What is BMI – Body Mass Index

Glossary - Letter - B

What is BMI (Body Mass Index)? BMI is a ratio that is used by life insurance companies to estimate individual’s health and fitness condition, and it is considered when determining insurance premiums. BMI is calculated as the mass of an individual (in kilograms) divided by his/her height (in meters) squared.

Typically insurance companies will use BMI tables to sort policy applicants into different categories. Here is a high-level perspective on some BMI values.

CategoryBMI range
Very severely underweightless than 15
Severely underweightfrom 15.0 to 16.0
Underweightfrom 16.0 to 18.5
Healthy, normal weightfrom 18.5 to 25
Overweightfrom 25 to 30
Moderately obesefrom 30 to 35
Severely obesefrom 35 to 40
Very severely obeseover 40

Life, Disability and Critical Illness Insurance Tip:

Be healthy, save on insurance: If you are in a good health and have a good build when you apply for a life insurance policy (based on BMI), insurers will reward that with lower premiums.

If you already have a life insurance policy and got in shape compared to your state when you signed up for a policy (e.g. spending hours in a gym), you can request a review of your life insurance premiums.




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