When it comes to life insurance and smoking, there’s a lot of unanswered questions, but read on to find out the facts.

Does smoking affect my life insurance quote?

Yes, smokers tend to pay more for life insurance quotes compared to their non-smoking counterparts. This means that in the UK, there are approximately 10 million individuals (ASH, 2014) who are paying more for their premiums simply because of their choice to smoke.

 

Why do smokers have to pay more?

As expected, heath is a major factor that is taken into consideration when taking out a life insurance policy. It is a sobering reality but smoking is associated with many health-related problems. Recent statistics released by ASH show that every year, over 100,000 smokers in the UK die from smoking related causes, accounting for over one-third of respiratory deaths, over one-quarter of cancer deaths, and about one-seventh of cardiovascular disease deaths. For this reason, insurance companies view smokers as high-risk customers who are more likely to claim on their life insurance or critical illness policy, and this risk equates to higher premiums for these smokers.

 

How much will smoking raise my premium?

Smokers’ premiums will vary depending on the insurance company, lifestyle variables, age and health but on average the cost is often double compared to non-smokers. Using Best Price FS’s online quote service, consider the following example for Pete, a 39 year old, male, admin working seeking life insurance quote for 25 years and £100,000 of cover:

 

  • If Pete was a smoker it would cost £14.86 per month
  • If Pete was non-smoker it would cost £7.77 per month.
  • If he was a non smoker, he could save £2,127 over the life of his policy.

 

How do life insurance companies define smokers?

Most insurance companies define a smoker as someone who has used a tobacco product in the past 12 months. It doesn’t matter if you smoke from a pipe, cigar or cigarette,10 times-a-day or occasionally, in the eyes of the insurers, if you’re a smoker, you’re a smoker: the health risks are the same.

 

Can I get away without telling them?

If you smoke, you should be honest from the outset and respond to the insurer’s questions truthfully and accurately. It’s in your best interest, because if you’re discovered to have been deliberately deceptive, (validated through medical records and medical examinations) the claim is likely to be denied.

 

Do e-Cigarettes count?

In recent years, electronic cigarettes have experienced a surge of popularity with approximately 2.1 million adults in Great Britain currently using them. Although e-Cigarettes do not contain any tobacco, they do contain Nicotine. According to the Association of British Insurers there is “a lack of medical evidence as to any long-term health benefits” regarding e-Cigarettes and added that “an insurer is increasingly likely to ask if the proposer is using nicotine products, as opposed to what is the weekly tobacco consumption”. Therefore to be registered as a non-smoker, individuals should be tobacco and nicotine free for over 12 months, including e-Cigarettes, nicotine patches and gum.

 

If I’ve quit, how soon can I see my premiums reduce?

To qualify for non-smoker premiums, you must be tobacco and nicotine free for over 12 months. As soon as you reach the year, contact your insurer and they’ll do the rest! Though, at this point, it may be advisable to compare life insurance quotes with other companies to see if there are any cheaper alternatives available on the market.

If you’re interested in purchasing high-quality, affordable life insurance, visit Best Price FS today.


One response to “Life Insurance: Smoking and Saving Money”

  1. Mike says:

    Thanks for this, as a smoker myself I was unaware that this influenced my premiums too. Definitely something worth bearing in mind.

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