The Purpose of a Life Insurance Height Weight Chart

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Based on BMI, the life insurance height weight chart helps set the price of your policy. Find out how it could impact the amount you pay for coverage.

The life insurance height weight chart plays an important role in underwriting. During this process, the insurance company reviews your application and determines your coverage approval status and cost. Understanding the factors that influence your life insurance premiums can guide smart policy shopping.

What Is a Life Insurance Height Weight Chart for Seniors?

Life insurance underwriters refer to the height weight chart to place you in a risk category. That category helps determine your premium rates. People in the highest risk category may be unable to qualify for some types of life insurance coverage.

Each company has its own life insurance height weight chart. Many but not all providers use separate charts for men and women. 

Many life insurance companies use charts based on the
body mass index (BMI) table published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. BMI compares your height and weight to indicate whether you may be underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BMI does not provide a diagnosis. Instead, it's a sign that you may need testing from your health care provider. People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, so it's important to seek follow-up care in this situation.

How Does a Life Insurance Height Weight Chart Work?

Life insurance height weight charts typically list heights along the left column of the chart and risk categories across the top. You find your height, then look for your weight in the corresponding row. It will match up with the column for your risk category. Looking at a sample of this chart can help you understand how it works. 

How Does a Life Insurance Height Weight Chart Affect Coverage Rates?

If you're overweight or obese, you'll fall into a high-risk category on the height weight chart. This will likely increase the amount you pay for life insurance.

However, every life insurance company has its own method for determining premiums. It makes sense to shop around for coverage if your BMI indicates that you're overweight or obese and you're looking for life insurance. Comparing quotes can help you find a more affordable rate.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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