Life insurers are on red alert for smokers fibbing on life and critical illness cover application forms at a time when premiums for smokers are at an all-time high, research suggests.
According to Onlyinsurance.com, monthly premiums at Legal & General (L&G) for a 25-year-old male smoker after a £100,000 life policy over 20 years are £184 a year, while a non-smoker of the same age would pay just £108.
In addition, a male smoker applying for critical illness cover (CIC) with Liverpool Victoria Life can expect to pay nearly £95 a month, and £1,125 a year, while a non-smoker will pay less than £50 a month.
The disparities are similar for female smokers and non-smokers, but less stark given their higher life expectancy.
Onlyinsurance.com says insurers are on the look-out for smokers who fail to mention their smoking history on their life cover applications.
“Smokers who declare they have given up but continue to smoke, no matter how infrequently, will be paying for nothing should they die from a smoking related condition,” says spokesman Ian Durrell.
“The policy simply won’t pay out and their beneficiaries will be the losers.”
Onlyinsurance says usually smokers won’t be classed as non-smokers until at least a year has passed without touching a cigarette so they will need to stamp out the habit now to start saving in 12 months time.
“Those who have succeeded in giving up smoking – and have been “clean” for more than a year – could find that they can reduce their current life cover premiums,” Durrell adds.
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