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How BMI Affects Insurance

Body Mass Index is an index calculated by measuring your height verse your weight. It’s used as a general measure to determine if someone is generally underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

Though it’s not always accurate as it doesn’t take into account body composition, insurance companies have been using BMI for ages. There’s a correlation between higher BMIs and medical conditions such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

Signing Up

When you’re filling out any health or life insurance application, you’ll need to declare your height and weight. Your application will then go to the underwriting department, whose job it is to assess the risk & offer you a policy accordingly.


Based on your declared BMI you may:

  • Have a premium loading for high BMI
  • You may have other special terms
  • You may have your application rejected.

This will depend on each provider’s specific terms & their tolerance to risk.

Generally if you have a BMI 30+, that’s what’s considered overweight & at which point insurer starts instituting a premium loading.  Some provider will stop accepting new clients over 32 BMI, some will be higher.

Calculating Your BMI

You can calculate your BMI here  or use the chart below:

BMI Categories

Based on your BMI number, you can see your weight category:

High BMI Solutions

If you do have a premium loading, insurers can remove premium loading if you submit a medical document with your height & weight. You may also be required to do other tests, this will is determined by the provider and handled on a case-by-case basis.

If you do have a high BMI, use it as motivation to get back in shape. You can speak with your Tenzing adviser about how to move forward in getting covered.

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