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Life insurance for smokers

LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
3 min read

by Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

See author bio

Katie works with insurers and distributors to make protection propositions more accessible, pricing more transparent and marketing messages more simple.See author bio

Guide last reviewed 10 Oct 2023

No lectures on health. No nagging about how expensive cigarettes are. Just the facts about life insurance. Whether you’re a current smoker or an ex-smoker thinking about insurance, this guide’s for you.


How much does life insurance cost for smokers in the UK?

We all know about the dangers of smoking and life insurers are no different. This means life insurance is more expensive for smokers than for non-smokers. That doesn’t mean that smokers can’t get covered, or that the products are any different for smokers, it just costs them a bit more. As a rough guide, for every £10 a non-smoker pays each month, smokers can pay between £1-£10 extra, with the youngest among us getting the cheapest deal.

How much do you have to smoke to be classed as a smoker?

Most insurers group all smokers together, regardless of how much or how little they smoke. So whether you smoke two or 20 a day, you’ll usually be charged the same.

How do insurers know if you smoke?

When you’re ready to buy life insurance, the insurer will ask if you are a smoker or have ever smoked. Sometimes, insurers may ask to see GP records or ask you to take medical tests to prove that you’re not a smoker.

Honesty is always the best policy. The temptation might be to say that you’re a non-smoker to receive cheaper life insurance, but there’s a danger that if the insurer finds out that you do smoke they might not pay your life insurance claim. Despite what many people think, insurers do want to pay claims. As long as you’re open and honest when applying for life insurance then you have nothing to worry about.

How do life insurance premiums change if you quit smoking?

Recently stopped smoking or thinking of quitting? This could be great news for your insurance premiums.

Insurers will actually reduce the cost of your life insurance to reflect your improved health. The change in price won’t be immediate and insurers do require you to be smoke-free for a period of time before you can receive non-smoker prices.

If you think you might be eligible for cheaper premiums then give us a call on 0800 316 7253 or request a call back from one of our advisers who will happily chat to you about your options.

It’s definitely worth doing as you may be able to reduce your monthly premiums by as much as 50%.

Is vaping classed as smoking?

It feels like vaping has been around for ages, but in scientific and medical terms, vaping is still really new. The result is insurers don’t yet fully understand the health impact of vaping and whether it is better for you than traditional smoking.

Right now, most insurers still charge vapers higher premiums. However, over time insurers are learning more about the effects of vaping and this information will affect prices. We keep a close eye on how insurers are changing premiums for vapers, so if you vape and are thinking about life insurance, then get in touch with us and one of our expert advisers will find the best value cover for you.

Is it worth shopping around for the best life insurance for smokers?

Absolutely. At LifeSearch we’re proud to be the biggest UK specialist protection broker, which means that we have access to the best insurance prices for smokers, across all of the top insurers.

Smoking and Life Insurance - get to know your options with an adviser

We can talk through all the considerations of smoking or vaping and how it affects your options, and ensure you get the policy at the right price where possible

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LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
Katie Crook-Davies Protection Writer
Katie is an independent insurance consultant who is passionate about protection and wants to share that passion with others through engaging marketing content. She hopes that one day people will get as excited about protecting themselves and their loved ones, as she does!
See all articles by Katie Crook-Davies
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