Will my life insurance company require a phsyical exam if I’m overweight?

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Asked March 5, 2012

1 Answer


Most life insurance policies will require an examination, regardless of your weight or other physical conditions. Final expense insurance and some types of term life policies are the exceptions to this rule, but typical whole life policies, also called permanent life, will require you to undergo a simple medical exam.

The reason a medical examination is necessary before issuing a policy is to help the insurance company determine the risk involved in the policy. If you are extremely overweight, as your example, the risk of the policy coming due in a relatively short time period is higher than it would be for someone of optimum weight and medical condition. It is not that you are being charged more for being overweight; it is simply that the statistical risk of succumbing to mortal illness increases along with your body mass. A person of optimal weight who suffers from asthma, as a second example, would pay more as well, based on the increased risk of a health-related demise.

All of your medical factors will be used to determine your premiums, and being overweight is only of them. Smokers will pay higher premiums as well, and overweight smokers will face even higher costs. Conversely, a person of nominal weight who does not smoke or have other potentially life-threatening conditions will pay considerably less. Being overweight can lead to serious medical conditions, for sure, but it is only of many possible areas where your premiums could be affected.

Other factors that will play a part in setting your policy premiums include your gender, age, and place of residence, among other things. Even your occupation could play an important part, especially if you work in a field which has a number of perilous factors. As an example, someone who builds roads for a living will pay higher life insurance premiums than a person who works in the controlled environment of an office building.

Answered March 5, 2012 by Anonymous

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