If you are overweight or obese, you may have had a hard time finding proper life insurance or burial insurance. Simply being overweight or obese is not fatal by any means. However, you may feel that you can’t obtain any. That is simply not true. You could have many options available to you, especially in the burial insurance area. In this article, we discuss life insurance and burial insurance underwriting and affordable burial insurance for overweight people.
Burial Insurance Underwriting
Before we get into burial insurance for people who are overweight or obese, let’s talk about burial insurance and underwriting. Burial insurance is simply a whole life or permanent insurance policy with a small death benefit. Usually, the available death benefits are between $2,000 to $25,000 and sometimes more (such as $50,000) depending on age.
Underwriting for burial insurance is much different than that for traditional life insurance – term life insurance and permanent life insurance. With traditional life insurance, these types of underwriting are going to want to know the severity of your overweight or obesity. They focus on your weight because your weight is a very important indicator of your overall health. They will look at your BMI (which is a way to categorize your overweight in one number. Over 25 categorized as overweight and over 30 categorized as obese). Carriers will likely request your doctor records and want to know other health conditions, too. (If you are overweight or obese and need term life or permanent insurance, contact us, and we will discuss the steps and process with you.)
With burial insurance, underwriting is different. The carrier doesn’t care about all of that stuff. They don’t want to see your doctor records. They just want to know your height and weight. Luckily, the height/weight tables are very liberal, so they take into account overweight. If your height and weight fit into the table, you are good to go. If not, then no life insurance is available.
Yes Or No Questions
The health questions on a burial insurance application are all “yes or no”. The carrier just wants to know if you have a certain medical condition or not. The question could be as simple as, “in the past 2 years have you been diagnosed or treated for atrial fibrillation?” You would answer “yes” if you have or “no” if not.
Here is the interesting point. Some carriers don’t even ask about your height or weight. That is right. They don’t care. So, if you are extremely obese, and you have no other significant underlying health conditions, who do you think we will use? That is right – the carrier that doesn’t ask about your weight.
Burial insurance underwriting is a simple “yes/no” application. Some carriers then follow the application with a phone interview. We prefer the ones that don’t when possible. After that, a coverage determination usually is instantaneous or a couple of days thereafter.
More On Burial Insurance Underwriting
Carriers will run your background through a few different databases to make sure what you say on the application matches to your records. One database is the MIB. The MIB shows your insurance application history. It will show when you applied for insurance in the last few years. If you applied to several life insurance carriers, the carrier will want to know why. It will also raise any red flags if what you said on your application does not match to any previously released information, through your application history.
They will also look at your prescription drug history. Carriers can see all of that. (Even the ones I take.) If an answer to an application question does not match a prescription drug you take, that will be a red flag. For example, if you take an inhaler for emphysema, but say no to the question, “in the last 2 years, have you been diagnosed or treated for emphysema?”, the carrier questions your truthfulness.
That’s why a majority of the carriers conducts phone interviews with an underwriter. They look all of that stuff up while on the phone with you. The interview usually lasts 10 minutes, sometimes less, sometimes more. An underwriter conducts the interview and will either approve or modify on the spot or a couple of days.
Remember that lying on a life insurance application constitutes fraud. Obviously, fraud is a bad thing. There is no need to lie. We will find you the lowest cost policy for your situation, which we discuss next.
Just to recap, in terms of a burial insurance policy, if the application doesn’t ask your condition (such as obesity or diabetes, for example), then likely the carrier will ignore your condition, even with a prescription drug history.
Types of Burial Insurance For Overweight People
There are a few types of burial insurance for overweight people. We will help you make sense of them.
The first one is called level benefit. This means the death benefit has “day 1” coverage. Level benefit coverage is what we want. It is also, generally, the least expensive burial insurance option. Let’s say Jim applies for $20,000 burial insurance. The carrier approves him with level benefit coverage. Six months later, Jim, unfortunately, dies suddenly. Jim’s beneficiary will receive the $20,000 to help pay for Jim’s funeral costs.
The second one is called graded benefit. Think of this as a “waiting period” for death benefit coverage. Depending on the carrier, the waiting period could be 2 years or 3 years. If you die within the waiting period, the carrier usually reimburses your premiums plus interest to your beneficiary. Carriers reserve graded benefit coverage for people with moderate to significant health conditions. In other words, the applicant says “yes” to a question.
An example will make this coverage clear. Let’s use the same example, except the carrier approves Jim for graded benefit coverage. The graded death benefit is 2 years. Should Jim die of natural or sickness within2-year year timeframe, the carrier will reimburse his beneficiary the premiums plus 10% interest. If Jim dies year 3 and after, the full death benefit paid to his beneficiary. One caveat: beneficiaries receive the full death benefit if death by accident.
Unfortunately, Jim unexpectedly dies by sickness 6 months later. His beneficiary receives the premiums back plus 10%.
People with many health complications usually end up with graded benefit coverage. It is, by no means, bad. However, we aim to find level benefit coverage when possible. Level benefit coverage usually means the lowest cost for you.
Other Types Of Burial Insurance For Overweight People
There are a couple more types of burial insurance for overweight people.
If you can’t obtain level benefit or graded benefit, there is guaranteed-issue coverage available. This means just as it sounds: you automatically receive coverage. Just fill out an application and answer a few non-health questions. The carrier does not run your background through the MIB or prescription drug history.
Guaranteed-issue coverage contains a graded death benefit, usually 2 years. We work with a few different guaranteed-issue carriers. Sometimes, the cost of the guaranteed-issue insurance coverage is less than that of a traditional graded benefit policy. If that’s the case, it makes sense to apply for the guaranteed-issue coverage.
We also utilize a funeral trust. Funeral trusts pay the death benefit directly to the funeral home. They also protect your policy from the Medicaid spend-down process. That is right. Whole life insurance, including burial insurance in most cases, is a spendable asset for Medicaid since it contains cash. That means if you need to go into a nursing home, Medicaid will force you to terminate your life insurance policy and use the cash for your nursing home care. If that happens, you have lost the initial intention of the life insurance.
We don’t let our clients get to that point. We expedite the transfer of the cash in your burial insurance policy into the funeral trust, where it will be protected. Contact us to learn more.
Affordable Burial Insurance For Overweight People
Now that you know the types of burial insurance available to you, which type do you think we will choose? That’s right. The one with the lowest cost and that best fits your situation. People who are overweight or obese can obtain level death benefit coverage. As we said earlier, being overweight or obese by itself is not life-threatening. However, there may be other health conditions that affect your approval. If you have diabetes or cancer, or have some other significant health condition in addition to being overweight or obese, the chances of a level death benefit coverage are lower.
That is where we come in. We have helped people who are overweight or obese AND some other health conditions obtain proper life insurance coverage, usually at level death benefit coverage.
Did you know we work with 2 specific carriers that DO NOT ask about your height and weight and provide level benefit coverage? That is right. They don’t. Depending on your health situation, they may not ask about any other health conditions you have (if any). As we said, even if you take prescription medication.
There is no reason that you have to pay an arm and a leg for burial insurance if you are overweight or obese. Even if you have additional health complications, we can likely find a policy that will meet your needs and budget.
We hope you found this article informative. You can obtain burial insurance if you are overweight or obese. Are you ready to get started? Feel free to contact us or use the form below. We work with many carriers in the burial insurance area and know we can find the right coverage for you. As with everything we do, we work with your best interests at all times. That means if there is a better option for you than what we can provide, we will help put you in touch with someone who can.