Obesity 'can affect' life insurance claims

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Obesity could raise life insurance premiums, as it is a condition which raises the likelihood of illness, according to one leading industry body.

The Association of British Insurers says that any factor that increases the likelihood of death will be taken into account - and that obesity is one such factor that will heighten the possibility of a claim.

"Lifestyle factors could have a bearing on the premium that you pay - and it's likely that different insurers will use different measures to determine lifestyle factors. Obesity is going to be one such factor - some [insurers] will use body mass index ratings, others will use other measures," Jonathan French, press officer for the ABI, said.

"If you are obese there is a higher risk of other health problems resulting from that, and therefore the risk of a claim is going to be higher and insurers will price their policy accordingly."

Payouts will not be lowered as a result of obesity however, according to the expert.

"The sum assured is not affected in any way by the reasons for claims - they're a constant which is set at the beginning of the policy," he said.

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