What is BMI? How Does it Affect Your Life Insurance Premium Rate?

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What is BMI? How Does it Affect Your Life Insurance Premium Rate?
What is BMI? How Does it Affect Your Life Insurance Premium Rate?

New Delhi : Body mass index (BMI) is a metric used by insurers to assess your body fat percentage based on your height and weight measurements. It can aid the insurer in determining risk factors for specific health issues when you are buying a life insurance policy. Life insurance is meant to mitigate the financial strain that stems from your unexpected demise by offering your loved ones a lump sum, known as the "Sum Assured". In return for this coverage, you are required to pay premiums, which are based on numerous factors, including your health.

As health status holds significant sway in the calculation of life insurance premiums and in the company's decision-making process regarding policy issuance, your BMI can affect your premium amount at the time of purchasing the policy. In this article, we will delve into how BMI affects your life insurance premiums and everything you need to know to navigate it.

Understanding BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) offers a straightforward method for gauging whether a person's weight aligns appropriately with their height. It serves as a broad indicator of an individual's health, considering age, height, weight, and gender to suggest an optimal range.

Let's consider the case of Rakesh, a 28-year-old who pays Rs.1000 per quarter for his term life insurance policy. On the other hand, his friend Rajesh, also 28 years old, pays Rs.1500 per quarter for the same policy and sum assured. What could account for this difference? Is it possible that BMI plays a role? Most of us have encountered this term at some point. While doctors use it for prognosis, actuaries employ it for determining insurance premiums.

How is BMI Calculated?

BMI reveals the suitable level of body fat based on one's height and weight. BMI calculation is quick and easy, taking only a few minutes. The BMI formula is as follows: 

BMI = weight of the person (in kg) / height of the person (in m)2

The interpretation of BMI in adults is fairly uniform and straightforward. A standard BMI score falls between 18.5 and 24.9, signifying that a person's weight is proportional to their height. A BMI chart categorizes an individual into one of four classifications:

BMI Weight Status

Below 18.5
18.5 - 24.9
Normal Weight
25.0 - 29.9
30.0 and above

If your BMI falls within the normal range, you are likely to be offered the most favourable premium for your age. However, if you are classified as overweight but on the lower end of the scale, the insurer may still issue a policy, albeit with a slightly higher premium. As BMI increases, the associated premium may rise significantly.

The underlying logic is clear: a higher BMI implies a greater likelihood of heart-related ailments that could be life-threatening. Even those classified as "underweight" face risks due to nutritional deficiencies. This heightened risk results in higher premiums for policyholders.

Turns out, Rajesh from our earlier example does have a higher BMI, and thus his premiums are higher than his friend Rakesh, even though they are of the same age.

What is a BMI Calculator? 

A BMI Calculator is a free online tool used to calculate an individual's Body Mass Index. To use the BMI calculator, enter your gender, age, weight, and height. The program will then automatically apply the algorithm used to calculate the BMI index and display the results. When you enter your height and weight into one of these BMI calculators, the BMI result is calculated using a formula. 

The displayed data can then be interpreted using the recommended BMI table to identify the category. BMI calculator can calculate your BMI accurately regardless of whether you use imperial or metric measurements. There are numerous free BMI calculators available on the internet that can help you calculate your BMI. This calculator instantly calculates your BMI, and based on which group you fall into, you can seek more suggestions to correct body mass.

Should You Be Considering Life Insurance if You Have High BMI?

Regardless of BMI, obtaining life insurance ensures sufficient financial coverage for loved ones in the event of an untimely demise. This is especially crucial if BMI is high, as it increases the susceptibility to conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol-related issues.

These medical problems put you at a higher risk than people with normal BMIs. If you have a high BMI, you should apply for term life insurance right away. You can simply compare insurance policies online and choose the plan that best matches your needs if you have the preceding reference tables ready.

Go for a comprehensive life insurance plan from a reputable insurer like Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance. They offer everything from term plans to ULIPs to guaranteed income plans, making them suitable for all your life insurance needs. Visit their website and check out their offerings today!


In summary, BMI and life insurance premiums share a direct relationship. Maintaining a healthy BMI not only reduces insurance costs but also promotes overall well-being. While BMI is a significant factor in policy issuance, it's important to consider various other elements before making a proposal:

• Explore options for increasing coverage based on life stages. 

• Allocate the sum assured for both lump sum and regular income payments in case of a death claim. 

• Opt for the longest possible tenure to cover extended loans post-retirement.

In the end, choosing a term plan that provides sufficient financial security for your family remains paramount. Staying fit and healthy not only saves on insurance premiums but also contributes to your overall vitality and longevity.