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Life insurance for high BMI

If you have a high BMI and are looking for life insurance, then you are in the right place. Our team are proud to be experts in high BMI life insurance and know exactly where to go for the best policies and most affordable prices.

Life insurance is the best and easiest way to provide your family with financial protection for years to come. In the event of your death, your loved ones will receive a cash lump sum to cover all the important expenses and make things easier for them at a difficult time.

You may sometimes find it harder to get the right life insurance if you have a high BMI, which is why we have written this simple guide to help. Here we’re going to provide as much useful information as we can about high BMI and life insurance to help you work out your best options for cover.

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You might find yourself struggling unnecessarily to find the right life insurance with a high BMI, especially if you end up applying with the wrong providers. Your best approach will be to speak to a high BMI life insurance specialist who will be able to find the cheapest providers for you.

  • The cost of life insurance for people with high BMI can vary significantly depending on each provider, so it’s important to take your time and do some research to make sure you are 100% happy with the policy you choose.
  • Reducing your BMI over time can help you to save money on your policy – you may even be able to save money on your existing policy by reviewing your cover if you have lost weight.
  • Limits for BMI with life insurance can change over time, so you might now be able to get cover even if you have been refused in the past.
  • Many mainstream insurers will have an upper limit of around 45 – 47 BMI for life insurance at most (and some specialists will cover a BMI up to 53!) – but this will vary based on other factors like your age and general health.
  • You can talk to your GP or use the NHS Healthy Weight BMI Calculator to work out your BMI if you’re not sure of an exact number.

One of the most significant factors when applying for life insurance is your BMI (Body Mass Index). This is the most common formula that is used in the UK and in other countries to measure someone’s body fat. The BMI scale most commonly uses:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Waist size

The average Body Mass Index (BMI) in the UK is 27.0. Globally there are several different Body Mass Index (BMI) scales that can vary depending on genetics, lifestyles, and other risk factors. There are four BMI scales around the world which are:

Scale 1Average BMI 20 – 22.9
Scale 2Average BMI 23 – 24.9
Scale 3Average BMI 25 – 26.9
Scale 4Average BMI 27 or over

How to calculate your BMI (NHS)

If you are concerned your BMI may affect your chances of getting life insurance, the first step you can take is to calculate what your BMI is – that way you have an idea of how much your policy may be affected. In this helpful video below, an NHS professional explains more about what your BMI is and how to calculate it using NHS calculations.

Common health questions about BMI | NHS

To calculate your BMI, you will normally need to divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres squared). If you don’t want the hassle of figuring this out yourself, you can ask your GP about your BMI or use a free online calculator.

One of the most popular options is the NHS BMI calculator which is mentioned in the above video and you can it find here: NHS – BMI Healthy Weight Calculator

In the UK, a ‘healthy’ BMI is any BMI that is between 18.5 and 24.9, so anything 25 and over could be classed as high. We do need to bear in mind that the average BMI in the UK is 27 (meaning it is very common to have a BMI that is classed as ‘high’)

Most life insurance providers will be able to cover a BMI up to 30 with no issues at all with some great prices available. If your BMI is 30 or over, it can be harder to find the right cover but definitely not impossible. Several mainstream providers will cover BMI into the 40s and there are specialists who will cover a BMI of over 50 – it’s all about knowing where to look and who to speak to!

It might seem strange, but some life insurance companies are simply better for people who are overweight or have a high BMI. The easiest way to find the right provider for you is to shop around and compare quotes or speak to a specialist broker who has access to a range of insurers.

YES – It’s definitely still possible to find great life insurance policies if you have a higher BMI. The key is to do your research, so you don’t waste time applying to the wrong insurance providers. There are a range of different types of life insurance you can choose from including:

Most insurance companies have their own BMI scales, so you may find that pricing can vary dramatically from one insurer to another. If you have been declined previously because of your BMI or if you have been quoted high prices, then it is still worth speaking to an expert.

Will my life insurance pay out for high BMI?

YES – If you die from high BMI or anything connected to your weight then your life insurance should pay out to your loved ones (or whoever you have specified to receive your life insurance benefit).

How does high BMI life insurance work?

If you have a BMI of less than 30, this shouldn’t cause any issues with finding great life insurance to protect your family. If your BMI is 30 or higher, the main difference is that you might be asked for some extra information about your health and medical history.

Common questions that insurers ask include:

  • What is your current BMI, height and weight?
  • Have you recently lost or gained weight?
  • Have you ever had treatment, medication or surgery related to your weight?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions connected to your weight? E.g. diabetes or high blood pressure

How much does BMI affect life insurance?

BMI is only one of several factors that will affect how much you pay for your life insurance and if your application will be approved. Insurers look at other factors too like:

  • Your age
  • Your occupation
  • Type of cover
  • Amount of cover

Having a high BMI doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be able to get cover or that your policy will be more expensive. The best way to find the right policy will be to speak to a specialist who understands how BMI can affect life insurance and which providers work best in this situation.

