Can I take out income protection as a smoker?

Yes, you can take out income protection if you’re a smoker.

However, your smoking habits will likely affect the price you pay for your cover.

This is due to the associated risks smoking can have on your health, including the increased risk of developing certain illnesses (such as high blood pressure, respiratory complications, cardiovascular disease and cancer).

Fear not, it’s still possible to secure affordable cover to meet your needs.

Why not let Reassured Advice help you compare quotes from the whole of the market?

This way you can find the best income protection for smokers.

Simply get in touch for your fee-free and no-obligation quotes.

What is smoker income protection?

Smoker income protection is simply an income protection policy taken out by someone who smokes.

There are no income protection policies designed specifically for those who smoke.

How does smoking affect income protection?

The affect that smoking will have on your income protection will depend on your personal circumstances and how your chosen provider views smoking.

Each provider will have a different threshold of what they consider to be a regular smoker and how risky they perceive smoking to be, making it even more important to compare multiple quotes if you’re a smoker.

As a general rule, the longer you’ve smoked and the more frequently you smoke, the more you’ll pay for your cover.

For heavy smokers, some providers may even add exclusions to your policy for common health conditions that are linked to smoking.

An exclusion means you won’t be able to claim for this reason.

Contact Reassured Advice to find the income protection providers who offer the most favourable terms for smokers.

How much income protection insurance do you need?

Enter your monthly financial commitments to understand the level of smokers income protection cover you require.

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£723 a month is the average monthly mortgage payment in the UK, with the average monthly rental price coming in at £700.

The majority of our monthly income will go towards rental or mortgage payments.

For this reason, it’s essential to have precautions in place to ensure you could keep up to date with your payments if you weren’t receiving your usual income.

Monthly income protection payments can help to cover this large expense and ensure you can stay in your home.

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According to the Money Advice Service, the average household spends £340 a month on household bills.

This includes electricity, gas, TV and broadband.

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Childcare costs are on the rise with it now costing £137.69 per week for part-time nursery for a child under the age of two.

That’s over £550 per month - is this an amount you’d be able to keep up with if you were unable to work?

Becoming ill could also result in the need for additional childcare while you attend doctors’ appointments or medical treatment.

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The average household in the UK spends around £97 a week on their food shop, totaling £388 a month.

While this may seem like a small amount in comparison to some of the other expenses mentioned, the food shop is often where we try to scrimp and save when we fall on hard times.

Income protection can take care of the cost of your weekly food shop, as well as many other essential costs.

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At the beginning of 2020, credit card debt in the UK was at £2.1 billion, with almost 27 million UK residents in some kind of debt.

Becoming unable to work could make it hard to keep up with credit card or loan payments (including car finance or other financed goods).

Failure to keep up with payments could result in additional interest being incurred or late fees issues - resulting in a higher total needing to be paid.

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The average spent on public transport each month comes to an average of £94.

This includes the cost of public transport, as well as petrol and diesel vehicles.

While this amount may reduce while you’re unable to work as you won’t need to commute there may be additional spending on public transportation if your illness or injury leaves you unable to drive.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best quotes.

What’s the best income protection for smokers?

The best income protection for smokers will be the policy that allows you to cover your key financial commitments, while being at the most affordable price.

In order to choose the best income to meet your needs, there are some important policy terms you should be aware of:

Benefit amount (how much will be paid out to you) - Often providers will offer to pay out between 50% - 70% of your usual income in monthly (tax-free) instalments.

Definition of incapacity (what makes you eligible to claim) - Most policies come with an ‘own occupation’ definition of incapacity which will allow you to claim if you can’t do your specific job.

Policy length (how long you’ll be covered for) - You can choose a policy length to meet your needs, but most providers will need your cover to cease by a certain age. This ages ranges between 60 - 70 depending on the provider.

Payment period (how long you’ll receive payments for) - Payment periods can be short term (maximum of 1 - 2 years) or long term (last up until retirement). It can be possible to receive multiple payments throughout the lifetime of your policy.

Deferred period (how long must pass before you receive payments) - You must be unable to work at the end of your deferred period in order for your payments to commence. Common deferred period include 4, 8, 13, 26 and 52 weeks.

Premium type (how you pay for your cover) - Premiums can be guaranteed (remain the same), reviewable (change due to certain criteria) or age-banded (increase as you get older). Age-banded premiums may not penalise you for your smoking habits as they are set to change over time.

How much is smoker income protection?

How much you pay for you income protection as a smoker will depend on a variety of factors.

