Cheap life insurance for smokers

Due to the increased health risks associated with smoking, you're likely to pay more for protection than non-smokers.

However, this doesn't mean that you can't secure cost-effective life insurance for smokers.

By using an FCA registered broker, such as Reassured, you can secure affordable life cover even if you smoke.

Read on to establish how to secure the right policy at the best possible price today...

Watch this short video to learn all about life insurance for smokers.

Life insurance for smokers vs. non-smokers

Ultimately, life insurance cover for smokers and non-smokers doesn't really differ.

Cover remains valid for a specified period of time, covers the same causes of death and offers a pay out if you pass away during the policy term.

The one key difference, however, is the cost and likelihood of being accepted.

Whilst it's rare to be declined cover due to your smoking alone, it could happen if the amount you smoke is excessive, you've been smoking a long time or have experienced health implications as a result.

Even in this instance, we have an impaired life team who may still be able to find you cover.

The more likely event would be that you'll be charged higher premiums to account for the increased risk you pose to the insurer.

But rest assured, at Reassured, we'll compare multiple providers to secure you the best deal.

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of cover you require.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best available quotes.

How do insurers classify a smoker?

In life insurance terms, if you've smoked or used replacement products in the past 12 months, you're classified a smoker.

This also includes those who use nicotine patches, mints or even vaping.

With around 3.5 million people in the UK now vaping instead of smoking[1], this brings the number of smokers to an all-time high with regards to life insurance classification.

The threshold for quitting before being classed as a non-smoker will vary between insurers.

Some will require you to be nicotine-free for 12 months, whilst others require 5 years.

At Reassured, we're able to help you find non-smoking life insurance after being 12 months smoke-free.

However, in the meantime, we can also help you identify a great deal on smokers insurance by comparing quotes.

Can you get life insurance if you smoke cigarettes?

You're likely to pay more each month than your non-smoking counterparts, but by comparing quotes you can secure a good deal.

Before providing you with a quote, insurers will require information regarding:

  • How long you have smoked
  • How many you smoke a day
  • Whether or not you've experienced any health complications as a result of smoking

On rare occasions, those who've smoked for the majority of their life, smoke an excessive amount or have detrimental health as a result, may be declined.

The likelihood of being declined cover will vary between insurers, again making it essential to obtain quotes from multiple providers.

At Reassured, we have the knowledge required to connect you with those most likely to provide cover at the most affordable price.

Is vaping classed as smoking for life insurance?

As we've established, if vaping currently or within the past 12 months, you're still classed as a smoker by the insurer.

This can be as long as 5 years after quitting depending on the insurer.

Vaping has massively grown in popularity over the past decade and many flavoured, yet non-nicotine-based liquids, are now available.

In the eyes of the insurer, whether you use nicotine or non-nicotine based liquid, you're still classed as a smoker and therefore, must declare your habits at application.

To secure affordable life insurance for vapers compare quotes for free with Reassured.

How much is life insurance for a smoker?

Smoking can significantly increase the cost of your life insurance premiums.

But not all insurers provide a definitive line between smokers vs non-smokers, offering different classifications based on your type of nicotine use and the quantity you use.

Therefore, a 20-a-year smoker may benefit from lower premiums than someone who smokes 10-a-day if their daily intake is minimal.

These categories and thresholds differ significantly depending on the insurer and therefore it's essential you compare policies before arranging cover.

Typically, monthly premiums cost around a third more for 30-year-old smokers and double for 50-year-old smokers when compared to non-smokers.

This could result in a smoker paying up to 75% more over the term of their policy compared to a non-smoker[2]. But why?

The table below shows the difference between the average cost of life insurance for smokers vs non-smokers over a 20-year term[3].

Age Smokers Non-smokers
30 £7.21 £5.08
35 £11.20 £6.85
40 £16.77 £9.39
45 £26.78 £13.58
50 £43.03 £20.87

Life insurance premiums for smokers

Life insurance companies calculate the cost of your premiums based on the likelihood of a claim.

The health issues associated with smoking increase this likelihood and therefore, insurers mitigate their risk by charging higher premiums.

As mentioned earlier, rather than taking a black and white stance towards smoking, some insurers now classify smokers based on how they consume nicotine and their quantity of intake.