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Insurers will look at BMI when you apply for life insurance because they could decide people with a higher BMI have a higher risk of claiming on their policy. This is because of associated health risks with high BMI such as increased risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

Your BMI won’t always mean you pay more though and often life insurance will be cheaper than you might think – especially if you don’t have any other medical conditions.

What are the risks of high BMI that could affect life insurance?

High BMI alone is not classed as a life-threatening condition or risk to health, however there are other risks connected to this.

Some of the reasons why you might be concerned about your BMI for life insurance could be:

If you die during the term of your policy then your family should receive a tax-free lump sum to pay for a number of different events, such as:

  • Paying off your mortgage
  • Clearing debts
  • School fees

You can still find great life insurance with high BMI and here are our TOP 3 things you need to know when applying for life cover:

  • Choose the right insurance provider
  • Some insurers may add a price increase on premiums the higher your BMI is. If your BMI is high enough, they may even decline your application. It is however possible they could reconsider this if your weight changes favourably.

    This is why it is so important to make sure you are applying to the right insurance providers who are likely to offer fair prices. Certain UK providers are simply better at providing reasonably priced cover for people with high BMI and will be able to offer better deals.

    If you’re struggling to find an affordable policy (or if you’ve been declined cover), it can be helpful to get advice from a life insurance expert.

  • Answer all medical questions honestly and accurately
  • It might be tempting to leave details out when you apply for life insurance, if you think they will mean your application is declined or cover is more expensive.

    It really isn’t worth it, as leaving out relevant medical information could make your policy being invalid. This might lead to your loved ones not getting the pay out they deserve right when they need it the most.

  • You can get covered even if you have been declined in the past
  • A lot of people worry that if they have been declined life insurance in the past it means they will never be able to get it. They may also be put off if they have had a bad experience with a certain provider and don’t want to repeat this process.

    The truth is that being declined in the past shouldn’t impact your ability to get life insurance now. Things change over time and BMI limits with some insurers may not be as strict as they once were, or you may simply have been speaking to the wrong provider.

    Finding  the best life insurance for someone with high BMI has never been easier. Our team are passionate about ensuring everyone can receive the best cover no matter what pre-existing conditions or other factors may affect their applications. We will work tirelessly to match you up with a provider that is perfect for your needs.

    British Insurance Broker's Association (BIBA) Logo

    What to do if you can’t find life insurance

    There are certain options and support mechanisms that are available to you if you’re struggling to find life insurance. One of the bodies to support consumers with life insurance is the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) which covers all insurance services in the United Kingdom.

    BIBA provides a Find Insurance service that allows you to search for a recommended member who might be able to help you.

    Telephone (Insurance Help)- 0370 950 1790

    Telephone (General Enquiries) – 0344 7700 266


    YES – Most people with a BMI of less than 40 should be able to get critical illness cover with no problems. Some insurers will be better options for you than others though, so if you have been declined before it’s worth speaking to an expert for some advice.

    Does critical illness cover pay out for high BMI?

    While having a high BMI on its own won’t qualify for a pay out from a critical illness cover policy, it may lead to conditions that you can claim for. Some of the main reasons why high BMI could pay out under a critical illness policy are:

    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Stroke
    • Cancer
    • Heart attack

    How much does high BMI life insurance cost?

    There are a few things to be aware of when applying for life insurance that will affect the cost of your policy. This can vary slightly depending on the insurer you choose, but some standard factors most insurers will consider are:

    • Your age when you apply
    • The amount of cover (sum assured)
    • Your policy term (years)
    • Smoker status
    • Any other medical conditions or health issues

    It’s understandable to worry about the cost of a new insurance policy, which is why it is important to shop around and not just accept the first price you see. Often comparing prices across a few providers will help you to find an affordable policy that works for the level of cover that you need.


    Here we have an example of a customer and how much they could expect to pay for life insurance based on their BMI.

    Age (years)30 years old
    Type of coverFamily protection (level term life insurance)
    Term of policy30 years
    Sum assured£150,000

    Here are some examples of typical premiums for life insurance for this person based on possible different BMI scores:

    Premium (cost per month)£7.00£7.00£8.78£10.03£12.04

    These examples show just how much variation in price there can be due to BMI and this is why it can be so important to get the right advice so you don’t end up paying more than you need to. Some providers will have more experience of customers with high BMI and will automatically offer better pricing compared to others.

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    There are definitely ways in which you can reduce the cost of your life insurance policy even with a high BMI. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference. Here are a few tips to help you lower the cost of your life cover:

    • Reduce your BMI: It can seem like a big task but if you are successful in losing weight, even a small weight loss and reduction in your BMI could make a big difference and help you qualify for a lower premium.
    • Reduce the policy term: A policy that takes place over a shorter time period can also reduce costs.
    • Reduce cover: If you simply take out less cover this can make it a lot more affordable for you.
    • Quit smoking: Smoking can have a big impact on insurance policies especially with other factors such as high BMI involved. If you quit, after 12 months you will be classified as a non-smoker.
    • Speak to an expert: you can save money on your life insurance by getting free advice from an expert or specialist broker
    • Apply to the right insurer: an expert or whole of market broker should be able to identify which insurer will be cheapest for you
    • Manage your BMI: it is also possible to reduce your premiums by controlling or even reducing your weight to a healthy BMI, this can be useful if you’re on a diet program

    There are a number of potential health risks linked to high BMI as well as other lifestyle-based conditions.

