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Knowing your Body Mass Index can be important when you are applying for an insurance policy. Body Mass Index or BMI is replacing the height and weight charts for many insurers. It has the same impact on your ability to purchase a policy as the height and weight charts. Your rate can be increased if they don’t like your Body Mass Index. The insurance company can decide not to cover you if they don’t like your Body Mass Index. The easiest way to determine BMI is to use a BMI calculator.

If you are curious: BMI is based on a formula that finds the ratio of height to weight. The formula is (your weight in pounds times 703) divided by (height in inches squared). When you have that number you then need to determine what percentile of the population you belong in. If you fall into the underweight or obese category, you should have a frank discussion with your broker before you apply. Your broker is there to help you. He or she wants you to qualify for coverage, so will be willing to give you the weight target range for your height. If your BMI is close to the limit, you may want to make sure that the weight you put on your application is accurate and not rounded up. You may want to lose weight before applying. Some companies will only let you apply once per year. This means that if you don’t know what they want you to weigh, you may be denied for 3 lbs and not be able to apply again for a year, even though it may only take you a week to take the 3 lbs off. Also, different companies will have different limits. I will often have a client who won’t qualify for Company A, will get a rate increase from Company B and will be approved at standard rates by Company C. Your height to weight ratio has a major impact you your ability to be insured. If you are potentially obese or anorexic, you should shop around for the company that will be most likely to insure you and/or make sure that you are within their BMI limits before applying.

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