Therefore, those who smoke less frequently could benefit from cheaper premiums if they go with the most suitable insurer.

As always, your age affects the cost of your premiums.

As a smoker, it’s more important to arrange life cover as young as possible because as you age your premiums increase at an even faster rate.

A great way to find the most cost-effective solution is to use a life insurance broker to compare multiple quotes on your behalf.

Smoking and life insurance

Since the ban in 2009, the percentage of cigarette smokers in the UK has been in decline, however, this figure still represents approximately 9.1 million[4] people.

This results in approximately 96,000 deaths each year, highlighting the importance of life insurance for smokers.

This need becomes greater still if you've dependants who rely on you financially.

Without adequate life insurance in place your loved ones may have to:

There are a number of options to ensure your loved ones aren't subjected to financial strain.

Term life insurance for smokers

Term life insurance provides financial protection for a specified period of time.

If you pass away during this period, a lump sum pay out is made to your loved ones.

As with other types of life insurance, term life insurance is likely to be more expensive for smokers due to the increased risk to the insurer.

However, once in place, cover is identical to that of non-smokers.

Whilst more expensive for smokers, it's possible to obtain affordable term life cover.

Simply, contact Reassured and we'll compare quotes to secure you the best deal.

Over 50 life insurance for smokers

Although rare, in some instances you may be declined life insurance if you're a smoker. But you do still have options.

An over 50s plan provides guaranteed acceptance to all UK residents aged between 50-85.

No medical exam is required, meaning that if you were declined as a result of poor health, it won't play a factor in this cover type.

Whilst some providers will take into account your smoking status, others don't.

Meaning that as a smoker within this age bracket it's possible to arrange cover without being penalised due to your smoking habits or poor health.

Life insurance for ex-smokers

As mentioned, you're still considered a smoker until you've refrained from the consumption of nicotine and/or nicotine replacement products for a minimum of 12 months.

Therefore, ex-smokers are unlikely to see any immediate benefit reflected in the cost of premiums until this 12-month threshold has been reached.

Equally, it depends on how long you smoked for as to whether or not you'll ever experience a benefit from quitting.

For example, if you've smoked for 40 or more years, insurers may take the view that the damage has been done.

Therefore, regardless of the period you have quit for, your premiums will still be higher due to the increased risk you pose.

As a result, it's best to obtain multiple quotes to determine which policy best meets your unique needs.

Occasional smoker life insurance

The threshold at which you're considered a 'regular' smoker will vary between insurers.

In most instances, being an occasional smoker won't impact the cost of your premiums.

For example, having the odd smoke at a celebration or on a night out may not class you as a smoker.

Again, it's essential to compare insurers to discover those with the most favourable threshold to match your circumstances.

Quitting during your policy

Generally speaking, quitting smoking won't immediately impact the cost of your life insurance.

However, the longer you quit, the more likely you'll benefit from lower premiums.

Although, in rare instances, once you declare to your insurer you have quit, they may provide you with an immediate decrease in premium.

But this may be subject to ongoing spot checks to ensure you're remaining true to your word.

Whether you benefit immediately, or in the future, it's always important to let your insurer know if you've quit the habit.

Occasionally, insurers won't update your premiums to reflect your new non-smoker status.

When this occurs, it may be beneficial to compare quotes for a new policy as a non-smoker as the premiums (even at an older age) may be more attractive.

Starting smoking after life insurance

If you start smoking during the policy term, it isn’t essential to tell your insurer, but it could be in your best interests.

If you fail to tell your insurer that you've begun smoking and then pass away within the first two years of your policy, your insurer has the right to investigate the cause of death.

This is known as the contestability clause.

If the cause of death is shown to be due to smoking, your insurer may deem your policy invalid.

This is because it's not documented when you started smoking and therefore, you could have lied at application.

To prevent your loved ones being denied a pay out, it's best to inform your insurer of your new smoking habits, although this could result in an increase to your premiums.

Does smoking void a life insurance policy?

As discussed, it's not essential to inform your insurer if you smoke once your policy is in place.

Therefore, smoking after the start date of your cover won't void your policy.

However, the exception to this is if it results in your death within the first two years of your policy.

During this time the insurer has the right to investigate your passing.

If deemed as a result of smoking, they may assume you lied during the application stage and therefore, void your cover.

