What is BMI and How to Calculate Yours?

Body Mass Index BMI calculator gives an insight into health risks. This is the reason why insurance companies make it compulsory to undergo a BMI test before you avail any policy. Read further to know what it is and how it is calculated.

 What is Body Mass Index (BMI)? 

Body Mass Index is the measure of body weight that is evaluated based on the relation between weight and height of the body. The number helps to determine potential health risks that you may be prone to in future. Hence, insurance companies ask for body mass index to comprehend your health cover.

As BMI increases, so do the risk of diseases increase. People with high BMI are at high risk of suffering from the following diseases:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Several types of cancers

BMI Classification

BMI is classified in different ranges:

  • Underweight: Less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: 18.5 to 25.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: 30 and above

BMI calculation is not crucial in the following cases:

  • If a person is a long-distance athlete
  • If the woman is pregnant
  • If the person is a senior citizen as they tend to lose muscle mass due to ageing
  • Those with lower muscle mass, such as children

How to calculate BMI? 

It is easy to know your BMI. Below is the formula if you want to know your BMI.

Measurement unit   Formula
 Kilograms & meters Weight in kg/ [height(m)]2
Pounds & Inches 703 x weight (lbs) /[height (in)]2

Does it mean if you don’t have a healthy BMI, you wouldn’t be eligible for the policy? 

You can still buy an insurance policy. BMI is just one of the many factors that the insurance companies consider to determine the premium amount. Most insurance companies consider people with higher BMI as a high-risk applicant and will apply a loading charge on the premium. The loading charges can vary from 25% to 50% of the base premium rate.

The higher premium rate will remain constant throughout the insurance term. In some cases, the insurer may even reject your insurance application because of high BMI. Hence, it is paramount that you check with the insurance company or consult the insurance representative about the usual rating practices for BMI.

Yes, it is true that if you exceed the BMI range of your insurer, you would have to pay a higher premium, but you can use this as a motivation factor to lose weight and get fit.

BMI is just a health risk determiner 

Although insurance companies consider BMI as an essential factor for determining health issues, it is not the perfect measure of your health. You should keep track of your BMI as it will help you get an idea about your overall health condition and its impact on your insurance spending. To sum up, it is wise to know BMI, but you should also know what its limitations are.