Yeah yeah yeah….we all know that smoking is bad for your health & you’re likely fed up with having that message played over and over and over….. but practically speaking, what effect will it have on financially protecting your future?
I thought smokers couldn’t get Life Insurance?
Not true! You can protect your life but it’s likely to cost a bit more than non-smokers policy.
But I only smoke one or two a day!
Bit of straight talking required here…..You don’t have to get through 40 a day – if you have used tobacco in the last 12 months, most insurers will class you as a smoker. So that occasional cigarette means you’re a smoker for life insurance purposes.
What about E-cigs? They don’t contain tobacco, some don’t even contain nicotine.
Insurers are still working out where they stand on this. The advice from the Association of British Insurers is to always disclose that you smoke e-cigarettes. Because they are considered a nicotine replacement product, some life insurers will class you as a smoker. This position may change in the future, but for now it’s seen as not much better than the real thing.
I don’t want to give up. How can I protect my family?
The health-risks associated with smoking are so well documented it will come as no surprise that you will be classed as a higher risk by insurers. But despite the added expense, it is all the more important to have enough cover. You may feel tempted to claw back some of the extra cost by going for the cheapest policy, but that may not provide sufficient cover to provide for your family if you die or fall ill.
Can’t I just lie and say I’m a non-smoker on the paperwork?
There’s no point in trying to conceal the fact that you smoke. Insurers might ask for a urine or saliva test to prove whether or not you do. They might even contact your GP for information on your medical history. And if you make a claim on the policy, they will investigate. For instance, if you die, the coroner’s report might report that you died from a smoking-related illness. If you have concealed your habit from the insurer, the policy is then unlikely to pay out.
What if I quit?
This will certainly reduce the cost of your life insurance, but bear in mind that most insures require you to have stayed nicotine free for 12 months or more. They may also request a report from your doctor for confirmation. However, if you are amongst the 51% of smokers who have kicked the habit and not informed their insurers, do let us know. You could be paying a great deal more than you need to.