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Smokers could be short-changing their families

12th March 2014 Print

Smokers do not insure their lives for as much as non-smokers do, causing potential financial problems for their families, according to new research from
The findings, by the price comparison website to coincide with No Smoking Day (12th March), reveal that smokers in the UK are insuring themselves for less than non-smokers, with a difference of more than a third (33%) between levels of cover. According to the figures, the average amount of life insurance cover taken out by a non-smoker is £149,744, compared to just £112,370 for a smoker.
The significant gulf between the amount of life insurance cover taken out by smokers compared to non-smokers means that smokers are at a higher risk of leaving their loved ones exposed to financial hardship, should the worst happen.
Currently 30% of the UK population admit to being smokers, with one in five (20%) admitting to being regular smokers. The other 10% of smokers in the UK describe themselves as ‘social smokers’ only.
The average smoker will smoke 24 cigarettes a week, and spend an average of £13.50 per week. This equates to £58.50 a month on average – more than double the cost of an average life insurance monthly payment for a smoker which would set them back just £27.98 a month.*
However, only 38% of regular smokers in the UK currently have life insurance, a worrying statistic considering the number of smoking-related deaths that occur in the UK every year.
And it’s not just their health that smokers are risking – being addicted to cigarettes can also have a serious impact on people’s finances, in particular, the cost of their life insurance policy. However many smokers are unaware of all the financial constraints associated with being a smoker, with one in five smokers (22%) unaware that their habit can increase the cost of their life insurance.
However, lying about whether or not you smoke when applying for life insurance to try and lower costs should not be considered as an option as it can have serious consequences.  If a smoker was to lie on their application and later die from a smoking-related complication there is a possibility that policy will not pay out, potentially leaving their loved ones to face the consequences.
To avoid both the financial, and more importantly health risks associated with smoking, the most sensible option is to try and quit the habit. One in five Brits (18%) admit that they used to smoke but have stopped because they were worried about the health risks, with one in ten (10%) citing financial reasons for their decision to quit.
There are many published and known risks associated with smoking, but with so much help available and with national No Smoking Day taking place this Wednesday, there has never been a better time to kick that habit once and for all. Why not take advantage of our articles and guides to help you quit smoking.
Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at says: “As our research reveals, only 38% of regular smokers in the UK currently have life insurance. This reluctance amongst some smokers to protect their families' futures is particularly alarming. It’s a worrying situation, especially when you consider just how many smoking-related deaths take place in the UK each year.

“We’re aware that smokers pay more for life insurance than non-smokers, however undervaluing their net worth is not a sensible way to try and reduce monthly premiums.

“If you do smoke you could save money on life insurance by quitting, although you will need to have stopped smoking or using nicotine replacement products for a year. Now is as good a time to give up as any, with the nation rallying behind No Smoking Day, it’s finally time to put out that cigarette and start thinking about the future.”