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Lose a stone and save £322 per year

a stethescope on health insurance documentsFor many adults the New Year involves getting fit. But did you know that losing weight can also save you pounds in money as well? When it comes to life insurance it can.

Christmas is typically a time of excess whether it’s shopping, spending or eating.

Indeed, one in five Brits expect to put on more than half a stone during the Christmas break, according to a survey by website MSN.

But January is a time for cutting back as many Brits look to save money and lose weight.

Every January newspapers and magazines are full of keep-fit plans and gyms are full of adults busting a gut to get fit.

But a few weeks later the enthusiasm has invariably waned and gym kits are gathering dust in wardrobes across the UK.

Yet sticking to your New Year’s resolution to lose pounds can save you pounds in money – as much as £322 a year.

How? Well, when it comes to life insurance, weight matters, or rather, your body mass index (BMI) matters.

BMI explained

Simply put, your BMI is a measure whether you’re a healthy weight for your height.

You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared.

Try the BMI calculator on the NHS website here.

Why BMI mattters

Insurers take your BMI into account when calculating your life insurance premium, and if yours is high then you’ll pay higher premium as a result.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at, says: “A BMI score of 30 or more is considered obese which puts you at an increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”

“Statistically the higher your BMI the shorter your life expectancy so this will result in a higher life insurance premium.”

How one stone equals £322

A 36-year-old woman with a BMI of 29 can save a not-to-be-sniffed £322 a year compared with a BMI score of 31 – equivalent to an annual gym membership.

Life insurance premium for a 36-year-old woman, 5ft 7ins



Annual premium

13st 8lbs 29.76 £430.44
14st 8lbs 31.93 £753.24



The premium for a BMI of 31.93 is the standard premium plus 75 per cent “loading”.

Lloyd says: “This loading figure varies between different insurance firms but can start at around 60 to 75 per cent on top of the standard premium and can be even more for much higher BMI ratings.”

Refused cover

Being overweight can even see you being turned down for cover if insurers think you’re too much of a risk.

Lloyd says: “If you have life insurance and then lose lots of weight then it’s worth reviewing your cover as your insurer will have calculated your premium based on your circumstances at the time of your application.

“If you lose weight you may find that you can get better terms on a new policy so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal for you.”

*Prices are indicative and every application is underwritten individually and other factors are taken into consideration. 

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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick covers all things consumer for She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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