Smokers pay up to €2k more for life assurance

SMOKERS are paying thousands of euro more each year for life cover, a study has found.

A 50-year-old couple who are smokers will pay more than €2,000 a year more for life assurance than a non-smoking couple, according to the study by Acorn Life.

A 35-year-old male could cut his life cover bill by €576 a year by quitting the cigarettes.

Ex-smokers have been advised to re-evaluate their policies because if they have given up the cigarettes for more than a year their premiums will come down significantly.

According to Acorn Life a typical 50-year-old couple could pay more than €180 a month more for €250,000 of life cover, or €420 extra for critical illness cover. This is on top of the €476 a month they spend on cigarettes if they each smoke 20 a day.

Head of business development with Acorn Life, Keith Butler said: “The costs aren’t as high for younger individuals but they will still pay hundreds extra every year typically adding up to the price of a car over their lifetime.

“From our analysis the effect of a smoking habit on life insurance premiums is significant.”

Irish Brokers’ Association chief executive Ciaran Phelan, said that when it comes to smokers males will typically pay 100% more for their life cover, while females will pay an additional 50%-plus.

Financial advisers at Acorn Life said they have noticed an increased trend of people giving up cigarettes, particularly amongst clients who were only social smokers. They say that a 35-year-old couple who are smokers will pay €1,548 a year for cover while a non-smoking couple will pay just €840.

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