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Life Insurance For Smokers - Am I Still Covered?

Life Insurance

Smoking has long been proven to reduce life expectancy and this can lead some people to believe that you can’t get life insurance if you’re a smoker. Here we look at what your life insurance covers while seeing what the options are for a smoker.

Does life insurance cover smokers?

If you’re a smoker then you are going to be able to get life insurance. All insurers will do a risk assessment and will adjust their cover depending on that. This includes any form of health risk whether is smoking for something such as diabetes.

While the fact you’ll be covered is good news, the bad news is that life insurance for smokers is likely to be more expensive. This is true of any type of health risk. The amount that you have to pay will depend on your individual assessment along with any other health risks.

How expensive is life insurance for smokers?

The premiums that you’ll have to pay for life insurance will depend on several different factors. While a healthy 30 year old who doesn’t smoke may have to pay around £8 a month, a smoker at the same age may have to pay around £12.

These are rough examples but show you that there can be significant differences for a smoker which will only get bigger as you get older. With smoking and life insurance, a smoker over the age of 50 may have to pay more than double that of a healthy individual at the same age.

Telling your insurer about your smoking habit

With the increase in your premiums, it can be tempting to lie about your smoking habit. This is never going to be a good idea for a few different reasons. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to filling out your life insurance claim.

It’s likely that you will be asked a series of questions about smoking. These can include whether or not you have smoked within the last 12 months and possible further questions such as how often. These questions will also apply to nicotine replacement products and e-cigarettes.

If a claim is made on your insurance and they find out you’re a smoker it can be a huge issue. They would then be within their rights to not payout. Due to this, it always makes sense to be honest, even if it means paying higher premiums.

Smoking is more than just cigarettes

It’s also important to note that pipes, cigarettes, cigars, patches, e-cigarettes and vaping will all be considered smoking by a life insurance company. It also generally doesn’t matter how much you smoke as all smokers are generally treated the same regardless.

How life insurance companies find out

Insurance companies can ask for medical records when you claim for life insurance. Added to this, it may become evident that you were a smoker should you become ill. There are huge benefits to life insurance and there is little point in risking that by making false claims on your application. You don’t want to become seriously ill and have the worry of your life insurance claim on top of that.

Reducing your premiums

It’s a common question of whether stopping smoking is going to reduce your premiums. Different insurers are going to have different policies but it’s very possible that you can reduce your premiums. They will usually ask that you be entirely nicotine-free for at least 12 months.

If you plan on quitting smoking then it’s a good idea to check with your insurer beforehand on their policy. They’ll be able to tell you what kind of discounts you’ll be able to get if you do quit. This can give you an extra incentive to kick the habit.

Should I get life insurance if I smoke?

Life insurance is a good idea for anyone, especially anyone with a higher risk of health issues. It’s best to get it as soon as possible as your premiums are going to be lower the younger you are. You’ll also have the peace of mind of being protected straight away.

If you’re young and in otherwise good health then there is a temptation to defer your life insurance by 12 months so you can then apply as a non-smoker. While this can be a tempting option, you are risking those 12 months. A better option can be to work with an insurer who will lower your premium once you’ve quit smoking for good.

Life insurance and smoking

If you’re a smoker and worried about getting life insurance, you shouldn’t be. Getting life insurance when you’re in a higher risk category simply means having to go through a more thorough application process and most likely paying a higher premium. It's always a good idea to ask questions of your insurer to get the right type of cover for you and your family.

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FF Bequest Limited, trading as Bequest, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 923791. You can check our authorisation on the FCA Financial Services Register by visiting the following website: register.fca.org.uk . We are registered in England and Wales, Registered office address: Founders Factory, Northcliffe House, London, United Kingdom, W8 5EH. Company Number 12367897.

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