As we are now in Stoptober – the month when smokers are encouraged to quit – AA Life Insurance provided by Legal & General reminds us how smoking affects not only health, but finances, too.
Besides the initial outlay for cigarettes (£1,696 a year for the average smoker who has 13 a day*), smokers often pay more for other things – including life insurance. Information from the AA shows that smoker premiums are double those of non-smokers.
Smokers are typically seen as being less healthy than non-smokers. Statistics show that fewer smokers are likely to say they perceive themselves as being in good health compared to non-smokers.**
Smoking isn't a cheap habit and it certainly isn't healthy - that's why smokers pay more for life insurance
Mark Huggins, Managing Director AA Life Insurance
Mark Huggins, Managing Director of AA Life Insurance says "Smoking isn't a cheap habit and it certainly isn't healthy – that's why smokers pay more for life insurance.
"Lots of people take out life insurance to pay off a mortgage or provide a lump sum or regular income to family if they're no longer around. But smokers should be aware that non-smokers get the better deal when it comes to life insurance."
In most cases a former smoker will be classed as a non-smoker once they've been smoke-free for 12 months before taking out a policy. This applies to users of cigarettes, cigars, a pipe or nicotine replacements including e-cigarettes.
After three to nine months of not smoking, lung function increases by 10% and after five years the risk of a heart attack falls to about half of that of someone who is still smoking. That's aside from shorter term benefits such as regaining a better sense of taste and smell.***
Huggins adds, "It's vital that you're honest when you apply for life insurance so don't be tempted to be economical with the truth. Even if you only smoke occasionally you're still classed as a smoker. You might not consider yourself to be a smoker, but even smoking once in a while could mean that a claim made on your policy wouldn't be met.
"Stoptober is a great time to give up smoking if you've been thinking about doing it. There are a huge number of resources to help you to quit so you don't have to go it alone."
AA Life Insurance