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5 costly reasons you might pay more for your protection (and how you can save money)

5 costly reasons you might pay more for your protection (and how you can save money)

Jan 28, 2022

Life insurance is a cheap and effective way to ensure your loved ones receive financial support when you’re no longer around. With premiums starting at just a few pounds a month, you can often put appropriate protection in place for less than the price of a takeaway.

The cost of protection depends on a wide range of factors. These include:

  • Your age
  • Your health
  • How much cover you want
  • The term of your policy
  • Whether your job is risky or you take part in risky hobbies.

There are also several other reasons why you might end up paying more for your life insurance and other protection. Read on to find five of the most common reasons your cover may be more expensive, and how you can save money.

 

  • You smoke

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, around 6.9 million adults in the UK smoke.

If you’re one of them, getting life insurance will typically not be a problem. Most insurers are happy to consider applications from smokers – but you will pay more for your cover.

The reason you will pay a higher premium for protection is simply that you present a greater risk to the insurer. According to public health charity Ash, smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death, accounting for approximately 74,600 deaths a year in England.

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes lung cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease and numerous cancers in other organs including the mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver, and cervix.

Leading insurer Vitality says that if you’re a younger smoker (aged around 30), you will pay around a third more than people who don’t smoke. If you are a smoker over the age of 50 you can end up paying at least double what non-smokers pay.

When working out how much you will pay for life insurance, providers will look at:

  • What you smoke – for example, cigarettes, pipe, vape
  • How long you have been smoking for
  • Your overall lifestyle and physical fitness 
  • Whether you’ve experienced any health issues as a result of smoking.

Different insurers will have their own criteria for assessing you. In some cases, the amount you smoke may affect the cost of your premium. For example, an occasional social vaper might not pay as much as a chain smoker.

 

What can I do to save money?

Stop smoking. Typically, you’ll need to have given up all nicotine products for at least 12 months before you qualify for any cheaper rates.

Once you have been a non-smoker for a year, get in touch with us and we can search the market to find you the right cover at the right price.

 

  • You bought it with your mortgage

You’ve previously read about whether you have to buy life insurance with a mortgage or not.

While most lenders no longer insist you have adequate protection in place, most experts recommend you always have enough life insurance to repay any outstanding mortgage if you die within the term.

If you bought your life insurance from the company who arranged your mortgage, it is quite possible that you’re paying more than you need to for your cover.

That’s because many financial advice firms charge “loaded premiums” for products such as life insurance. Loaded premiums are an additional percentage fee charged by the insurer each month which may be shared as a commission with the company who introduced the business.

If you bought your life insurance through a third party – perhaps the company who arranged your mortgage – then your premium could be much higher than it needs to be.

If the standard monthly cost of your life insurance was £20, a loaded premium might see you pay an additional 25% each month – adding £5 to your monthly premium. Over the course of a 25-year policy, this loaded premium means you’ll pay £1,500 more than you need to.

 

What can I do to save money?

Get in touch with us. We can search the market to find the cheapest price for the cover you need. We can then compare this to the premium you are currently paying to establish whether you can make any cost savings.

Just remember never to cancel any existing cover until your new policy is in place.

 

  • You have a pre-existing medical condition

Many customers we speak to have been worried that they wouldn’t be able to get the life insurance they needed because they had experienced physical or mental health issues in the past.

We have wide experience of working with people with pre-existing conditions to find the right protection. Indeed, we’ve helped customers with conditions such as:

Insurers are generally happy to accept applications if you have pre-existing conditions. They will often ask supplementary questions, or request a doctor’s report, before deciding whether to offer cover and on what terms.

In some cases, you may pay a higher premium for the cover you need to represent the greater risk to the insurer.

 

What can I do to save money?

Don’t assume that you won’t get the cover you need, or simply take the first option you are offered (this might not be the most cost-effective).

We have wide experience of working with customers with existing conditions, and we can help you to find an insurer who is sympathetic to certain medical issues. We can then work with you to put the right cover in place. Speak to one of our experts for a chat.

 

  • You have a risky job or hobbies

Some jobs have a higher element of risk than others. If you’re a firefighter, police officer, nurse or paramedic then you may put yourself in more peril than an office worker or sales rep.

Depending on the specific nature of your work it is possible that you may pay more for your life insurance.

Similarly, if you engage in risky hobbies such as skiing, diving, or motorsports then you may present a greater risk to an insurer.

If you consider your job or your hobby to be “high risk” then you may think that there’s no way an insurance company would cover you. However, many providers offer life insurance and other types of protection to people who either work in risky professions or engage in extreme activities.

 

What can I do to save money?

Every insurer uses their own criteria for determining the cost of their life insurance, Critical Illness cover, and income protection. So, while some firms may charge more, others may offer standard terms because they don’t consider certain jobs or hobbies an additional risk.

So, you may still be able to benefit from cheap life insurance, even if you are in a job or you enjoy a hobby that’s out of the ordinary.

Our experts can help you to find an insurer who will charge fair terms based on the nature of your work or hobby. Get in touch to find out more.

 

  • You didn’t shop around

There are dozens of life insurance providers in the UK, all charging different premiums. So, if you took the first life insurance policy you were offered – perhaps when you bought your house – then you could well be paying more than you need to for your cover.

Just as with your home, car, or pet insurance, shopping around for life insurance is a great way of finding the right cover at the right price.

We’re independent and work with many of the UK’s leading insurers. We can scour the market for the best terms and, as we intentionally take a lower commission than others, we can save you even more money on your premiums.

 

What can I do to save money?

Get a life insurance quote online. Even if you have cover in place already, a quick search with us can help you to establish whether you could make savings. Just remember never to cancel any existing cover until you’ve spoken to us, and your new policy is in place.

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