Life and critical illness insurance £6,000 more expensive for smokers

Life and critical illness insurance £6,000 more expensive for smokers

02 March 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Smokers could pay at least £6,000 more for life insurance and critical illness insurance than their non-smoking counterparts, research from moneysupermarket.com has revealed.

The comparison website is highlighting the extra cost of protection for smokers and urging them to quit. Someone kicking the habit could save an average £6,044 on combined critical illness and life insurance premiums for £150,000 cover for a 30 year old male, or up to £1,685 on a separate life insurance policy, with a 25 year term.

And, quitting could save more than £1,500 a year, based on the number of cigarettes bought each year by the average smoker at £6.13 for a pack of 20.

More than a fifth of women and a third of men are ex-smokers, research has found, and two thirds of current smokers would like to give up.

For single life insurance premiums, non-smoking men pay up to £1,685 less on a £150,000 worth of cover over 25 years compared to a smoker, while women who do not smoke pay £1,190 less.

Emma Walker, head of protection at moneysupermarket.com, said: "It is crucial smokers seriously consider both the medical and financial benefits of quitting, instead of letting their hard-earned cash go up in smoke. There are real savings to be made by kicking the habit and shopping around for the best insurance deal to suit your circumstances."

Ms Walker reminds policyholders that it takes a full year of refraining from smoking to be classed as a non-smoker and to benefit from cheaper premiums.

She continued: "Critical Illness Cover could prove vital if a person finds they are unable to work due to serious illness - especially important in today's financial climate. With considerable savings to be made, smokers will hopefully find the willpower to permanently kick the habit, benefiting their health and their wallets."

To find the best life insurance and critical illness insurance, moneysupermarket.com suggests that consumers do not allow themselves to be lured by the cheapest premiums, but to check what cover and extras are provided.

All the answers on the application form should be correct, and relevant information provided, the comparison site urges, including medical history and life-style such as smoking, otherwise a future claim could be rejected. When lifestyles change they should tell their insurer, to ensure they always have adequate protection and it could affect their premiums, it adds, such as a change in marital status, having children, or if they quit smoking.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

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