How much more is life insurance if you smoke?

According to a report by MoneySuperMarket, the average smoker will pay an extra 111% on their life insurance compared to a non-smoker. This is based on costs of £21 a month for decreasing term life insurance for smokers, in comparison to £9.96 per month for a non-smoker. The same reports show that: • 30-year-old smokers could cost 33% more • 50-year-old smokers could pay double If you are a smoker, you will most likely have to pay more for your life insurance. This is because smokers are prov

Yugi the Giraffe - 2 June 2019

According to a report by MoneySuperMarket, the average smoker will pay an extra 111% on their life insurance compared to a non-smoker. This is based on costs of £21 a month for decreasing term life insurance for smokers, in comparison to £9.96 per month for a non-smoker.

The same reports show that:

• 30-year-old smokers could cost 33% more
• 50-year-old smokers could pay double

If you are a smoker, you will most likely have to pay more for your life insurance. This is because smokers are proven to be at risk of such life-threatening diseases as lung and throat cancer. Because they are a higher risk, insurers will typically need to pass on the risk by charging a higher premium.

What is considered a smoker by insurers?

For most insurers, a smoker is considered as anyone who has used tobacco during the last 12 months. This can range from those who smoke a pack a day to others who have the occasional cigarette every now and then.

Regardless of how much you smoke, if you use tobacco, you will most likely be treated the same by insurance companies.

More recently, there has been a wider debate on whether vaping counts as tobacco use. The answer is yes, any use of e-cigarettes, and even those using nicotine patches, within the last 12 months is considered smoking. E-cigarettes are considered in this category due to the fact that they contain nicotine, and their long-term effects on health have yet to be established.

Other products considered under the same category as smoker by life insurance companies include:

• Pipes
• Cigars
• Other nicotine replacement products

Why is life insurance higher if you smoke?

Smoking has been linked to life-threatening diseases, including various types of cancer, heart disease and angina. It is therefore considered to put users at risk of serious illness, subsequently making smokers a higher risk to insure.

Insurers will therefore commonly charge more for applicants who smoke, as they are taking on a greater risk in comparison to non-smoker policyholders. You could therefore save a lot of money on your health and your insurance premium if you quit smoking.

What happens if I lie about smoking on my life insurance?

Whilst it might be tempting to lie to insurers about your smoking to get a cheaper deal, this will typically come with consequences. When insurers ask questions around the applicant’s health, even when lying about smoking, other medical questions could suggest the applicant uses tobacco.

Insurers will also conduct checks on a certain percentage of applicants, meaning you could be caught out if you’ve disclosed you smoke to your doctor, or have had any illnesses from smoking that have required medical attention.

Therefore, if you lie about being a smoker/using tobacco to your insurance provider, odds are you may be caught out, and have to suffer consequences for this, such as reduced benefits, or a refusal to pay out altogether.

If you lie about being a smoker on your life insurance policy, the insurers will either not pay out, or only provide the percentage of benefits you are entitled to as a smoker.

For example, if a smoker paid 30% less for a non-smoker’s premium, when they should’ve been paying for a smoker’s cover, the insurance company may only provide 70% of the benefits agreed upon in the insurance policy.

Will my life insurance premium go down if I quit smoking?

Yes, you can often lower the cost of life insurance premiums by giving up smoking and other nicotine products for a minimum of 12 months. After this period, you should be able to qualify for reduced rates on new policies, whilst potentially being able to update any current ones.

However, whilst this can sometimes be the case, it can vary between providers; some insurers will reduce premiums after the 12 months whilst others could still charge the high smoker’s premiums for five years after quitting.

This will all be dependent upon your personal circumstances, as well as the insurance provider you use.

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