Smokers can save €9,000 on insurance by quitting

Quitting cigarettes could result in savings of as much as €9,000 on life insurance, according to a price comparison survey by the National Consumer Agency.

In its latest life insurance cost comparison survey, the NCA found huge price differences across several policies, with abandoning cigarettes a key plank of securing a lower cost plan.

One eye-catching saving was for term life insurance over a 35-year term, with cover of €290,000, for which a 27-year-old woman could save an average of €5,067 by quitting smoking. The savings for a 27-year-old man quitting were even greater, as much as €8,913.

Similar savings were open to those of different ages. For term life insurance over a 15-year term, with cover of €160,000, a 49-year-old female could save on average €6,003 on term life insurance by quitting smoking, while a 49-year-old man could save on average €8,927 by stopping.

The potential savings were uncovered by comparing quotes taken last month across nine companies: Ark Life, Aviva Life, Bank of Ireland, Caledonian Life, Canada Life, Friends First, Irish Life, New Ireland and Zurich Life.

The old adage about ‘shopping around’ holds true, says the survey. The largest difference between the cheapest and most expensive quotes was €9,297, found on dual term life insurance of €220,000 cover over 25-years for a 36-year old couple, both of whom smoke.

The survey also looked at how life insurance providers treat consumers who take a break in their mortgage repayments or extend their repayment term.

Commenting on the findings, the chief executive of the NCA Ann Fitzgerald, said: “We would advise consumers taking out mortgage protection or term life insurance to keep in mind that they are doing so for a long period of time and that a difference of just a few euro in their monthly premiums adds up to a significant amount over 20 or 30 years.

“For example, a difference of €2.73 per month for a 27-year-old non-smoking female seeking term life insurance cover over 35 years, adds up to €33 per year or €1,147 over the full term of the policy.”

She also recommended that anyone making changes to their mortgage repayments or in mortgage arrears to contact their provider quickly.

“Depending on your own financial circumstances and the type of mortgage protection policy you have, you may need to review your cover to ensure there isn’t a shortfall in the event of a claim on the policy,” she said. “It is very important to remember to review your life cover as your life changes, such as getting married or having a child.”

* Survey available at nca.ie


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