What you should know about Life Insurance if you smoke

Whether you are a smoker or not, you will already know the impact that smoking can have on your health. It can also have a negative impact from a financial perspective too. The health dangers of tobacco can seriously affect the cost of your life insurance, and you could end up paying significantly more for your policy compared to a non-smoker.

Life insurance can be really important to you and your family and may one day come in very handy. It is important that you know what to expect if you are a smoker or use other nicotine products or replacements.

Why does smoking affect your life insurance cover?

Your eligibility for life insurance and the cost of your monthly premiums often depend on lifestyle and health factors. One of the most frequent questions you will be asked when applying for life insurance is whether you smoke or use any forms of nicotine replacement therapy. This is important for insurance providers because they are determining how much of a risk you pose. In other words, how likely is it that your insurance will need to pay out.

If you smoke or use nicotine replacement therapy, you are likely to be considered a medically higher risk than someone who does not. While the number of current smokers in the UK has been steadily declining since 2011, there are still approximately 7.2 million adults who currently smoke.

So, by being a smoker, you are increasing your risk of health problems which in turn will increase the cost of your life insurance.

What counts as being a smoker?

You might only have a cigarette once every couple of weeks, or perhaps you only smoke when you are out with friends. In some instances, you might not class yourself as a ‘smoker’ per se, but an insurance provider probably will.

Many insurance providers work to the model that if you have used tobacco or nicotine replacement therapy in the last 12 months, you will be considered a smoker.

Similarly, you may not smoke cigarettes but something similar. Smoking can also include vapes and e-cigarettes, as well as cigars, pipes and nicotine replacement products such as patches.

Can your insurance provider find out that you smoke?

It is always very important to ensure all information provided is accurate when you are applying for life insurance. If it is not, this could lead to a claim not being paid or not being paid in full.

Insurance providers may ask for authority to contact your GP, and there are often other medical questions that could suggest your potential tobacco use. If you have any other health problems, you might be asked to undergo a physical medical examination which can reveal your smoking habits.

What happens if you quit smoking?

You may have already been thinking about quitting smoking and wanting to apply for life insurance has given you that extra boost to kick the habit. However, most insurance providers will require that you have not smoked or used nicotine replacement therapy in the last 12 months in order to be considered a non-smoker.

So, while you cannot exactly quit smoking and apply for insurance the next day as a non-smoker, it is still encouraged that you break the habit for your health! You may also have the chance to adjust your policy or apply for a new one once you have given up smoking for a year, but this may depend on the provider.

Finding the right life insurance if you smoke

If you smoke and you are trying to find affordable life insurance, let us help. We will search a range of insurance providers for you, finding the right policy based on your circumstances and needs. The best way to find the right life insurance for smokers is to compare insurance providers, taking into account reviews and other factors as well as price.

Our team can do the hard work for you, comparing quotes from the leading providers to help you get a good deal on your life insurance cover and ensure you still have the chance to protect your family.

Source: Office for National Statistics – July 2019