This includes factors about you, such as:

  • Your age
  • Your health and wellbeing
  • Your smoking status (additional questions will be required about your smoking habits)
  • Your occupation
  • Your lifestyle

As well as details about your policy, such as:

  • Policy length
  • Payment period (long-term or short-term)
  • Deferred period
  • Definition of incapacity
  • Premium type

When disclosing that you smoke, you’ll need to undergo additional questioning so that providers can gather more details about your smoking habits.

It’s likely that you will experience an increase to your premiums (compared to a non-smoker) so that providers can mitigate the risk of offering you cover.


The table below shows a price comparison between a smoker and a non-smoker for an income protection policy.

Quotes are based on an applicant in good health, with an annual income of £30,000. The policy provides cover until age 65, has a 3 month (13 week) deferred period, with guaranteed premiums:

AgeSmokerNon-smoker
20£7.50£5.85
25£8.62£6.14
30£9.62£6.41
35£10.32£6.88
40£12.39£8.60
45£16.50£11.00
50£21.94£14.63


Not only do smokers pay more for their cover, but the price they pay increases significantly more than a non-smoker as you get older.

For this reason, as a smoker, securing cover at a young age can help you to lock in the cheapest premium over the lifetime of your policy.

Seize the day and contact Reassured Advice for your fee-free, no-obligation quotes.

Do smokers pay higher premiums?

Yes, a smoker will pay more for their income protection premiums than a non-smoker.

This is to compensate for the increased risk.

However, in the case of age-banded premiums, not all providers will penalise smoking with increased premiums.

This is because this type of premium will automatically increase yearly as you age, so you may end up paying more over time as a result.

What happens if you lie about being a smoker?

Lying about your smoking habits, withholding any other information, or declaring false information on your income protection application is classed as insurance fraud.

It’s known as ‘non-disclosure’ and it can prevent a pay out from being made when you need it the most.

While your premiums may be increased if you declare smoking on your application, the reality is that it’s likely to only be a few pounds more - it’s not worth committing insurance fraud for.

If you’re worried about how your smoking habits will affect your income protection insurance, why not speak to an expert like Reassured Advice?

A friendly member of the team will be happy to talk you through all your available options.

How do providers know if you smoke?

Providers will know that you smoke as you’ll be required to provide this information on your application questionnaire.

This will be in the form of a yes or no question.

If answering yes, you may need to answer some additional questions about your smoking habits such as:

  • How long you’ve smoked for
  • How often you smoke
  • How many cigarettes you smoke per day

Providing false information to answer this question is a form of insurance fraud, called as non-disclosure, and this can lead to your policy becoming void and no payments being made.

While it’s rare, providers also have the right to request a medical exam or a cotinine test which will be able to inform them of your smoking status.

Can cannabis smokers get income protection?

Smoking cannabis can be judged more harshly than smoking cigarettes in terms of income protection.

Not only can cannabis lead to a number of physical health problems, but also mental health issues.

For this reason, income protection providers are unlikely to offer cover to cannabis smokers.

Similarly, if you are regularly using any recreational drugs, it’s unlikely you’ll be offered cover.

Income protection and smoking FAQs

Why do income protection providers need to know if you smoke?

Smoking is a habit that, unfortunately, can lead to a number of health complications.

The price you pay for income protection, and the policy terms and conditions you’re offered will be based on the level of risk you pose to the provider.

For this reason, providers will need to know if you smoke so that they can accurately assess your level of risk and calculate your premiums accordingly.


What about vapes and e-cigarettes?

Using nicotine substitutes such as vapes and e-cigarettes will still class you as a smoker in the eyes of income protection providers.


Do I need to tell my provider if I start smoking after I have taken out cover?

No, you won’t be required to inform your provider if you take up smoking during the term of your policy.

While you’re not required to do so, it can work in your favour to inform them.

If you develop certain illnesses (that can be related to smoking) and need to make a claim, providers may need to investigate to see if you were a smoker / if the condition was pre-existing at the time of taking out cover.

This could delay the claims process so it’s good to keep your provider informed.


How long must I have stopped smoking for to be classed as a non-smoker?

Typically, you must be free of nicotine (this includes both cigarettes and nicotine substitutes such as vapes) for at least one year.

However, the time may vary between providers due to the different underwriting processes used.

Compare income protection quotes for smokers

It’s still possible to secure income protection as a smoker.

However, this makes it even more essential to compare quotes to find the most affordable cover.

Why not let Reassured Advice help you do this free of charge?

Their whole of market comparison service will allow you to find the income protection policy that best meets your needs, at the right price.

Simply get in touch for your personalised, fee-free and no-obligation quotes.

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