    Some of the main conditions linked to high BMI are:

    Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about BMI in the UK.

    How does BMI affect life expectancy?

    Research has shown that people with the lowest death rates are women with a BMI between 22 to 23.4, and men with a BMI from 23.5 to 24.9.

    It has also been proven that people who are classed as extremely obese have an estimated 20 year lower life expectancy.

    More information – Average life expectancy UK

    What happens if BMI is high?

    Many people with a higher BMI are generally healthy, but those with an extremely high BMI can be at risk of medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

    BMI won’t tell the whole story about someone’s health though and other factors should be considered when deciding whether someone is healthy.

    What is too high for BMI?

    The highest levels of BMI are 30 and over which can be classed as obese. Having a higher BMI can have an effect on your overall health, though not everyone with a high BMI will be overly unhealthy.

    Why is my BMI high, but I’m not overweight?

    BMI doesn’t take things like muscle mass into account and muscle does weigh more than fat. Often more muscular adults or athletes will have a higher BMI even if their body fat is lower overall.

    What are the most recent high BMI statistics?

    The most recently published BMI statistics by the House of Commons Library showed that 37.9% of UK adults in England were classed as overweight and 25.9% of UK adults in England were classed as ‘obese’.

    A BMI between 25 and 30 is classed as overweight and a BMI of over 30 would be classed as obese.

    Is my BMI too high for life insurance?

    You might be surprised that there are several life insurance providers that will cover BMI levels over 30 and even up into the 40s and 50s in some cases.

    Don’t just assume you won’t be able to get life insurance based on your BMI as chances are this won’t be the case – provided you get the right advice. A high BMI life insurance specialist will know exactly which providers will work best for your BMI and general health.

    What can I do if I’ve been refused life insurance for high BMI?

    It’s possible you may have tried to get life insurance before and been refused because of your BMI which we know can feel upsetting and frustrating. Everyone has the right to great life insurance, even if you have been refused in the past.

    Many people with high BMI don’t know which providers will be their best option for getting life cover. This can lead to them getting declined unnecessarily simply because they are speaking to the wrong insurers.

    If you have ever found it difficult getting life insurance, this doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You can read our guide Best High BMI Life Insurance Providers for more information about your best options or speak to one of our friendly experts for free advice.

    What is the BMI cut off for life insurance?

    Mainstream life insurance providers will usually have an upper limit of around 45 – 47 for BMI depending on your age when you apply.

    The highest limits available for BMI for life insurance policies are through a specialist insurer called The Exeter who will cover BMI as high as 51 (under 44 years old) or 53 (45-59 years old).

    The Exeter is a brilliant insurance provider who will often offer cover when other providers would refuse. As they are specialists, they won’t accept direct applications from customers, but you can apply for The Exeter life insurance with the help of a life insurance specialist.

    What is the maximum weight for life insurance?

    There isn’t usually a maximum weight limit for life insurance, as providers tend to focus more on BMI. They will ask about your height and weight though when you apply, as well as questions about your general health and lifestyle.

    Is it better to apply for life insurance when you are younger?

    Life insurance premiums are generally lower for younger people, so it’s always wise to explore getting cover as early as possible. There are a number of reasons why you might want to have cover already in place later in life, such as:

    • Moving house
    • Childbirth
    • Changing jobs

    You should shop around to get the best deals for life insurance and make sure that you ideally speak to an expert if you have high BMI.

    Can overweight people get life insurance?

    YES – Being overweight or having a high BMI (high BMI doesn’t always equal being overweight e.g. muscle mass) shouldn’t stop you from getting the best life insurance.

    How to complain about life insurance

    If you are unhappy with your life insurance policy or provider, you are always entitled to submit a complaint no matter what your issue is.

    Whether you think you have been unfairly treated because of your weight or your issue is about something else, you should speak to your insurance provider. Insurers will normally try hard to resolve any complaints they receive as they don’t want to risk bad reviews and gaining a poor reputation with potential customers.

    If you feel your complaint hasn’t been dealt with properly or you’re not happy with the outcome, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for free advice and support.

    Financial Ombudsman Service Logo

    Making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service

    The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an impartial and free service for financial services customers in the UK. This service can be used to settle any disputes between life insurance companies and their customers in the United Kingdom. If they feel that you have suffered any financial loss as a result of your life insurance policy, then they may rule for compensation to be awarded.

    Telephone – 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

    Telephone (outside the UK) – 0207 964 0500


    One of the easiest and simplest ways to find the right life insurance with a high BMI is to speak to a life insurance specialist. Our high BMI life insurance experts will know exactly which insurers will work best for you based on your age, weight and the type of policy you need.

    We’re proud to say that we’re the HIGHEST RATED and most experienced high BMI life insurance specialists in the country.


    Here are some of the most useful resources that we could find for people who wanted more information about high BMI.

    NHS Choices – Obesity

    Obesity UK – Charity

    British Obesity Society – Charity

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