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Silent ex-smokers pay too much for life insurance

Silent ex-smokers pay too much for life insurance

Category: Life insurance

Updated: 15/08/2017
First Published: 24/01/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Ex-smokers are unnecessarily paying millions of pounds a year more in life insurance premiums than they need to.

New research from Sainsbury's Finance found that around 3.3 million ex-smokers in the UK are collectively paying £316 million a year too much for their life insurance because they haven't informed their policy provider they have quit.

On average, ex-smokers could save 46% on their premiums just by telling their life insurance provider that they have kicked the habit.

The survey revealed that around 6.5 million life insurance policy holders gave up smoking more than 12 months ago and haven't used nicotine replacement products in the past year.

Although these people could be eligible to be classified as non-smokers with respect to life insurance cover, more than half admitted they had not told their provider the good news.

Research conducted by on behalf of Sainsbury's Life Insurance reveals that the average annual life insurance premium for a smoker is £209.76 compared with £113.88 for a non-smoker.

"A huge number of people have quit smoking over the past few years and the health benefits of not smoking are now very well-known, but the financial gains are often underestimated," said Andrew Gray, Sainsbury's Life Insurance product manager.

"Apart from the obvious savings you can make from not buying cigarettes, your life insurance premium could decrease as you are demonstrating that you've made efforts towards living a healthier lifestyle.

"If you gave up smoking more than 12 months ago and haven't used any nicotine replacement products in that time, you could qualify as a non-smoker.

"Therefore, now is the time to notify your life insurance provider, or if you don't have a policy, it's a good time to shop around for one, and make sure you declare how long you have given up smoking for when you're applying for a policy - whether it's your first ever policy or if you're simply switching providers."

If you think you're paying too much for life insurance or need to take some out for the first time, a decent deal should not be hard to find.

Online applicants for Barclays Aviva Life Insurance get a 10% discount and receive £15 Marks & Spencer on their third monthly payment, while those taking a policy with Tesco Life are rewarded with a free £50 gift card.

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Under no circumstances should you cancel an existing life insurance policy until a new one has been arranged. Torquil Clark Life Insurance is a trading name of LifePolicies Direct Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.