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American author, Fletcher Kneibel, once wrote that ‘smoking is the leading cause of statistics’.
Nowhere is this truer than in the field of life insurance.
For the average smoker, finding a cost-effective life insurance premium can be challenging, to say the least.
Recent research shows that smokers can expect to pay almost twice as much as non-smokers.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of death and illness in the UK, with 78,000 people dying each year due to smoking-related illnesses according to the NHS. In addition to increasing the risk of developing over 50 serious health conditions, smoking also has an impact on the cost of life insurance.
When it comes to finding the best life insurance for smokers, there are several options to consider.
Term life insurance is a popular choice as it provides coverage for a specific period of time, typically between 10 and 30 years. Smokers may pay higher premiums for term life insurance, but it can still be an affordable option for those looking for coverage.
Whole of life insurance provides coverage for the entirety of the policyholder’s life. Due to the longer coverage period, premiums for whole of life insurance tend to be higher for smokers.
Over 50s plans are specially designed for individuals over the age of 50 and do not require a medical examination. These plans are often more expensive than other types of life insurance for smokers.
Income protection insurance provides financial support in the event of an illness or injury that prevents the policyholder from working. This type of insurance is available to smokers and can be a useful option for those concerned about the potential financial impact of a smoking-related illness.
Critical illness cover provides a lump sum payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart disease. This type of insurance is also available to smokers and can provide financial support for medical expenses or lost income.
An over 50s plan guarantees those aged 50 – 85 acceptance without the need to provide medical information. This type of plan is designed specifically for individuals in this age group who may have been declined coverage due to poor health.
No medical exam is required for an over 50s plan, so if you’ve been declined cover before due to poor health, it won’t be taken into account with this cover type. This is particularly beneficial for smokers, as smoking is considered a high-risk behavior that can make it difficult to obtain life insurance.
Some providers may still need to know about your smoking status when applying for an over 50s plan, but others may not ask. This means that, as a smoker within this age bracket, it can be possible to arrange cover without being penalized for your smoking habits.
This makes over 50s plan an excellent option for smokers who may have been declined coverage in the past or have difficulty finding affordable life insurance. It’s a great way to secure coverage and protect your loved ones without the need to go through a medical exam or having your smoking habits as a hindrance.
Below shows the price comparison between a smoker and a non-smoker for an over 50s plan and details the level of cover you could secure for this price:
|Monthly premium for a smoker
|Monthly premium for a non-smoker
As you can see, the monthly premium for a smoker is generally higher than a non-smoker. However, it’s still possible to secure a substantial amount of coverage for a relatively affordable price. The table above is for illustrative purposes only and actual pricing may vary depending on factors like location, provider, and the specific terms of the plan.
We compare plans from the leading life insurance providers
The cost of life insurance for smokers can vary greatly, depending on several factors such as the individual’s age, health, lifestyle, and the type of policy chosen. However, it is generally accepted that smokers will pay higher premiums compared to non-smokers.
Factors that can affect the cost of life insurance for smokers include:
Below is a table of average prices for the most common types of life insurance for a smoker in good health, seeking £100,000 of cover over a 20-year policy term:
|Level term life insurance
|Decreasing term life insurance
|Whole of life insurance
It’s worth noting that these are approximate prices and may vary depending on the specific insurance company and their underwriting criteria.
If you’ve recently quit smoking, you may still be considered a smoker by insurance providers, as there is no distinction made between those with a heavy daily habit and infrequent smokers. Typically, anyone who has used a nicotine product in the last 12 months will be classified as a smoker and will be charged higher premiums for life insurance.
However, quitting smoking can be beneficial for your health and your wallet. The NHS offers a range of stop-smoking services, including nicotine replacement therapy, one-to-one and group therapy sessions, and other aids to help you quit, which are usually free.
It’s important to be honest about your nicotine usage and habits with your insurance provider, as some may be more lenient. If you have reached the milestone of one year without using any nicotine products, don’t forget to inform your insurance provider as you may be eligible for a lower premium.
