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Smoker & High BMI Life Insurance: New Year, New Health Resolutions

For many people, the New Year is a time for resolutions – quitting smoking, getting in shape, sorting finances or becoming more organised. There are hundreds of different resolutions that people decide to try and achieve, often with mixed success rates.

As you strive to become a better you in 2022, there are some health resolutions that you can make that will significantly impact your life insurance premiums. Two of the main major risk factors for health problems are smoking and being overweight or obese. As a result, insurance companies often charge higher premiums to policyholders who are obese or smokers. In some cases, it is difficult to find life insurance, and people may even be denied coverage altogether.

At The Insurance Surgery, 70% of customers declined elsewhere get accepted through us. However, if you are striving to quit smoking for good, or lower your BMI to a healthy range, you are much more likely to be accepted at an affordable rate. We offer options for both high BMI life insurance and smoker life insurance, however both can be a lot less affordable.

If you’re looking to make a change for the New Year, it’s important to be aware of how your weight and smoking status could affect your life insurance premiums.

Here’s what you need to know.

Life insurance for High BMI & Obese

Obesity is a major risk factor for health problems and obesity in itself can increase your life insurance costs by over 100%. This means that being obese or having a BMI higher than what medical professionals deem as ‘normal’ can result in higher premiums when it comes to paying your monthly life insurance police.

In addition, obesity may also affect your insurability, and you may struggle to get cover through some insurance providers as they deem you ‘high risk’. Being obese is deemed as ‘high risk’ to insurers because with increased weight and a high BMI comes increased risk of medical conditions. Insurance companies assess your level of risk when you apply for a life insurance policy through them.

Lots of people with a higher than average BMI have no other medical conditions, however they are at a greater risk of developing a health condition down the line. Your BMI is an indicator of how likely you are to live a long, healthy life.

Medical conditions that may develop from having a high BMI include heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, liver problems, type 2 diabetes and joint / bone problems.

What is BMI?

To determine if obesity might impact your premium, many insurers rely on the body mass index (BMI) to measure obesity. A BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese, while a BMI of 40 or more is considered severely obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation worked out through your height and your weight. It does not account for age, gender and body composition but is used to assess the body’s condition.

People with a high BMI often consider reducing it to an ‘ideal’ BMI, which is between 18.5 to 24.9.

If your BMI is:
Below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range
Between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range
Between 25 and 29.9 – you’re in the overweight range
Between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range

If you are obese, it’s important to be upfront with your insurance company and let them know. This will help them determine if they need to charge you a higher premium for your life insurance policy.

However, the start of the new year is a great time to make positive intentions for the year ahead and making a plan to lose weight will have positive impacts on both your health and your insurability.

Some top tips to help you lose weight in 2022:

– Eat a healthy diet

One of the best things you can do for your health is to eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other nutrient-rich foods.

On the other hand, eating too much fried foods, refined carbohydrates such as white bread or pastries, processed meats such as bacon or salami, sugary drinks such as soda or juice can contribute to weight gain. In turn, this makes you more likely to develop diseases like obesity, heart disease or type 2 diabetes down the line.

– Exercise regularly

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps keep your body healthy by strengthening your heart and lungs and helps prevent diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Make sure to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but even shorter sessions of activity throughout the day will help improve your health.

Exercise doesn’t always mean you have to join a gym. You’ll find you keep it up a lot longer if you find an activity that you enjoy. That could be playing badminton with friends, swimming, or joining a dance class. If you’re having fun whilst exercising, it won’t feel as much of a chore and you’ll be more eager to go regularly. You can even get your friends and family involved!

– Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for your health because it helps regulate your body’s hormones which influence appetite, energy levels, and mood. People who aren’t getting enough sleep are more likely to be obese or overweight than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Try to turn off all your devices and the TV at least an hour before bed to help your brain settle, and avoid caffeine after a certain time to make sure your body is ready to relax. Try picking up some new books in the January sales to help you unwind and relax before bed each night.

