Life Insurance For Smokers

May 22, 2013 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

As smoking is bad for your health, naturally your life insurance premium is bound to be more expensive. Read our guide on how smoking will affect your life insurance policy.


Stop smoking and pay less

As with all types of protection, smokers will pay more for their life cover, as insurers view this as an indication of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Insurers take the risks posed by smoking extremely seriously, and premiums can cost a third more for those who smoke compared to those who don’t. This is because there is a greater likelihood of a smoker claiming on a policy due to suffering an early death or critical illness.

But what you may not realise is that if you’ve kicked the habit, you may be paying over the odds for your life insurance – and may be able to cut the cost of your cover.


Term life insurance

Life cover is the simplest and most popular form of protection.

Most people take out term assurance which pays a tax-free lump sum if you die during the chosen period.

Term assurance is relatively cheap, but premiums get more expensive as you get older and your health deteriorates; term life insurance for smokers will also cost more.


What if I lie about smoking to my insurer?

When applying for any type of cover, including life insurance, honesty is absolutely essential.

Lying about whether you are a smoker could invalidate a future claim if checks against your medical records show otherwise.

Remember why you take out life cover in the first place: it’s to ensure those you love will be financially secure in the event of your death. Lying to your insurer places that security at risk as your family will be the ones left behind, having to cope if your life insurance policy doesn’t pay out.


Will my life insurance premium reduce if I quit?

One of the best ways to cut lower the cost of life insurance is to quit – as this will demonstrate that you’ve made efforts towards a healthier lifestyle.

Generally speaking, insurers rate customers as non-smokers if they haven’t smoked in the previous 12 months. Savings will differ depending on how long you’ve had the policy, but could reduce your premium by as much as 50%.


I am only a social smoker does that count?

Even if you only have the occasional cigarette or “puff” of someone else’s cigarette, this could still count against you when it comes to life cover.

If someone classes themselves as a non-smoker when taking out a policy, but is in fact having the odd cigarette socially, or to help combat stress, their “non-smoking status” is not really valid.

Insurers are strict in their definition, and will only quote cheaper “non-smoker” life insurance rates to those who have stayed off cigarettes and nicotine-replacement products completely for 12 months.

Equally, while some insurers may be happy to accept your word that you are no longer smoking, some may ask for a test to check if there are any traces of nicotine in your system.

If you fall into the “social smoker” camp, it’s worth kicking the habit completely to benefit from cheaper life cover.


Review your life cover

As there is no annual renewal with life insurance, this cover is typically a product people buy and then put out of mind, which means policyholders often go on paying the same premium for years, if not decades.

If you have a life insurance policy, the key is to reassess your options every few years, and especially if your circumstances have changed, such as having children, getting married, buying a house – or quitting smoking.


Buying a new policy

If you decide to buy a new policy, you need to research carefully online, as quotes can vary considerably.

Carry out a thorough comparison, but don’t buy on price alone; you need to look at policy coverage and extras within the cover to ensure you are getting the best value for money. That’s when comes in we will shop over 25 insurance companies to get you the best product at the best price.



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