However, before advisors run to the gym to sign up clients it’s important to understand there’s a catch: insurance carriers will often pull an applicant’s medical records to look at their previous weights.
“The historical weight trend is actually more important than the weight at any single point, including that on the paramedical exam,” says Julie Westermann, a spokeswoman for insurer Genworth
. “Once the contract is in force there is no way for us to know if the policyholder has gained weight or do anything about it.”
Despite the caveat it can’t hurt to urge clients – prospective or existing – to shed a few pounds.
The average American male is 5’9” tall and 196 pounds according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s overweight based on body mass index charts. At 203 pounds a man is considered obese. However, neither weight would prevent them from obtaining life insurance.
NerdWallet research suggests that the typical 5’9” man wouldn’t risk rejection by some carriers until they tipped the scales at 329 pounds; the average woman is 5’4” tall and wouldn’t risk rejection until hitting 283 pounds.
Except for the heaviest applicants life insurance is still obtainable although at higher premiums.
According to NerdWallet a 35-year-old man who is 5’9” and weighs 246 pounds would pay more than double the annual premium for a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy than the same man who is 50 pounds lighter. A 35-year-old woman who is 5’4” and weighs 216 pounds would pay 129% more for a 20-year, $500,000 term life policy than the same woman weighing 166 pounds.
When people look to save money on insurance they usually shop around for the carrier with the lowest rates but new data suggests advisors could save prospective clients more by simply signing them up for a gym membership.