When you apply for life insurance, you are typically required to disclose your current and past smoking habits. Insurance companies use this information to assess your overall health and to determine your premium and coverage amount. If you indicate that you do not currently smoke or have never smoked, you may be eligible for lower premiums and better coverage than if you disclose that you are a current or past smoker.
However, if you start smoking after your life insurance policy is in effect, it is considered a material change in your health status. This means that your policy may be void or your premiums may increase. Additionally, if you die from a smoking-related illness and the insurance company finds out you were smoking at the time of death, they may not pay out the death benefit. This is because smoking is considered a high-risk behavior that increases the likelihood of death from certain illnesses.
It is important to be truthful and upfront about your smoking status when applying for life insurance and to inform the insurance company if your habits change. If you quit smoking, your policy may be eligible for a non-smoker rate, which could result in lower premiums.
Additionally, if you start smoking after buying the policy, you may also be denied from buying additional insurance coverage in the future. Hence, it’s crucial to be honest about your habits to avoid any future issues with your coverage.
Occasional smokers, also known as social smokers or infrequent smokers, may still be considered smokers by life insurance companies. This is because even infrequent smoking can still increase the risk of certain health issues such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Life insurance companies will typically ask about an applicant’s smoking habits as part of the application process. They may ask questions such as how often you smoke, how many cigarettes or tobacco products you use, and how long you have been smoking. They may also ask for a urine or blood sample to test for cotinine, which is a by-product of nicotine and can indicate whether an applicant has recently smoked.
Based on this information, the insurance company will assess your risk level and determine your premium and coverage amount. Even if you consider yourself to be an occasional smoker, you may still be charged higher premiums and have a lower coverage amount than a non-smoker.
It’s important to be honest about your smoking habits when applying for life insurance and to inform the insurance company if your habits change. If you quit smoking, your policy may be eligible for a non-smoker rate, which could result in lower premiums.
Whether vaping is considered “smoking” for life insurance purposes can vary depending on the insurance company and the specific policy.
In general, many life insurance companies consider vaping to be a form of smoking and will treat it similarly to traditional cigarette smoking when assessing an applicant’s risk profile and determining premiums. This means that if you vape, you may be required to disclose this information on your life insurance application and your premium and coverage amount may be based on the same risk factors as traditional smokers.
However, some life insurance companies may differentiate between vaping and smoking and may treat them differently. For example, they may consider a person who vapes less of a risk than a person who smokes traditional cigarettes.
Additionally, some insurance companies may ask about the frequency of vaping and the type of e-cigarette used, and may also consider the duration of vaping, and the amount inhaled, in determining the risk.
It is important to review the policy and check with the insurance company to determine if and how vaping is treated in relation to life insurance. It’s also important to be honest about your vaping habits when applying for life insurance to avoid any issues with your coverage in the future.
Life insurance companies may use a variety of methods to determine an applicant’s smoking status. One of the most common methods is a smoking test, which can be conducted during the application process.
The test is usually carried out by an underwriter who will ask the applicant questions about their smoking habits, such as whether they currently smoke, how much they smoke, and how long they have been smoking. They may also ask about the type of tobacco products the applicant uses and the frequency of use.
The underwriter may also ask for a urine or blood sample to test for cotinine, which is a by-product of nicotine and can indicate whether an applicant has recently smoked. The test is usually only required to confirm smoking status for the purpose of the insurance, and the results are usually not shared with other parties.
It is important to be honest and accurate when answering these questions, as failure to disclose accurate information can result in issues with your coverage or even void the policy.
At Life Cover Quotes, we understand that smokers may face different challenges when it comes to getting a life insurance quote. That’s why we offer a service that connects smokers with insurance brokers who specialize in providing coverage for smokers. Here’s how you can get a life insurance quote for smokers with our help:
At Life Cover Quotes, we make it easy for smokers to find the coverage they need at a price they can afford. Our service is free and there is no obligation to purchase a policy. Don’t let your smoking status hold you back from getting the life insurance coverage you need, contact us today to get started.