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Life insurance for smokers

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. However, quotes can vary widely – which is why it’s important to use an insurance comparison website like Life Cover Quotes, so that you can find the right policy for you.

Stay covered with smokers life insurance, cigarette butts on the surface

Why smokers are charged more

The harmful effects of smoking have been well-documented. According to figures from the NHS, around 78,000 people in the UK die every year as a direct result of smoking. It’s the cause of 7 out of every 10 cases of lung cancer and has also been linked with cancer in other parts of the body, including the bladder, bowel, cervix, pancreas, mouth and throat.

Smoking has also been proven to play a major role in respiratory illnesses such as emphysema and bronchitis, and raise the risk of developing other life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, vascular disease and stroke.
However you look at it, the statistics are stacked against those who smoke. And of course, with increased risk comes greater expense, which is why life insurance for smokers can be costly.

Honesty is the best policy

Tempting as it is to save money by not mentioning your habit to insurers, it’s never a good idea. While standing upwind of your smoke, chewing gum and washing your hands afterwards might have been a great way of covering your tracks in the past, none of these techniques will offer protection against 21st century medical science.

Life insurance providers can order an individual medical examination of the policyholder at any given time. This could involve sending a nurse to your home to carry out a saliva or urine test, or getting in touch with your GP to find out about your smoking history.

Obtaining an insurance policy on the basis of a lie is illegal and counts as insurance fraud. This will not only invalidate your claim, but potentially leave your loved ones struggling on after your days without their anticipated pay out.
It also has implications for future applications, where your premium could become more expensive because of your history of insurance fraud.

What might begin as a simple lie to cut costs could end up costing you a lot more in the long-run.

What if I quit smoking?

Unfortunately, unless it’s been 12 months since your last cigarette you’ll still be classed as a smoker by insurance providers. Unfair as it seems, there is no distinction made between individuals with a heavy daily habit and ‘social smokers’ who only light up once or twice a year. When it comes to life insurance policies, anyone who’s used a nicotine product in the past year is seen as a smoker and will pay a higher premium as a result.

The good news is that it’s never been easier to quit the habit and save a lot of money in the process. The NHS offers a variety of stop smoking services, including nicotine replacement therapy, one-to-one and group therapy sessions, and other aids to help you quit. These are free at the point of delivery and far more likely to work than willpower alone.

It’s worth remembering, though, that insurance providers don’t usually care how you receive your nicotine. If you are dependent on nicotine replacement gum or patches, then there’s still a chance that you could relapse into old habits, and you’ll still be classed as a smoker. Some insurance providers may be more lenient about this, which is why it’s important to be honest in your application.

Similarly, if you are a smoker who’s reached the golden milestone of one year without any using any nicotine products, don’t forget to tell your life insurance provider. You could be in line for a much cheaper premium as a result.

What about e-cigarettes and vaping?

Marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, the first modern e-cigarette was made in the mid-2000s. Since then, vaping has increased in popularity and helped millions to quit smoking altogether. While most agree that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, there are no statistics available when it comes to their long-term effects on health. In fact there is a growing school of thought (supported by bodies such as Cancer Research UK, Action on Smoking and Health, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Medical Association) that vaping is not without risk.

Because of this and their nicotine content, life insurance providers tend to view e-cigarette use in the same light as nicotine replacement patches and gum. Accordingly, those who vape are likely to pay a much higher life insurance premium than non-smokers.

Making at least some of the statistics work in your favour

Buying an affordable life insurance policy can be a minefield, but for smokers it can be an even greater challenge.

Whilst all cover is arranged by the individual insurance provider, Life Cover Quotes can save you time and money by searching major UK life insurers for some of the best quotes. The service is free, fast and impartial, with no obligation to buy.

Regardless of whether you’re a smoker, or someone in the process of quitting, your chances of finding the right life insurance quote for you will increase according to the number of policies you compare. Life Cover Quotes work with experts who do this for you. The information that provided is up to date and based on the newest market data, and a fast service means that it only takes 30 seconds to fill in an application form.

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