Life insurance for Smokers

How does smoking affect the cost of life insurance?

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Find out how much your life insurance cover could increase by if you are a smoker.

If you are a smoker, you will pay more for your life insurance cover because of the health risks that come with it.

Smoking can lead to a variety of serious medical conditions such as cancer, as well as chronic conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema.

Those who take out a life insurance policy and smoke are looking to pay near enough double than those who don’t smoke. This is all down to statistics, as smokers are deemed more likely to make a claim on their life insurance or critical illness policy.

Disclosing your smoking habit

The insurer usually asks a number of questions about smoking, such as whether you have smoked in the previous 12 months and how often.

You should answer honestly and remember that insurers do not generally make any distinction between the following:

  • Cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Pipes
  • Nicotine replacement products such as patches
  • E-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are categorised as cigarettes because they contain nicotine and the long-term health benefits have not yet been independently established.

Insurers often assume that your application is honest, but they can ask for a urine or saliva test to prove whether or not you smoke. They might even contact your GP for information on your medical history.

Those who take out a life insurance policy and smoke are looking to pay near enough double than those who don’t smoke.

The insurer will also investigate if you make a claim on the policy. For instance, the coroner’s report might attribute death to a smoking-related illness. If you have concealed your habit from the insurer, the policy is then unlikely to pay out.

Occasional smokers

You might think you qualify as a non-smoker because you indulge in the habit infrequently. But insurers don’t usually distinguish between occasional and heavy smokers.

Some companies are, however, beginning to react to consumer demand over occasional smoking, so it’s worth shopping around to find an insurer who is more lenient if you rarely smoke.  

Quitting smoking

You can often cut the cost of insurance by quitting smoking. But you will have to banish all nicotine products and replacements from your life for at least 12 months to qualify for lower premiums. If you are nicotine-free for more than 12 months, remember to tell your life insurance provider and update your policy.

The NHS provides support if you need help quitting, you can discuss with your local GP or check out the NHS website to find out more.

Compare life insurance costs

It’s easy to compare the cost of life insurance using MoneySuperMarket’s online service. We carry the details of all the major life insurers so you can find a policy that’s right for you and your family.

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