisex build charts vs male and female charts
- Younger Age vs Older Age Guidelines
- Credit Programs to get you to a better rate class.
- Permanent vs term life insurance programs
- Lose weight incentives
- females – look at unisex build charts vs male/female charts
When you’re shopping for life insurance, the following tips will help you obtain the best rate possible.
Some companies have automatic programs that will improve your rate by one underwriting rate class if you meet the rest of the criteria except the build cutoff.
For some people, the best rates available may be a table rated offer. Important to keep in mind is that table ratings vary by company.
Some life insurers base their ratings off of a “standard” rate while others use a less expensive “standard plus” rating for pricing.
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 age 60 and above.