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Underweight life insurance

People often link high BMI or being overweight to being a medical problem, but less think about being underweight as an issue. With life insurance, if you are classed as underweight then you might also find that there are questions about that.

People who are underweight (less than 18.5 BMI) can get life insurance to protect their families. Here we’ll explain how this works and the best way to get the cheapest life cover.

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You might be confused why you are having problems getting life insurance to protect your family, or you might just need some information about it.

Here are a few of the most common questions that we get asked and some useful hints & tips to help you out.

Can I get life insurance if I am underweight?

YES – you should be able to get life cover within the lower ranges of body mass index (BMI) from most insurers.

Underweight life insurance is also sometimes referred to as low BMI life insurance

Most insurance companies will use a standard calculation when it comes to acceptable height and weight, called BMI (body mass index). A BMI calculation will include several common factors:

  • Your height
  • Your weight
  • How old you are
  • Waist measurement or dress size

NHS body mass index chart

BMIRange
Below 18.5Underweight
18.5 to 24.9Healthy weight
25 to 29.9Overweight
30 to 39.9Obese
Above 40Morbidly obese

How much does life insurance cost if underweight?

The cost of life insurance depends on several main things and that includes:

  • How much cover do you need (sum assured)
  • Term of your policy (years)
  • How old you are
  • What type of life cover do you need (e.g. family or mortgage)
  • Do you smoke?
  • Your health, lifestyle, and any medical problems

Getting the cheapest cover is usually easier if you speak to an expert who has relevant experience, as well as access to multiple insurers.

Medical conditions linked to underweight

There are a couple of pre-existing medical conditions and mental health conditions that are linked to being underweight. Some of those conditions can have an impact on the cost of life insurance.

These include:

Best life insurance for underweight

There are several main different types of life cover or life insurance policies, so check what you need to protect your family.

Some of the main types of life insurance are:

  • Term life insurance for underweight people is usually available and the most affordable cover to protect your family. As long as you don’t have any other major medical issues then cover should also be available instantly
  • Mortgage life insurance for underweight people is also a very affordable and often simple way to cover your mortgage if you die. This will provide a lump sum to your family if you pass away to help them to clear any outstanding mortgage
  • Critical illness cover for underweight people is also usually available through most mainstream insurers. As long as you’ve not got any other health or medical issues then cover should be affordable and available instantly
  • Income protection for underweight people is also often available through most insurers. You might find that some associated conditions are excluded from cover if you have a history of other medical complications

Here are some common questions that people often ask about being underweight.

How underweight is too underweight?According to the NHS calculators and medical experts, your ideal BMI range should be between 20 and 25.

If you have a BMI of 18.5 to 20 then you would be classed as ‘underweight’ and should gain some weight ideally. Anything that is below 18.5 BMI is classed as severely underweight.
Is it unhealthy to be underweight?It is generally considered to be unhealthy to be too underweight which can be linked to other medical problems.

If your BMI is too low then this can lead to lower resistance to your immune system, weak bones, and feeling lethargic. Your body can be more susceptible to viruses, diseases, and generally less able to deal with problems.
Can I die from being underweight?A recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, compared obesity to underweight life expectancy.

It revealed that obesity was 4.2 years shorter for men and 3.5 years shorter for women, than for people in a healthy BMI range. This was then compared to low BMI which was 4.3 years shorter for men, and 4.5 years less for women.

Useful resources

Mayo Clinic – Nutrition and Healthy Eating

NHS – Healthy ways to gain weight

Healthline – 6 health risks of being underweight

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