According to recent research, over 23 million Brits are overweight. This is not just a risk to your health but to your wallet as well, since it affects your life insurance costs as well.

Not only does this wreak havoc with your internal organs and thus your health as a whole, in years to come you may decided to take out life insurance, it is after all the responsible and loving thing to do for your loved ones. When this time comes around, those extra few pounds you've got jiggling around may cost you more than a few jingling pennies. The reason for this is that the extra weight, although it may prove to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, puts the body out of its optimum working order. With your body being out of sync you increase the likelihood of developing respiratory problems, heart disease and diabetes to name but a few illnesses related to holding onto a few too many pounds.

If those few extra pounds start turning into stones then the picture becomes more dire. Official statistics show that a worrying 19% of Brits can be classified as clinically obese, in order to be labelled as such you need to have a BMI (Body Mass Index) rating of 30 or above. Sadly, statistics show that for the whole of Europe, we as a nation are rocking the fat scale in a negative fashion. The 39% of us that are overweight have made it so that we have the highest proportion of weighty matter than any other EU member state.

On the one hand one could argue that the extra pounds make us more of a nation to contend with after all, physically we're bigger than any of the other EU members! On a serious note however the reality of being overweight doesn't bring any smiles; as mentioned before, being more robust can have negative impact on your general health. It is for this reason that some life insurance providers demand a physical assessment, so that before providing you with a policy they can fully assess your starting point and thus calculate your potential path, checking to see how your current state could affect your future. Being overweight however will not stop you from getting life insurance cover it almost certainly will bump up the cost of your premiums, it may also exclude you from certain levels of cover compared to an active lifestyle that caters to those that are serious about treating their body as a temple.

Some of the risk factors linked with being overweight have been briefly mentioned and is the reason why risk assessments are carried out, not just to check if you are overweight but to determine your overall level of risk. Other factors that could affect your policy include whether or not you are a smoker, heavy drinker or regularly partake in high risk activities, such as speed racing or extreme sports. When carrying out their risk assessment, insurers are looking out for a number of markers that could shunt you into the sub-prime sector. Having a BMI over 25 will class you as overweight and will almost certainly cost you when it come to the price of the policy being offered to you. Being overweight may not cause you to have an immediate chronic illness like a heart attack however it has been shown to contribute heavily to illnesses that require long term care like diabetes.

A BMI score of over 30 categorises you as being clinically obese and may mean you are refused life insurance altogether. This is because while being overweight may contribute to certain illnesses, being obese almost guarantees their occurrences. Having such a high BMI puts insurers off as they see the risk of your demise, be it sudden or over a long period of time as too high to be able to cover.

Author's Bio: 

Christian is an author of several articles pertaining to Life Insurance. He is known for his expertise on the subject and on other Business and Finance related articles.