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Why it pays to be healthy

Why it pays to be healthy

We’d all love to live a long and healthy life, and while we understand the health benefits of not smoking, exercising and maintaining a good weight, many don’t know about the savings you can make when it comes to products like life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection. Insurance is all about risk - you pay insurance premiums in return for financial protection against certain risks. In the case of protection insurance, it’s risks like death and serious illness. The lower your risk of these things happening, the cheaper your insurance premiums will be. So when it comes to protection insurance, it really does pay to be healthy!



Smoking and life insurance

We don’t need to tell you that smoking isn’t good for health - today it’s the biggest cause of cancer in the world [1]! But did you know that almost 60% of over 16s in Great Britain want to kick their cigarette habit to the curb [2]? This is not only great news for health but also pockets! Why? Well firstly, cigarettes are expensive, and secondly, when it comes to life insurance, smoking can almost double your monthly premiums. So you could be paying double the price for life insurance as a smoker, compared to as a non-smoker! The reason for this is simply because of the health risks associated with smoking. 

And it’s a very similar situation for critical illness insurance and income protection insurance, so if you’re thinking about buying one of these policies, and you’re a smoker, it’s definitely worth doing lots of research to find the most affordable insurance policy. And if you need a hand, just give our team of specialist protection advisers a call on 0800 316 7253. We work with the UK’s top insurers and know exactly how to find the cheapest life insurance for smokers. 

So what about vaping or e-cigarette use? It’s believed that vaping is around 95% safer than traditional cigarettes [3], so do life insurers treat vapers similarly to non-smokers? At the moment, no, most actually consider vapers to still be smokers. The reason is that vaping is relatively new and we’re still learning about the health impacts of these devices. But insurers are constantly reviewing their approach around this, so it may be worth having a chat with one of our insurance experts and they can explain how each insurer treats vaping and the life insurance premiums they’re likely to charge. 

And just so you know, you will usually need to be smoke free for at least 12 months before a life insurer will consider you a non-smoker. But don’t let that stop you from applying for a protection policy today, because it’s actually possible to reduce your life insurance premiums on a policy that’s already in place, if you manage to quit. So if you’ve given up smoking since you purchased your protection policy, you may be due a price reduction. 

Life insurance and obesity

When you go through a life insurance application process you’ll be asked a series of health and lifestyle questions. The insurer will ask you for your height and weight and from this will calculate your BMI. They may also ask for your dress size or waist circumference. A high BMI, usually at least 30, or a larger waist circumference, could place you at higher risk of things like high blood pressure, type II diabetes, heart disease and cancer, so could have a big impact on your likelihood of needing to make a claim on your protection policy. 

Life insurers will tend to increase the price they charge the heavier you are, simply because of the increased health risk. But don’t let this put you off, there are lots of different insurers out there and they often take different approaches when it comes to life insurance and BMI, so it’s definitely worth speaking to one of our friendly advisers who will be able to talk you through your best insurance options. Why not request a callback for a time that’s convenient for you?

It’s worth knowing that some insurers even help you to lose weight, and offer rewards and discounts for doing so. Our trained advisers will be able to explain more when they speak with you.

Body weight can sometimes be a bit of a sensitive subject, and you may feel a little uncomfortable disclosing this information. This is completely natural, but rest assured that your personal information will be kept completely confidential and won’t go anywhere beyond your protection insurance adviser and the insurer.

Life insurance and alcohol

The great news is that a few glasses of wine or beer at the weekend, or a couple of drinks with mates, are very unlikely to impact your life insurance premiums, but if you drink excessively, or have a history of alcoholism, you may find that your insurance becomes more expensive or you may even struggle to get cover. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked with liver disease and stroke, amongst other things, so understandably insurers will want to check how much you drink and how it’s impacting your health, if at all.

If you’re considering protection options and want to understand how your alcohol intake could impact your insurance premiums, our protection specialists are on hand to help. You can give them a call on 0800 316 7253 any time Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturdays 9am - 2pm and Sundays 10am - 3.30pm.

Honesty is always the best policy

In search of cheaper premiums, it can sometimes be tempting to tell a little white lie or two about your health and lifestyle. Our 2019 Let’s Start Talking report shows that one in 12 have lied to an insurer in search of better cover. You may be able to get cheaper insurance by doing this, but the approach is never advisable because insurers can actually refuse to pay claims if they find out that you weren’t honest when you applied for cover. 

I want to know more…

We’re here to help. Call us on 0800 316 7253 or request a callback from one of our expert advisers who will happily answer any questions you have. We look forward to chatting with you soon.

 

References: 

[1]  https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/smoking-and-cancer

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies

[3] https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/using-e-cigarettes-vapes-to-quit-smoking/

 

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