All You Need to Know About Life Insurance for Smokers

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By Cai Bradley

on Friday 7 February 2020

Smoker smoking a cigarette

Smoking is not only harmful to your health, but it can also damage your finances and affect your chances of getting a cheap life insurance deal.

Life cover for smokers is notoriously expensive, but regardless of your situation and lifestyle choices, Unite Life can help you get the best policy for your requirements at the most affordable cost.

Here’s a quick guide to all you need to know about life insurance for smokers – including how much more it costs compared to the price of cover for non-smokers, the effects of vaping, and how you can go about quitting.

Smoking and life insurance explained

It’s no secret that life insurance for smokers is more expensive than cover for the equivalent non-smoker, and it’s hard to argue with the reasoning behind it.

Life insurance companies always make their decisions based on facts, and the facts say that smokers are more at-risk of being diagnosed with a wide range of health conditions. Some examples of the health complications associated with smoking include coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and even some types of cancer.

There’s no wonder, then, that insurers see smokers as more of a risk to insure and offer them more expensive premiums.

Learn more: What does life insurance cover you for?

How much more is life insurance for smokers?

The cost of life insurance for smokers in the UK can be around 50% more than that offered to the equivalent non-smoker for the same level of cover and pay-out.

Life insurance can cost as little as around £5 a month for some, but smokers are unlikely to receive such generous premiums. Cheap life insurance for smokers may be hard to come by, but we’ll do our utmost to find you the best deal for your situation.

For more information or for a cheap life insurance quote based on your personal information, get in touch with us here at Unite Life today and we’ll do all we can to find you the most affordable deal on the market, regardless of your smoking status.

Read our 13 Tips for Cheaper Life Insurance to lower the cost of your cover.

When am I considered a smoker?

Heavy smokers generally pay more than those who smoke less frequently, but insurers will hike your premium costs regardless of how much you smoke, and ‘what’ you smoke for that matter.

Does vaping and using E-cigarettes affect life insurance?

Over 3.6 million adults in the UK use e-cigarettes or vape, and despite the health risks seemingly being less damaging than standard cigarettes, the long-term effects are still largely unknown.

So, regardless of whether you vape or smoke standard cigarettes, the insurer will still consider you a smoker and you will face higher premiums than someone who does not smoke at all.

As newer research becomes available, this could change for better or worse – for all we know, vaping could be worse for you than smoking a standard cigarette, we simply can’t determine that until the research is done.

Until we know the true effects of vaping, insurers must err on the side of caution and consider e-cigarette use and vaping as a harmful form of smoking.

Lying about smoking on life insurance

We understand that the temptation to lie on your life insurance application is very real, but in the long-run, it really pays to be honest.

Insurers can ask for saliva or a urine test at any time if they want to check if you smoke, whether it’s through a spot check or retrieving your medical history from your GP.

Lying on your life insurance application – whether it’s about smoking or anything else – could result in your policy being invalid when the time comes and your loved ones try to claim for the pay-out.

If your family claim on your insurance and the provider’s investigators find that you lied about being a smoker, they could either reduce the pay-out significantly or refuse to pay out altogether. If this is the case, all the premiums you paid will be worthless and your family will receive nothing.

The same goes for critical illness cover – the insurer is within their rights to refuse the claim if evidence shows that you have lied on your application.

Life insurance for smokers over 50

Over 50s life insurance is a policy specifically designed for those who are over the age of 50, usually looking to cover the cost of their funeral or provide their family with a pay-out in the event of their death.

It’s a unique policy because your application is guaranteed to be accepted; there’s no lengthy medical questionnaire and the only lifestyle question you’ll be asked is whether you smoke or not.

If you are a smoker, you may face higher premiums than others who are over 50 and do not smoke, but you will still be eligible for cover.

Quitting smoking

If you have been tobacco-free for 12 months, most insurance providers will then consider you a non-smoker.

If you have an existing life insurance policy: contact your insurer, explain that you haven’t smoked for 12 months and ask if they can offer you a premium reduction.

If you want to take out a new insurance policy: if you’re in the process of quitting or want to start quitting smoking, it might be worth taking out a short-term policy for now and then getting a new policy for a longer term as a non-smoker when you’ve been 12-months tobacco-free. That way, you enjoy cheaper life insurance in the long-run but stay protected for the time being.

Someone who has previously smoked could still pay more in premiums than someone who has never touched a cigarette, but some reduction is better than nothing.

Get a Unite Life insurance quote today

To find out more information or to start the process of getting your life insurance policy today – regardless of whether you’re a smoker or not – get in touch with Unite Life today using our short contact form.

Once you complete the contact form, a friendly member of our experienced team will contact you at a time that suits you to discuss your life insurance options.

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