Smokers pay more for home insurance as well as life insurance

29 June 2007
It is now widely known that smokers pay higher life insurance premiums than non-smokers; the average 25-year, £100,000 life insurance policy for a 35-year-old smoker costs 79 per cent more than for a non-smoker – a cost of £2,370 over 25 years.

But what many people don’t realize is that smokers also pay a higher price for their home insurance, with many insurers now asking customers if they smoke or not and adjusting the policy due to the increased risk of fire.

According to the Association of British Insurers, homes with a smoker are 35% more likely to suffer a fire, and therefore have to claim on their home insurance.

Last year, £394million was paid out by insurers to pay for fire damage, and with the ban on smoking in public places coming into affect on Sunday, the ABI is warning people who will be lighting up at home more to be aware of the risks associated with smoking.

Every year, smoking causes 3,500 fires in domestic properties, which result in 80 deaths and 1400 injuries and of course, extensive fire and smoke damage to homes.

The ABI’s Malcolm Tarling said: “It is easy to under estimate the dangers of smoking in the home, despite the fact that homes with a smoker are 35% more likely to suffer a fire. Most cigarette-related fires can be avoided by taking that little bit of extra care when lighting up.”

Mr Tarling’s advice to smokers who do want to smoke in the home is not to smoke in bed, to never leave lit cigarettes unattended, to always use a proper ashtray and make sure cigarettes are stubbed out properly when finished, because a smoldering cigarette can easily start a fire. The ABI also wants to emphasize the importance of having smoke alarms in the home.

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