Education and Learning

Friday, October 1, 2010

Obesity and insurance rates

Gaining some fat during the winter is something that most of us face every year. And things like that won't affect the rates you insure your life at. But if it's much more than just a seasonal weight gain you might risk having your insurance rates lifted higher, especially if you have become overweight or obese.

The problem is that obesity has become the national health problem and insurance companies are well aware of that, charging higher rates for having too much excessive weight.

The cost of overweight in insurance rates

Most of you know that obesity and overweight leads to higher risk of developing such health problems as diabetes, heart diseases, osteoarthritis, arthritis, various types of cancer and even early death. When an insurance company is setting rates for a specific person it evaluates the overall life expectancy according to a specific demographic group. And it usually turns out that people with too much excessive weight have lower life expectancy than people with healthy weight in the same age and sex group.

Obesity is generally defined as the relation of body fat to the mass of all other tissue a person has. It is usually expressed through the body mass index (BMI) that represents the relation between a person's height and weight. The resulting number is used to define how much the person is overweight (or underweight). Officially, overweight is considered a person who has a BMI between 25 and 29.0. If a person has a BMI of 30 and higher they are considered obese.

If speaking hypothetically, if a man aged 55 with no smoking habits and a BMI of 38 would like to get $250,000 in life insurance coverage then it would cost him $4,256 per year in premiums. But if the same man would have had a BMI lower than 30, getting the same amount of coverage would cost him $3,767 per year. And it's not just a matter of insuring one's life. Health insurance costs will also be higher if you're officially classified as overweight or obese. So having too much excessive weight will certainly hit you hard on the wallet.

Even worse news for women

If you are a woman and are obese, expect to pay even more. And it's not because of sexism or harassment, but because adult women with too much excessive weight have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer and infertility. Numerous studies have confirmed that there is a direct link between obesity and certain female-specific forms of cancer. And when there's the word "cancer" on the horizon, insurance providers tend to get very expensive.

In order to get lower life insurance quotes you should certainly do something about the excessive weight if there's too much of it. And it's not a matter of minimizing costs (though, you will certainly save a lot on medical bills and insurance costs) but a matter of your own good. By keeping a healthy weight you will improve your health and minimize the risk of developing numerous problems. So it's definitely for your own good, especially if you want to have health and life insurance rates really low.

No comments: