The Effects of Smoking on Life Insurance
When you are about to start the process of getting a life insurance quote, it should help to understand some of the key factors that will affect your policy premium, or even your ability to get accepted for life insurance. Health conditions have a significant influence on life insurance, so any lifestyle habits that often lead to illnesses, such as smoking, can have a huge bearing on your life insurance premiums.
Smoking is a bad lifestyle habit that causes at least 15 types of cancer and is responsible for 7 out of 10 lung cancer cases in the UK. When you set up life insurance, any lifestyle habits that affect your health will be considered when calculating your premiums, so a smoking habit will increase your premium on a life insurance policy. A smoker will usually pay around 50% more for their life insurance compared to a non-smoker.
The main factors that are used to calculate life insurance premiums are age, medical conditions/general health and whether or not you are a smoker. According to research, on average smoking reduces life expectancy by 10 years and after a person turns 40, each additional year as a smoker reduces life expectancy by a further three months. Therefore, insurers are more likely to be paying out on policies earlier for smokers, so they charge this high-risk section of people higher premiums to make sure they are not losing money.
How stopping smoking can help reduce premiums
As well as improving your life expectancy and your overall health, quitting smoking can help to reduce your life insurance premium, but you will need to have quit for at least one full year to be considered as a non-smoker.
Different insurance companies may require you to have quit smoking for longer than one year. Therefore, you should always check this in the terms and conditions to be sure that your insurance will remain valid and you won’t risk your family losing out on the financial security of your life insurance.
The consequences of being dishonest about smoking
People can be tempted to lie about not being a smoker to get a cheaper life insurance policy but the insurance company will often complete checks into medical history and investigate any policyholder that is suspected of being dishonest. If someone is found to have lied about being a non-smoker then it could result in the policy being void and no payment would be made in the event of their death. If the person were to die of a smoking-related illness, there would be two possibilities; no payout made at all, or a significantly reduced amount would be paid out.
If you would like to speak to a life insurance expert about getting the best policy as a smoker, or a former smoker, contact So Smart to talk to a trained adviser.