Advice Admin & Legal A Guide to Life Insurance for Smokers

A Guide to Life Insurance for Smokers

We all know the drill. Smoking isn’t one of your five a day. You don’t need us to tell you that.

But the fact that 90,000 people in the UK die every year as a direct cause of smoking, and that it’s linked to at least 50 other diseases, explains, at least in part, explains why getting Life Insurance as a smoker isn’t always a walk in the park.

But, just because you smoke doesn’t mean you can’t get Life Insurance. After all around 6.9 million people in the UK smoke according to the Office of National Statistics and they still need financial cover in case the worst were to happen.

As a life insurance provider ourselves we wanted to ditch the smoke and mirrors and bring some much needed transparency to the relationship between getting life insurance and smoking.

How do Life Insurers define a ‘smoker’ vs. 'non-smoker'

To be classified as a smoker to a Life Insurance provider, you will need to have used a tobacco product or nicotine replacement product (yes, this includes vaping) in the last 12 months. It doesn’t matter how much you smoked, or in what frequency, if you smoked a single cigarette in that time period, you will be placed into the smoker's bracket.

Can smokers get Life Insurance?

The short answer is, yes, smokers can get Life Insurance. But because smokers have a higher chance of dying earlier than non-smokers, insurers tend to balance that risk with the cost of your monthly premium. Which brings us neatly onto…

Does being a smoker impact the price of Life Insurance?

We know that being a smoker increases the risk that you will die during your policy term. This means that the rates you will pay on your Life Insurance will likely be more expensive than the rates of non-smokers.

Other factors also affect the price of your Life Insurance, such as your age.

But as an estimate to give you a ‘ballpark’ understanding, if a 30 year old smoker took out Life Insurance, the rate would be roughly a third higher than a 30 year old non smoker. This rate tends to increase as you get older too.

What other factors do you need to take into account:

  • What you smoke (e.g. pipe, cigarettes, cigars, e- cigarettes)
  • How long you have smoked for
  • Your lifestyle and activities
  • Your health when taking out the policy

Providers will likely have different methods of calculating the risk, but generally, someone who vapes will be less risky than a chain smoker of cigarettes for example.

What if I don’t tell my Life Insurance provider I smoke?

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to Life Insurance.

The aim of Life Insurance is for them to pay the people you love a lump sum if the worst were to happen. The last thing you want is for anything to complicate that, or to prevent your Life Insurer from paying out.

Better to be totally up front and honest at the outset. Sure, this could mean you pay a bit more over the lifetime of the policy, but at least you can rest easy knowing that your loved ones will have financial security if the worst happens.

Is it worth getting Life Insurance if you are a smoker?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question but the reasons for taking out Life Insurance do not change if you are a smoker.

If anyone would be financially impacted if you were to kick the bucket tomorrow then Life Insurance is probably worth thinking about.

Most people consider the following:

  • Housing costs: will the people you love be able to afford the mortgage or rental payments in your absence?
  • Debt: Do you have any outstanding loans, credit cards or car finances and would the people you love be able to cover these costs?
  • Funeral: Do you have provisions in place for your funeral? The average funeral costs £4,800 in the UK.
  • Education: Do you have any fees for schooling or future university costs that you would like to be covered in the event you were no longer around?

Of course the higher cost of the premium for a smoker needs to be taken into account and whether or not the premiums would be affordable to you on a monthly basis. To benefit from Life Insurance, you need to make sure your premiums are paid every month or the cover would lapse.

How can you get Life Insurance?

There are plenty of Life Insurance providers out there, so much so that it can be overwhelming at times to know where to go.

We're, Guardian Angel, created after Sam, our founder's Mum died suddenly. Like many of us Sam's Mum hadn't put a plan in place, making a difficult time even harder. So we know how important having a backup plan is, and how easy it is to put off.

That's why we've made our Life Insurance quite so easy to tick off. It's all online, no medical appointments, no needles. Just 15 minutes and you'll be sorted.

Get your free quote today.