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Smokers may be left short of breath at the cost of their life insurance

05 October 2016

With Stoptober in full swing, new research from Gocompare.com Life Insurance has found that quitting cigarettes can be just as good for smokers’ wallets as it is for their health.

  • Smokers on average pay out nearly double for life insurance over a 25 year period, compared to non-smokers*
  • Research comes as thousands try to kick the habit as part of ‘Stoptober’

The comparison site found that smokers could significantly cut their life insurance bill and shave thousands off the lifetime cost of their life cover just by ditching cigarettes, providing yet another reason to quit.

£200,000 level term life insurance cost over 25 years by age

Age

Non-smoker

Smoker

20

£1,692

£2,430

25

£2,061

£3,072

30

£2,532

£4,389

35

£3,372

£6,294

40

£4,812

£10,257

Average

£2,893

£5,288



Due to the health risks associated with smoking, life insurers tend to view smokers as more risky to insure. As such, Gocompare.com found that smokers up to age 40 could expect to pay up to 113% more for their cover, or 83% more on average.

£200,000 level term life insurance for a 25 year term - premium by age

Age

Non-smoker

Smoker

Increase in premiums (%)

20

£5.64

£8.10

44%

25

£6.87

£10.24

49%

30

£8.44

£14.63

73%

35

£11.24

£20.98

87%

40

£16.04

£34.19

113%



The older you are when you take out life insurance, the higher your premium is likely to be and the margin between smokers and non-smokers also increases**.

Smokers aged 40 and over are hit with the biggest rises, with premiums more than doubling compared to non-smokers. While smokers between 20-25 see the smallest differences in premiums.

Matt Sanders, from Gocompare.com Life Insurance, said: “Insurers will consider a number of different risk factors when calculating life insurance premiums, including smoking or tobacco use.

“Generally, if you've used tobacco or nicotine replacement products in the last 12 months, and that includes e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’, you'll be considered a smoker, and for some insurers smokers must have given up for five years before being classed as a non-smoker.

“Life insurance can be one of the most important investments you can make for your family’s future. While a 'cheap' policy may not really be what you want, there are ways to cut the cost of premiums without compromising the level of cover. One of the most beneficial ways - for you and for your family - is to help yourself to get healthy.”

For more information on lifestyle and life insurance, see Gocompare.com’s guide on how being healthy affects life insurance premiums.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

Figures from actual life insurance quotes from comparison site Gocompare.com in 2016, powered by The Idol

*Data from sample quotes from Gocompare.com Life insurance, powered by the theidol.com show percentage increase of 83% percent between average cost for smokers and non-smokers for £200,000 level term life insurance over 25 years.

**Data from Gocompare.com Life insurance, powered theidol.com shows cost of insurance rises by age bracket with premiums doubling between smokers and non-smokers from the age of 40