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A Guide To Critical Illness Insurance For High And Low BMI

by Sneha Shukla

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for overall well-being, both physically and mentally. Weight plays a significant role in determining a person’s health, and being overweight or underweight can lead to various health complications. One way to measure whether you are within a healthy weight range is by calculating your body mass index (BMI). BMI takes into account both your weight and height, providing an indication of whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

According to studies, individuals with a higher BMI are more prone to developing conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, type-2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Obesity not only affects physical health but can also have an impact on mental well-being, leading to anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and depression.

To calculate your BMI on your own, you can use the following formula:

Weight in pounds = 5 x BMI + (BMI divided by 5) x (Height in inches minus 60)

Knowing your BMI can help you understand how it may impact the premium of your life insurance plan. Higher BMIs often result in higher premiums due to the increased health risks associated with obesity.

The Link Between BMI and Life Insurance Premiums

Life insurance is an essential financial tool that protects your loved ones in case of unfortunate events. When applying for life insurance coverage, several factors are taken into consideration by insurance providers before determining the premium amount. Age, gender, medical history, lifestyle choices, and BMI all play a role in calculating your life insurance premium.

Individuals with higher BMIs may face higher premiums compared to those with normal BMIs. This is because obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing various health conditions, which may lead to higher medical expenses and a higher likelihood of claiming insurance benefits. Insurance providers adjust their premiums to account for these risks.

On the other hand, individuals with lower BMIs may be considered healthier and have a lower risk of developing critical illnesses. As a result, they may be offered lower premiums on their life insurance policies. You can use the life insurance calculator to check for the premiums for your chosen policy details.

The Role of Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance is a type of coverage that provides a lump sum payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with a specified critical illness during the policy term. This payment can help cover medical expenses, replace lost income, or provide financial support during the recovery period.

One might wonder how BMI affects critical illness insurance rates. While BMI may not directly impact critical illness insurance premiums, it can affect the coverage options available to individuals with high or low BMIs. Some insurers may have specific weight restrictions or exclusions for certain critical illnesses based on BMI categories. Therefore, it is important to carefully review the policy terms and conditions before purchasing critical illness insurance. Moreover, critical illness insurance premiums are tax-deductible under Section 80D and provide the same life insurance benefits.

Sample Calculation: Determining Premiums Based on BMI

Let’s take a look at a sample calculation to understand how premiums can vary based on BMI. Suppose two individuals, Rahul and Deepika, both 40 years old, want to purchase a term plan with critical illness add-on with a sum assured of ₹50 lakh. Rahul has a normal BMI of 23, while Deepika’s BMI is 32, classified as obese.

Insurance providers determine premiums based on factors like age, gender, medical history, and lifestyle choices in addition to BMI. Assuming all other factors are the same, Rahul may be quoted a premium of ₹8,000 per year for his policy. On the other hand, due to her higher BMI and increased health risks associated with obesity, 

Deepika may be quoted a premium of ₹12,000 per year for the same coverage.

It’s important to note that premiums can vary significantly between different insurance providers based on their underwriting guidelines. Therefore, it’s essential to compare premiums using the term insurance calculator for different policies and thoroughly review the terms and conditions before deciding.

How to make informed decisions about life insurance and critical illness insurance coverage:

  1. Understand your BMI: Calculate your body mass index using your weight and height.
  2. Research policies: Compare different insurance providers and policies to find the coverage that suits your needs and takes into account your BMI category.
  3. Seek expert advice: Consult with an insurance advisor who can guide you through the available options and help you find the most suitable policy for your specific requirements.
  4. Review policy terms: Carefully read the terms and conditions of the policy, paying attention to any exclusions or restrictions related to BMI categories.
  5. Compare premiums: Compare premiums from multiple insurance providers to ensure you are getting competitive rates for the coverage you need.


Maintaining a healthy weight is not only crucial for your overall well-being but can also have an impact on your life insurance coverage options and premiums. Insurance providers consider several factors when determining premiums for life insurance and critical illness insurance policies. While BMI may not directly affect critical illness insurance rates in most cases, it can influence the available coverage options and premiums.

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