– Manage stress levels

Stress can trigger unhealthy behaviours like smoking cigarettes, eating sugary foods that contribute to weight gain or drinking too much alcohol. These activities can negatively affect your physical or mental health. Stress also makes you more likely to develop heart disease or depression, and it can damage your immune system.

If there is a certain aspect of your life that is causing you stress or anxiety, use the new year as an opportunity to address the issues and find a middle ground which will help you unwind and hopefully kick those bad habits.

Life insurance for smokers

Many people use the New Year as an excuse to stop smoking. We all know that quitting smoking is obviously good for your health, but it can also save you money on your premiums.

Smoking is another major risk factor that can increase your life insurance premiums. Many insurers will charge you more on your premium if you smoke.

Smokers are at an increased risk of health problems, and as a result, they often face higher premiums when buying life insurance policies.

In fact, many insurers will refuse to sell policies to smokers altogether. This is because smokers tend to die younger than non-smokers, and they often experience more health problems. This can result in significant financial losses for their families if something happens to them.

If you’re a smoker, it’s important to be upfront with your insurance company and let them know. This will help them determine if they need to charge you a higher premium for your life insurance policy. If you vape, you are also classed as a ‘smoker’, so bear that in mind when you’re applying for life insurance.

If you are looking to quit smoking this new year, here are some tips to help you achieve your goals:

– Fill the gap with something else

Smoking is all about habit, so you need to find something to fill those breaks where you’d usually go outdoors for a cigarette. If you’re in the office, ask a colleague to make a drink with you and have a chat instead.

– Try lollipops

The habit of putting your hand to your mouth can be mimicked with sugar free lollipops. It tricks your brain into thinking you’re smoking, and you get a delicious treat in the process.

– Think of the smell

After a few days, your senses become stronger as they are masked when you smoke cigarettes, and you start to smell smokers around you. Remember you also used to smell like that to strangers, and it might put you off for good.

– Remember why you’re doing it

There are so many health benefits to quitting smoking. It improves your breathing, your senses, your fertility and helps keep a host of medical conditions at bay. Mainly though, think of your family and how you’ll hopefully live a much longer and fruitful life with them after ditching the cigarettes.

Staying on track and making a plan

New Years’ resolutions can be a fun process, but it’s important to remember that resolutions should be realistic and achievable.

No matter what you’re planning to take up, quit or change for 2022, we have a few tips to help you make your New Year’s resolutions as effective as possible:

1. Make resolutions that are important to you. Don’t try to copy someone else’s resolutions or make resolutions that you think you should make. You will only succeed if the resolution benefits you and makes you feel good.

2. Set realistic goals. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, set a realistic weight loss goal rather than a goal to lose 50 pounds in 2 months. Be realistic, do your research and speak to your GP if you think you need additional support, and you will be more likely to keep it up and keep it off.

3. Make a plan. If you have a specific goal in mind, come up with a plan for how you will achieve it. Have a dedicated notebook to jot down your thoughts and feelings and create a plan from there. That will help you look at the bigger picture and make the plan of action work.

4. Tell someone about your resolutions. This will help you to stay accountable and make sure that you follow through with them. They may even decide to join you and you can do it together. If you’re looking to lose weight or quit smoking, having a buddy to chat to is great support, and you’re more likely to go for walks or join a class if you have someone to go with.

5. Celebrate your successes. When you achieve a goal, take some time to celebrate your success! This will help keep you motivated to continue working towards. As the New Year begins, it’s important to be aware of how your weight and smoking status could affect your life insurance premiums.

By knowing what to expect, you can make informed decisions about your health and your finances. It might also be the kick start you need to make better decisions around your health – that will have a positive impact on your bank balance too!

At The Insurance Surgery, we can help you with your life insurance policy. If you are overweight or a smoker, we may be able to help you, however your monthly premiums will be significantly lower after you’ve achieved your goals. Contact us today and we can support you with your goals.