There’s no denying the fact that if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than, say 30, it gets harder to obtain life insurance. At this level, you are considered to be ‘medically obese’, and not only might you have to pay a higher premium, but some insurers might automatically reject your application should you apply to them directly.
Your BMI number – your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres – is an important consideration for life insurers when deciding whether to offer cover and at what price. They will, however, also consider other factors, such as your age, your personal medical history and the medical history of your close relatives.
The solution here might be to approach a specialist broker such as Moneysworth. We specialise in finding life insurance for clients whose circumstances are a little different – perhaps because they reside overseas, have a riskier occupation or have a mental or physical health concern. We have an extensive knowledge of the criteria used by different insurers and can identify the provider who will offer you the most suitable cover. For example, not all insurers have the same ‘maximum BMI’, so if one provider tells you your BMI is too high, we can approach another insurer on your behalf.
On 2nd August 2023, we were endorsed in the national press (the Daily Mail) as an example of a specialist broker who can assist in situations such as this. Alan Lakey, director at Highclere Financial Services, and a respected name in the life insurance sector, listed us as one of three specialist companies who can assist clients with high BMI and with other health issues.
When we look at 15 life insurance companies used by Moneysworth, we see that:
It’s also important to consider the BMI level that would prompt an insurer to increase your premium. Again, the precise threshold varies between different providers, but most will require you to pay more if your BMI is 32 or above, and some will ‘load’ your premium for a BMI as low as 29.
It’s very difficult for the average consumer to gain a detailed understanding of individual insurers’ criteria. If you have a high BMI, your best option is to make use of a specialist broker such as Moneysworth. We can use our detailed knowledge of insurers’ criteria to find you the very best price available, by approaching the insurers who are likely to consider your application favourably.
Here, it was immediately apparent that a number of insurers were prepared to offer cover to both clients. Where Moneysworth’s specialist knowledge benefitted the clients was that we knew exactly by how much each insurer would increase the premium. Had the clients simply searched a price comparison website and applied to what appeared to be the cheapest provider, this provider may no longer have been the cheapest option once their final offer of terms had been made.
In this case, both partners took out £113,000 of cover over 40 years. The female client’s premium was £12.58 per month, while the male client needs to pay just £9.04.
Then, as a more extreme example of how we can help:
After researching their situation, we told them that while most insurance companies would still say no, we believed we had found a company who might say yes. The insurance company wrote to the client’s GP for a report and the client also attended a brief medical screening. The insurance company was happy with the results and made a definite offer of cover, which the client was happy to accept, of £56,075 decreasing life cover over 20 years for £50 per month.
If you have approached insurers directly and been declined, or have been told by another broker that you can’t get life insurance due to your BMI or any other health issue, then contact Moneysworth today to see how we can help.
The judges could see that we consistently achieve very high service ratings and positive customer review. Since we started offering clients the opportunity to review our service via the third party review service Feefo five years ago, we have consistently maintained a five star (98%) aggregate rating from over three hundred clients (earlier this year, Feefo also awarded us a Gold Trusted Service award).
The high rate of positive feedback we receive is due to our research-driven process and the hard work of our team who ensure clients get the best possible service and outcome.
For example, more than one insurance provider is now offering Income Protection without exclusions to some customers with type 2 diabetes – something we’ve been pushing for in the insurance industry since 2017.
Even more significant has been our collaborative work with other specialist advisers firms, in partnership with Royal London, to design and test a new Life Insurance option for people with a history of severe mental illness.
Specifically, the initiative is aimed at people who have had a significant mental health event in the last five years, such as a suicide attempt.
The product trial achieved very positive results: 75% of clients who applied obtained Life Insurance at a more easily affordable monthly premium. These were people who otherwise would have been declined any cover at all, or offered cover at a much higher price.
Moneysworth wants to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with pre-existing physical and mental health problems, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry for better outcomes for all.
You can see the list of all this year’s winners at the Cover Excellence Awards website.
Life insurance companies typically have a range of different premium rates for people with diabetes. Different companies will place the same person in different price bands. The process of applying for cover can often take weeks – or even months – if medical reports need to be obtained and checked. And although the situation has somewhat improved for Life Cover in recent years, most insurers are still unwilling to consider Critical Illness or Income Protection for people with any type of diabetes.
Well, there’s definitely some good news here.
In recent years, we’ve seen improvements in the prices for Life Cover typically offered to people with diabetes.