Equally, if you declared you smoke during the application, dying as a result won't void your policy unless stated as an exclusion within the policy - which is rare.

Life insurance smoking question

When arranging life insurance you'll be asked about your smoking habits.

Unless you declare smoking, this will be posed as a single yes/no question.

If you're a smoker, a number of follow up questions will be asked.

These include how long you have been smoking and how many you smoke a day.

How do life insurance companies know if you smoke?

Whether you declare yourself a smoker or a non-smoker, insurers have the right to test your smoking status.

Generally speaking, when you submit a life insurance application, it'll be assumed that the information you have provided is truthful.

However, an insurance provider can request a cotinine test (urine or salvia) as part of their medical process to determine your smoking habits.

It's also commonplace for your medical records to display your smoking status.

These can be requested from your GP during an application.

If you're found to have lied, you could not only be declined cover but also be at risk of being charged for insurance fraud.

What happens if you lie on life insurance?

It can be tempting to claim you're a non-smoker when you're not, particularly when you consider the increased premiums.

This is known as non-disclosure.

However, lying about smoking on your life insurance application is not a good idea.

Insurance providers have the right to request your medical records and/or a cotinine test during the application process.

If either of these determines you've lied about your smoking status, your policy could be deemed invalid.

This could result in one of two outcomes:

  • A pay out won't be made and all your premiums will have been wasted
  • Only a proportion of your pay out will be honoured, in line with how much less you paid than you would have if you had declared yourself a smoker

Life insurance for cigar smokers

As discussed, the use of any nicotine product classes you as a smoker in the eyes of insurers, this includes cigars.

However, in the same way occasional smokers may not be penalised, if you only smoke the odd cigar to commemorate a special occasion, you may be classed as a non-smoker.

Again, this threshold will be determined by the insurers.

As always, it's best to discuss your cigar smoking truthfully during the application process and compare multiple quotes to ensure your cover is both valid and cost-effective.

Life insurance for 'pot' smokers

Smoking cannabis actually falls under recreational drug use as opposed to smoking when applying for life insurance.

You'll be asked about your recreational drug use during the application process, at which point you should declare any cannabis smoking.

You're unlikely to be declined life insurance for smoking cannabis unless your usage is of a dangerous level.

In some instances, if your use is very sparse, it may not be declared on your application at all.

But in most cases, your premiums will be loaded if you declare smoking cannabis.

It can be tempting to not declare your cannabis use (especially as the act is illegal) but insurers are not there to judge.

Failure to disclose your cannabis habits during the application, however, could deem your policy invalid and risk your loved ones being denied a pay out.

Smoking-related illnesses

Unfortunately, smoking brings with it an increased risk of many medical conditions.

These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and respiratory failure.

Whilst the correlation between smoking and lung cancer is perhaps the most well-documented, the habit also increases the risk of developing other types of cancer including throat, mouth and stomach.

You're also more likely to suffer cardiac failures and respiratory diseases.

These health risks, increase the cost of life insurance premiums for smokers, whilst also highlighting the necessity for such cover.

Helpful smoking resources

There are a number of helpful resources if you're looking to cut down or quit smoking:

Your GP or local pharmacy can also help provide guidance.

Best life insurance for smokers

As with any life insurance, the best cover will depend on individual circumstances.

You should consider what it is you're looking to protect and how much cover will be required to do so.

At this point you should then compare quotes to determine the available options and how your smoking status will impact cost.

Life insurance for smokers quotes

Whilst it's almost inevitable that as a smoker, you'll experience higher premiums than a non-smoker, it's still possible to save money on your life insurance.

The best way to do this is by comparing multiple quotes from different insurers.

Quotes can differ significantly between providers, therefore, by comparing policies you can find the most suitable cover, at the most affordable price.

Using an FCA regulated life insurance broker, such as Reassured, allows the hard work to be done for you.

We'll obtain quotes from multiple insurers and supply you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

And the best part? Our award-winning brokerage service is fee-free.

Simply get in touch and start your journey to securing cost-effective life insurance today.

Sources:

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44295336

[2] https://www.sunlife.co.uk

[3] https://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/much-100000-life-insurance-cost/

[4] http://ash.org.uk/category/information-and-resources/fact-sheets/

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