Weight gain could cost you dear in life insurance

19 June 2007
People who gain weight could find the cost of their life insurance policy rises in proportion to the size of their waistband, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said.

If you put on weight to the point of becoming obese, your insurer could hike the cost of your premium accordingly, the ABI's press officer Jonathan French warned.

"Insurers look for factors which are likely to increase the risk of a claim being made," he explained, citing obesity, along with smoking, as one such risk factor.

Obesity has been linked to conditions including heart disease, strokes and type-2 diabetes.

Moreover, customers could find their insurers refuse to pay up for a claim if they suffer from conditions which are considered to be obesity-related.

But Mr French stressed that "different insurers will use different measures to determine lifestyle factors", with some using body mass index ratings to decide whether or not a customer is obese.

People who lose weight, meanwhile, should let their insurers know, he stressed, since "in most cases" they will "amend the premiums in your favour".

According to the Department of Health, over 50 per cent of all adults in the UK are overweight.

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