The Health Survey of England results in 2013 showed that 62.1% of adults were either overweight or obese while the BBC advertise that this is as high as 64%. Obesity rates in the UK are the highest in Europe and have increased dramatically over the past couple of years & the associated costs to the UK economy exceed £3 billion per year.
Obesity is frequently (not always) associated with a several medical conditions including: diabetes, strokes, coronary heart disease, respiratory disorders, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, gout & gallbladder disease.
This spring, the BBC reported that the Stroke Association had warned of the alarming rise in Strokes of people aged in their 40’s & 50’s in the UK. Obesity and an inactive lifestyle are heavily to blame for this increase.
What does this mean for Life Insurance?
Generally speaking, the standard market underwriters in the UK will start loading life insurance applications when a BMI is in excess of 33. Life insurance is still an option and one to be seriously considered, especially given the increased likelihood of a health issue however the premium will be more expensive.
Pulse insurance recently provided a case study, the client has a BMI of 42.5 (which is classed as very severely obese) and has had a stroke. They obtained life insurance for a sum assured of £63,000 over a term of 24 years for a premium of £50 per month.
Many believe that due to their BMI they would be deemed as ‘uninsurable’, however this is not the case.