Personal Finance

Sunday 13 July 2014

Life cover costs double for people with obesity

Louise McBride

Published 15/12/2013|13:01

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Mince Pie Misery: Medical conditions associated with weight gain affect insurance risk

Before you tuck into that tenth mince pie or caramel barrel on Christmas Day, remember that you could be pushing up the cost of your life cover if you do so. Obese people could pay twice as much for life insurance as people who watch their weight do, according to Caledonian Life.

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"If someone is about 10 pounds over their 'ideal' weight, the cost of their life cover should not be affected," said Sara Murphy, senior marketing executive of Caledonian Life. "But if a person is obese, and especially if they have additional medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, they could have difficulty getting approved for life cover -- and where it is approved, they'll invariably pay considerably more. A doubling or more of an applicant's premium due to obesity used to be unusual, but not anymore."

Obesity is not the only health problem which could push up the cost of your life insurance. "If you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, your premiums will most likely be higher to reflect greater medical risks and shortened life expectancy associated with smoking and liver damage," said Murphy.

Insurers might look deeper into a person's lifestyle as the years go on to ascertain who is more susceptible to medical problems due to unhealthy living, according to Caledonian Life.

"The good news is that if there has been an improvement in your health or you gave up smoking since you took out a policy, it may be worth reviewing the cost of the cover to see if it can be reduced," said Murphy.

Irish Independent

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