As many consumers' new year dieting resolutions begin to waver, UK insurer Legal & General has been highlighting the affect that weight can have on life insurance premiums, warning consumers that unhealthy eating and over-indulgence can affect their insurance cover.
<p>Legal & General has pointed out that body mass index (BMI) is a measure that the life insurance industry uses to asses a person's shape, and therefore health, when applying for a life insurance or critical illness policy. If an individual's BMI is considered to be high, they may be charged more for a policy due to the increased risk of ill health. <br /><br />Whilst the dangers of poor nutrition are becoming more widely accepted by the public, the impact of weight on insurance premiums is less well understood, commented Bonnie Burns, protection marketing director at Legal & General. There is a BMI range which is considered to be acceptable. Anyone finding themselves outside this range may find that their premiums are higher than for someone at the same height as them but with a thinner waist.<br /><br />Legal & General said that it will not increase premiums if a person's BMI is 30 or under. Someone with a BMI in excess of 30 would be considered to be clinically obese. <br /><br />The insurer is also advising consumers to be 100% accurate on their application forms for life insurance and critical illness. The issue of non-disclosure of important personal facts is still a significant problem for the life insurance industry, said Ms Burns. If a life insurer finds out that medical details such as weight are inaccurate after a claim is made, then the policy might not pay out.</p>