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What is a Life Insurance Build Chart & Why is it So Important?

by Scott G on May 13, 2013

life insurance build chart 2016-heigh and weight

How much do I need to weigh in order to get a good rate on life insurance?

Your build (height & weight) is one of the major factors in determining your life insurance rate. You could be in perfect health but if you weigh too much according to the insurance company’s build chart, you will end up paying a higher premium.

What is a life insurance build chart?

Below is a sample life insurance company build chart.  This is the first item the agent and eventually the underwriter look at in determining what risk class you fall into.  Every company has their own build chart so it is important to shop around to see which company will offer you the lowest rate for your height and weight.

Sample life insurance build chart (Note-each company has its own build chart)

 

Weight Ranges (Ages 16 – 60)

 

MAXIMUM Weight

Height

MINIMUM Weight

Super Preferred

Preferred

Select

4’8″

80

129

138

147

4’9″

83

134

143

153

4’10”

86

139

148

158

4’11”

89

144

154

163

5’0″

92

149

159

169

5’1″

95

153

164

175

5’2″

98

159

170

180

5’3″

102

164

175

186

5’4″

105

169

181

192

5’5″

108

174

186

198

5’6″

112

180

192

204

5’7″

115

185

198

211

5’8″

118

191

204

217

5’9″

122

196

210

223

5’10”

125

202

216

230

5’11”

129

208

222

237

6’0″

133

214

229

243

6’1″

136

220

235

250

6’2″

140

226

241

257

6’3″

144

232

248

264

6’4″

148

238

255

271

6’5″

152

245

261

278

6’6″

156

251

268

286

6’7″

160

257

275

293

BMI

18

29

31

33

 

Weight Ranges (Ages 61+)

 

Height

MINIMUM Weight

Super Preferred (Max Age 80)

Preferred

Select

 4’8″

80

138

147

165

4’9″

83

143

153

171

4’10”

86

148

158

177

4’11”

89

154

163

183

5’0″

92

159

169

189

5’1″

95

164

175

196

5’2″

98

170

180

202

5’3″

102

175

186

209

5’4″

105

181

192

216

5’5″

108

186

198

222

5’6″

112

192

204

229

5’7″

115

198

211

236

5’8″

118

204

217

243

5’9″

122

210

223

251

5’10”

125

216

230

258

5’11”

129

222

237

265

6’0″

133

229

243

273

6’1″

136

235

250

280

6’2″

140

241

257

288

6’3″

144

248

264

296

6’4″

148

255

271

304

6’5″

152

261

278

312

6’6″

156

268

286

320

6’7″

160

275

293

328

BMI

18  31

33

         37

 

Standard

4’8″ 164       4’9″ 170

4’10” 176      4’11” 182

5’0″ 188        5’1″ 194

5’2″ 200        5’3″ 207

5’4″ 213        5’5″ 220

5’6″ 226        5’7″ 234

5’8″ 241        5’9″ 248

5’10” 255     5’11” 263

6’0″ 271       6’1″ 279

6’2″ 286       6’3″ 294

6’4″ 302       6’5″ 309

6’6″ 318       6’7″ 326

6’8″ 334       6’9″ 343

6’10” 351    6’11” 360

What if I am a weightlifter, does that matter?

It doesn’t matter.  Sometimes with “healthy credits” (some companies will offer you a better rate if you are healthy otherwise and meet certain criteria) you may be able receive a better rate but not always. 

It happens all the time.  Someone who is really into weight training and eating healthy may receive a higher premium if they have a lot of muscle and their height and weight push them into a lower rates class.  The fact that it may have more muscle than fat compared to someone with the same height and weight doesn’t really matter too much to the life insurance company. Life insurance is based on risk. The more you weigh, the increase in risk.  Even with a very low body fat percentage, the agent can try to make a case for you with the underwriter but the success rate isn’t too great, unless you qualify for the “healthy credits.”

For example, if Steven Jackson, long time running back for the St. Louis Rams, now with the Atlanta Falcons is listed at 6’2’’ 240 lbs with about 5% body fat.  Even though he is in excellent shape, if he were to apply for life insurance he would just barley receive the Preferred rating class, using the build chart above. 

Should I wait until I reach my ideal weight?

No! Do not put off buying life insurance until you reach a certain weight. For starters, no one knows when they will pass away.  If you postpone getting life insurance until you reach your ideal weight and you unexpectedly pass away due to an accident or natural cause, your family could be left with nothing or could even end up destitute.  Furthermore, you may develop an adverse health condition that could make you uninsurable.  Unfortunately this happens all the time when people put off buying life insurance until it is the “right” time.

How can I get the best rate with my current weight?

The first thing you should do is shop around.  There are over 900+ life insurance companies in America, and each one has their own build chart.  Make sure you receive quotes from multiple companies or work with a broker who can find you the best rate for your particular build and health.

The next thing you want to do is purchase a policy NOW to protect your family.  When you reach your ideal weight and are eligible for the lower rate, then reapply.  It doesn’t cost you anything to reapply.  Also, if something comes back adverse on the second health exam, the insurance company cannot change your original policy, it is still left intact and locked in.  It’s a win-win situation for you and your familyNote-some companies have a rule if you lose more than 10 lbs. over a twelve month period, they will add half of the weight you lost back on.  Not all companies do this but some do, so make sure you ask the agent.

Conclusion

Your build (height & weight) is one of the key factors in determining your risk class with the life insurance company.  Since every company has their own build chart, it is best to ask your agent which company will offer you the best rate with your current height, weight and other health and lifestyle factors.  Also, do not wait until you reach a certain weight before you apply for life insurance!  You could pass away or your health could change while you are waiting.  This would leave your family in a terrible situation and it’s not worth the risk.  Instead, apply now and lock in your coverage with a top company, then when you reach your ideal weight you can reapply.  It doesn’t cost you anything to reapply, and if the insurance company discovers a new health problem since your last exam, your first policy is still locked in and they cannot take the first policy away from you. This is the insider way to purchase life insurance, you protect your family and receive the lowest rate.

 

What rate will you qualify for with you height and weight? Enter you zip code and see for free!

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