Another encouraging development we’ve seen with a couple of insurers: after starting the life insurance policy, the insurers reward policyholders by reducing premiums if the customer can demonstrate improved control (i.e. if their HbA1c reading comes down by a certain amount). We think this is a very encouraging sign, not just because it can make cover cheaper, but because it demonstrates that the insurance market is starting to consider how to adapt to the unique circumstances of people with long-term health conditions.
If certain criteria are met, it’s now possible for people living with diabetes to get a “fast-track” application, which means cover could be in place immediately. Less stress, more peace of mind – exactly the kind of innovation we want to see for people with long-term health conditions who want to protect their financial security and their family’s future.
A year ago, there were hardly any options for people with diabetes to obtain Income Protection Insurance. For most it simply wasn’t available.
Moneysworth campaigned to improve that situation, and we’re pleased to see at least some people in the insurance industry listened to us!
With expert guidance, it’s now possible for some people who have type 2 diabetes to get Income Protection with no exclusions, subject to certain criteria. But for people with type 1 diabetes, although there is some availability, it’s extremely limited.
The situation for Critical Illness Cover has been slow to improve. It is now possible for people living with diabetes to obtain Critical Illness Cover – but the options are very limited and the chances of being offered cover are even narrower if they have type 1.
The small signs of progress we’ve seen in the market are a welcome start, but the fact is most insurance companies still don’t offer either of these protection products to people who have diabetes.
The charity Diabetes UK reports that there are around 3.7 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and that figure is predicted to rise to 5 million by 2025*.
In light of this, we firmly believe that the insurance market needs a surge of innovation to make its products and services more forward-thinking and inclusive.
Moneysworth wants to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with diabetes, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry.
* Source: Diabetes UK ‘Facts & Figures‘
Obtaining Critical Illness cover for anyone with Type 2 Diabetes can be very difficult, but it is possible in some circumstances, as one of our recent cases demonstrates.
The first problem is that most insurance companies will automatically decline any application for Critical Illness cover from a person with Type 2 diabetes, irrespective of positive factors, such as good control and lack of complications. So it’s difficult for consumers to know where to go.
Normally buying life insurance and critical illness cover can be done in many places like the bank, large comparison websites and financial advisers, however if your personal circumstances mean that you do not fit the standard mould, you would be well advised to use the services of a life insurance broker who has particular specialisation in dealing with people who have health conditions.
Moneysworth has been successful in arranging Life and Critical Illness cover on a number of occasions for people with Type 2 Diabetes, as a recent case demonstrates.
A gentleman in his early 40’s made an enquiry on our website: www.moneysworth.co.uk. Type 2 Diabetes had relatively recently been diagnosed, his control was good and he didn’t have any diabetic complications, but he was overweight. With a raised BMI (Body Mass Index) of 31, this made finding cover even more difficult. He wanted Life and Critical Illness cover and had a specific budget in mind for his premiums of £75 per month.
As we do in all cases, we researched the whole market for the client to see if life and critical illness cover would be available. Our research indicated that only one insurance company would offer him cover, so we applied to them. The insurer wrote to his GP surgery for further medical information and on receipt of that offered a guaranteed premium policy for £75 per month, covering the client for Level Life or Critical Illness cover (without exclusions) of £75,350 over 23 years.
People with an existing health condition who have been declined elsewhere should not give up hope of getting the cover they want until they have used the services of a specialist life insurance broker. If a client wants to find out what might be available and apply, Moneysworth do not charge a fee. This means Moneysworth is only paid a commission by an insurer if we are successful. Remember if you’re unsure if a broker is a specialist, you could ask the question: ‘What percentage of your clients have pre-existing health conditions?’. At Moneysworth that figure is over 75%!
Hello and Welcome!
We are proud to launch our new website which with a great deal of consideration, has taken over a year to develop.
The new site is very different to the old one and we thought it might be useful to explain some of the thinking that has gone into the design and content.
Firstly we were aware that our website had not kept pace with the changes in our business and especially our client groups. Put simply any visitor to the old site might well conclude that our life cover services were designed only for people with pre existing health conditions. However the truth is that we arrange life cover for a much wider range of clients, including people with no health conditions, business owners and clients with occupational and/or overseas travel issues.
Secondly we knew that the old website looked dated and the new site needed a much fresher approach. Financial services websites generally are often criticised for being somewhat dull, so it was important to us that visitors find the new site visually stimulating and engaging.
