Life insurance half as expensive as a decade ago

24 July 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
The cost of life insurance is half of what is was a decade ago, according to research from moneyfacts.co.uk.

The study highlighted how much cheaper life insurance is today compared to 10 years ago, largely due to the growing number of insurers, supermarkets, and online providers that offer term assurance life cover, resulting in a price war.

Consumers might be paying more now for their car insurance and home insurance than in recent years, but moneyfacts.co.uk has found that in some cases life insurance premiums have halved.

People who do not smoke are those who have benefitted the most from cheaper cover, as the average premium for a non-smoking male has fallen by 53 per cent since 1998, and the average cost for a female who doesn't smoke has fallen almost as much, by 48 per cent.

In monetary terms, moneyfacts.co.uk has calculated that this represents a saving of more than £3,000 over a 25 year term for a male, and a £2,700 saving for a female.

Even for those men and women who do smoke, their premiums have also fallen, by 48 per cent and 45 per cent respectively. However, smokers' premiums have gone back up slightly in the last 12 months, indicating that this might be the end for cheaper cover for smokers.

They could save a considerable amount if they kick the habit, the research shows, as non-smokers pay around 35 per cent less for their life insurance than their smoking counterparts.

A combination of reasons have led to a fall in the number of people who smoke, such as it becoming less socially acceptable, rising awareness of the health risks involved, and perhaps cheaper life and medical insurance

premiums. There has been a 2.2 per cent fall in males who smoke and a 1.6 per cent decrease in the number of female smokers in the last decade.

"Longer life expectancy coupled with increased competition in the term assurance market has driven prices down to all time lows, but for non-smokers there are signs that rates may have bottomed out." Richard Eagling, editor of investment life and pensions at Moneyfacts commented.

"Consumers looking to take advantage of the huge savings on offer should proceed with caution as life insurance companies assess risk differently. Some policies are as much as five times more expensive - so why waste money needlessly?"

© Fair Investment Company Ltd