As a dad, finding the time maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst juggling work and childcare can be tricky, (especially if you are currently home schooling too).
The Health Survey for England identified that in 2019 68.2% of men were classified as being overweight (or obese), meaning there was a greater chance of them being overweight than women.
With the start of another new year, there’s no time like the present to kickstart your new year’s health goals and make a positive change in 2021.
Taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle can bring about plenty of benefits, some less obvious than others.
Naturally, when switching to a healthy lifestyle you’ll experience more energy, increased fitness levels and a shedding of those unwanted extra pounds. But did you know, switching to a healthy lifestyle can have a positive effect on your life insurance options?
Award-winning life insurance broker, Reassured, share’s its top tips on securing life insurance for dads struggling with their weight and any of the associated health conditions.
Why do I need life insurance?
As a parent, life insurance is essential in securing the financial future of your loved ones.
Thinking about what would happen to your family if you were to pass away may seem like a morbid thought, but it’s something that needs to be considered, sooner rather than later. Especially in the current climate of this devastating Covid-19 pandemic, where life has rarely felt so fragile.
If you were to pass away while supporting a young family, it’s likely that meeting family living costs and paying rent or mortgage payments would fall to the surviving parent. Could they afford these additional expenses? Or would they need to downsize and make changes to their lives at an already difficult time for the family?
A pay out from a life insurance policy can help to provide the funds for your loved ones to continue their current lifestyle and remain in the family home. Cover starts from around 20p-a-day for £200,000.
There are a variety of policy types to suit different needs, from term insurance that covers you for a specific time period (perhaps until your children are financially independent), to whole of life cover that will provide you with lifetime cover.
How does my health affect my options?
Health has a big influence on life insurance, particularly the cost of your premiums. When applying for life cover, you will need to provide specific details about your health and lifestyle, (unless it is an over 50s plan which guarantees acceptance). This can include:
• Your age
• Your medical history
• Any pre-existing conditions
• Weight & BMI
• Smoking status
• Alcohol consumption
• Family medical history
Insurers will use your Body Mass Index to provide an indication of whether your weight may affect your future health. The NHS states that a healthy BMI is between 18.5 – 24.9; meaning you are considered overweight if you have a BMI over 25.
As life insurance premiums are calculated based on the level of risk you pose to the insurer, the more overweight you are, the more you will pay each month. This is because those who are overweight are more likely to develop other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.
Can I still take out life insurance if I’m overweight?
Yes, you can still secure life insurance if you’re overweight, however the process will be slightly different to those securing cover on standard terms.
Your BMI (in relation to your age) will be assessed. Although a BMI of over 25 is considered overweight, it’s unlikely you’ll be declined unless your BMI is over 45. A BMI of over 45 is considered morbidly obese and too risky to insure.
By making simple changes to your lifestyle, not only can you improve your health but also secure a more favourable life insurance premium.
What if I have other health problems?
It’s important to also consider that being overweight can lead to a variety of other health conditions. For example, type 2 diabetes often occurs as a result of leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
If you’ve developed type 2 diabetes as a result of being overweight, you may worry that this will further affect your chances of securing life insurance. You can still secure life insurance with type 2 diabetes, but it’s likely that insurers will inflate their premiums.
Similarly, if you’ve developed high blood pressure or other heart problems as a result of being overweight you may have to go through manual underwriting.
Can I still get life insurance during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Yes, it is still very possible to secure affordable life cover during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the application process has changed slightly with additional Coronavirus-related questions being asked, such as:
· Have you tested positive for Covid-19?
· Have you been required to self-isolate?
· Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive?
As long as you did not fail to disclose that you had Covid at the point of application (known as ‘non-disclosure’), your policy will pay out to your loved ones as per normal.
How can I lead a healthier lifestyle?
Simple changes can be made that will benefit your health. For example, eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly can help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s not unusual for insurers to reward a change in lifestyle with a reduction in your premium. If you can prove that you’re living a healthy lifestyle (often this needs to be maintained for a least a year), are losing weight and have a more favourable BMI you could see your premiums be lowered.
Why not make 2021 the year you lose weight, get healthy and save money on your life insurance cover?
Where can I buy life insurance?
You can buy a life insurance policy directly from any provider. However, by going direct you can’t compare multiple quotes from different providers.
It is important to do a quote comparison, as due to different unwriting processes prices can vary wildly. For example, what one insurer classifies as being overweight, another may consider standard.
When applying for life insurance as someone who is overweight or with less than favourable health, insurers are likely to offer you an inflated premiums to compensate for the increased risk of insuring you.
Using a broker or a comparison website allows you to compare multiple policies to ensure you’re not paying over the odds for your cover. If you’re worried about being declined due to your health, a broker can also give you guidance as to which insurer is most likely to accept your application and offer you cover.
A broker will help you through every step of the way, answer any questions you may have to unpick the jargon and help you find the most affordable option.