Our clients receive a bespoke personal service and we wanted the new website to visually send a clear message to visitors, that we are different. We have tried hard to make the site easy to read and visually engaging by breaking information down into manageable amounts. We have used space to de-clutter and chosen a font which feels personable (and different again) and is easier on the eye.
Functionality was another key consideration. We have tried to make the new website easy to navigate and as simple to use as possible. We have tried to make it easy for customers to communicate with us, whether making an enquiry or asking us any questions (e.g. email, phone, live chat). It’s really easy for visitors to share a link to any page they think may be of interest with a friend. Underlying all of this is a clear invitation for visitors to engage with us.
Finally we wanted to create a website that visitors find genuinely useful and compelling. In short we want people to leave our site feeling their visit has been worthwhile and the key issue here is the quality of the content.
Here we have tried as much as possible to put ourselves in the shoes of our clients. We asked ourselves time and time again ‘what are the questions that customers really want answers to?’ ‘How are customers feeling as they approach applying for life insurance?’ ‘What concerns do they have?’ ‘What information might help customers feel more confident’? For example, some people with pre-existing health conditions may fear that life insurance premium rates would be completely unaffordable in their particular situation. They may fear the embarrassment explaining that it was unaffordable. For some these potential negative outcomes might cause them to avoid making any enquiry at all. It is for this reason that we have decided to include a selection of real cases, showing actual premium and cover amounts achieved for some of our customers on the diabetes and heart condition pages of the site. Throughout the website we have similarly tried to include lots of additional information which we think visitors might find useful.
When it comes to life insurance, we believe that what customers are looking for above all, is to feel confident in the decisions they are making. We hope you find our website of genuine value and we look forward to being of service.
Yes, you do have choices about how you apply for life insurance and if you have diabetes making the wrong ones could cost you.
So here are the tips
1) Fully Disclose All Medical Information – cutting corners or forgetting to mention medical information risks making your cover invalid, but if you fully disclose all information you will have peace of mind knowing that the cover is valid.
2) Applying Direct To A Life Insurance Company Has Downsides – There is nothing wrong in applying direct its just that in doing so there’s a very good chance that you will end up paying more than you need to because there’s will be a good chance that another life insurance company would have charged a cheaper premium. In fact if you already applied direct to a life company and have an existing policy you should still read the tips below and consider getting a second opinion. It wont cost you anything but could save you lots.
3) Research Is Important – Good research will pay dividends and can save you a small fortune. Unfortunately its not easy to do this yourself.
4) Use An Expert – Some companies specialise in offering a service for people with pre existing health conditions such as diabetes, providing a more expert service to help find you best deal www.moneysworth.co.uk are one such company who individually research every single case and provide this service on a non fee basis so they are able to provide you with an indication of likely premium before you apply. An expert will also be able to provide you with information about what other associated types of insurance cover might be available, such as critical illness or income protection.
5) Most Advisers Do Not Specialise In Diabetes – If they dont really specialise its unlikely that they will be able to perform the research to the same standard as a real specialist.
6) How to Spot A Non Specialist – There are a number of ways. 1) Check the website -if the company is genuinely offering a specialist service this should be clear visible on the webite. 2) When speaking on the phone are they asking you the right kinds of questions about your diabetes, do they sound like they are dealing in this day in day out? 3) Sometimes companies pretend to be expert, they tend to rush to the application stage before doing any research – If they quote a preium straight away its probably not a good sign. If in doubt a good questions to ask is what percentage of their clients have diabetes.
7) Think About The Future As Well As The Present – If you develop further complications or additional health conditions in the future you may find it more difficult to obtain cover in the future. As a diabetic if you develop cardio vascular disease in the future, as things currently stand in the market, you will not be able to obtain new life insurance from any mainstream insurer.
8) Guaranteed Premium Rates Are Best – This means that the premiums cannot be increased in the future so you know where you stand so make sure that your premiums are not reviewable.
9) Remember That Once Your Policy Starts Your Insurance Is Guaranteed – Once your policy begins future health changes will not effect your cover or your premiums, which means you no longer have to worry about what the future may bring.
10) Prices for New Policies Will Go Up At The End Of The Year – This is true, especially so for females. If you have diabetes the process time from start to finish for life insurnace normally takes weeks rather than days. You can avoid the price hike by getting your cover in place before the changes take place – that probably means getting on with things now
If you would like a quote or would like to speak to an expert visit www.moneysworth.co.uk or call us on 0845 430 5200