How BMI Affects Your Life Insurance Rates and What You Can Do About It

When deciding what rates to offer an individual, life insurance agencies take many factors into consideration, from family medical history to a person’s current medications and diagnoses. One factor is body type, which most agencies assess using the body mass index (BMI). Using this model, your overall health gets represented as a formula that considers your height and weight. Since a higher BMI often indicates a predisposition to conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, life insurance agencies view people with a high BMI as riskier to insure.

Unfortunately, a person’s BMI may not accurately reflect one’s overall health or risk for chronic medical conditions. In a recent Health IQ survey, only 58 percent of people surveyed could identify a situation in which someone with a higher than normal BMI could still receive lower rates. That number was lower among millennials; only 40 percent of millennials answered the survey question correctly. These percentages demonstrate a gap in how well people understand BMI and its effect on life insurance rates.

Want to know what you can do to get better life insurance rates? First, take a Health IQ quiz to explore the relationship between body type and life insurance rates. Once you understand BMI and its alternatives, you’ll understand why Health IQ, a life insurance agency, focuses on other measures of health, such as waist-to-hip ratio. With Health IQ, you can also receive lower rates for being health conscious and leading a healthy lifestyle. Explore the in-depth FAQs at to learn more about obtaining special rates on a life insurance policy through Health IQ.