Believe it or not, life insurance companies are interested in your digits. No, not just those numbers. We’re talking about your height and weight.

Life insurance providers consider your Body Mass Index (BMI) when deciding whether to accept an application. Not only that – they also use it, among other factors, to calculate the cost of your monthly premium.

So, the short answer is, “Yes.” But let’s look a little deeper.

What is my Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Your BMI is calculated by comparing your height and weight. When your weight in kilograms is divided by the square of your height in meters, you get a number. This number is then used to determine whether you’re in a normal, healthy height to weight ratio, underweight, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.

The range for a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. If you’re under or over that range, your insurance provider pairs that information with other risk factors, such as whether you smoke, are diabetic, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

If you are in one or multiple of these risk factor categories and have a high or low BMI, insurance companies may raise your premiums or deny your application entirely.

Why Does My Life Insurance Factor In My BMI?

Life insurance providers consider your BMI as a potential risk factor as people who are substantially under- or overweight statistically have a higher mortality rate. All your risk factors are compared against the statistics of millions of people in order to remain neutral and fact based in their decision making.

Risk factors that are also considered in the assessment include:

  • Your age
  • Your sex
  • If you smoke
  • Your medical history
  • Family medical history
  • The level of danger involved in your employment or other activities

Be Sure To Compare Coverage

Don’t worry – not all insurance providers adhere to the same standards. You will get various quotes as you shop for the life insurance provider that’s right for you. No life insurance underwriter will ever deny your application based on BMI alone, but if you struggle to maintain a healthy BMI, consider quitting smoking.