Do Danish insurance companies invest too much in BMI scores?

Insurance companies are increasingly rejecting applicants based solely on their BMI – especially those seeking life or disability insurance.

A DR report cites the example of Danica Pension, which in September rejected an application for the latter, based solely on a BMI score.

Mona Ebdrup, 32, has a BMI of 37.5, but she “cycles every day, practices yoga, eats healthily and has virtually no sick days”. according to DRwhich published several photos and interviews with the applicant.

So far, she has been rejected by three companies.

Insurance company: Sorry, but BMI in the late 30s is too high
A BMI score of over 25 classifies someone as overweight and over 30 as obese. But Danica Pension justifies that in Ebdrup’s case it was about her BMI being over 35.

“In general, for customers who have an elevated BMI, it is unlikely that we can offer them insurance because their BMI is simply too high. And you are in the high limit when you have a BMI in the late 30s,” explains its director of claims, Thomas Skrostrup, to DR.

“With increased weight, the risk of developing health problems, including cardiovascular diseases, increases. And thus the insurance company’s risk also increases. Being overweight is associated with a great risk. So if you are obese, and you are severely obese, then there is a probability that we cannot offer insurance.”

Applicant: Unfair to me and my family
However, Ebdrup believes that Danica Pension should have investigated more closely, instead of rejecting the application because of her high BMI.

“I think it is unfair that I cannot be insured on an equal footing with everyone else. My family would be in a really difficult situation if something happened to me,” she said.

Certainly, BMI has its critics – mostly because it doesn’t really take into account muscle or our natural body shape and how this can affect weight.

There are many who argue that an assessment of our health should be more concerned with visceral fat (deep) than subcutaneous fat (mostly around the surface). Increasingly, they advocate the use of ‘A Body Shape Index’ (ABSI) as a more reliable indicator.

Source: The Nordic Page




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