Cirencester Friendly adopts age-relevant approach when rating BMI for IP applications

Last week, Cirencester Friendly announced age-relevant changes to its Body Mass Index (BMI) rates so that more people can apply for Income Protection (IP).

Related topics:  Cirencester Friendly,  underwriting
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
15th April 2024
Older People
"Changing our philosophy on BMIs and assessing applicants by age means we can offer more favourable terms to these members."
- Sue Seymour, Chief Underwriter at Cirencester Friendly

Following feedback from adviser partners, Cirencester Friendly has now adopted a three-tier method when rating Body Mass Index (BMI) for Income Protection (IP) applicants:


BMI* Age <30 Age 30-49 Age 50+
<17 Decline Decline Decline
17 Refer Refer Refer
18-31 0 0 0
32 +25% 0 0
33-34 +50% +25% 0
35-36 +75% +50% +25%
37-38 +100% +75% +50%
39** +125% +100% +75%
40+ Decline Decline Decline


* BMI is rounded to the nearest whole number (e.g. 20.49 = 20 & 31.50 = 32)
** Anyone with a BMI measurement of 39 will be subject to a medical screening

“We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our offer, increasing fairness and accessibility, providing as many working people as possible with the vital protection they need to cover their essential bills should they be unable to work through illness or injury,” said Sue Seymour, Chief Underwriter at Cirencester Friendly.

She believes society is changing, with more people having families later and growing numbers taking on caring responsibilities for older relatives. According to Carers UK, 5mn employees – roughly 15% of the UK population – had been juggling their career and caregiving responsibilities before the Pandemic. In 2020, this figure rose to 7mn with, on average, 600 people leaving the workforce to provide care for their loved ones each day.

READ MORE: Caregivers are robbing from their future to pay for their present

Therefore, “it’s more crucial than ever for the over 50s to protect their financial security, whatever the future holds.”

“Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to enhance relationships with our adviser partners, ensuring they feel able to have open and honest conversations […] a growing number have suggested a more progressive approach to BMI rates that better support their older customers,” explained Alan Waddington, Distribution Director at Cirencester Friendly.

“We listened, reviewed the market, and revised our rates accordingly. This demonstrates the power of providers & advisers working in tandem,” he added.

In response to Cirencester Friendly’s BMI rate changes, Jo Miller, Co-Chair of the Income Protection Taskforce (IPTF), said: “We’re seeing growth in the Income Protection (IP) market fuelled by both adviser awareness and increased interest from the public in protecting their incomes.”

“It’s great to see providers doing what they can to increase the flexibility of their terms and ensure more people can be covered […] we welcome this move by one of our members,” she concluded.

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