Norwich Union: Piling on the pounds piles pounds onto life insurance premiums

09 March 2007
As the UK's obesity problem gets worse and worse, our financial health is suffering too, says Norwich Union. March 11-17 is Obesity Awareness Week, and Norwich Union warns that piling on the pounds can also severely affect life insurance costs, with obese people paying nearly double the premium that a person of 'normal' weight pays.

For example, 35-year-old non-smoking man who is 5ft10 man and weighs 12stone would pay £14.40 when assuring £200,000 over 15 years, where as a man of the same age and height, but who weighs 20stone would pay £25.20 for the same policy.

The premiums get even higher when people have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of above 30(3). The average BMI for a person of "normal" weight is between 18.5 and 25.

Tony Jupp, chief underwriter at Norwich Union, says: "Obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of a number of chronic medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. It can also put a tremendous strain on weight bearing joints especially the hips and knees, leading to a number of mobility problems.

"In addition, many overweight people are extremely sensitive as to how they are perceived by others and these concerns can often lead to periods of anxiety and even depression. The cost of life insurance cover has to reflect these additional risks."

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