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Retirement

134% spike in insurance premiums recorded for smokers

  • January 16 2019
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Retirement

134% spike in insurance premiums recorded for smokers

By Stephanie Aikins
January 16 2019

New analysis has found that Australians are spending billions of dollars a year on cigarettes, with smokers paying twice as much for their life insurance.

Man smoking

134% spike in insurance premiums recorded for smokers

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  • January 16 2019
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New analysis has found that Australians are spending billions of dollars a year on cigarettes, with smokers paying twice as much for their life insurance.

Man smoking

According to analysis of ABS research done by market researchers finder.com.au, 2.8 billion Aussies are spending over $5,000 each year on cigarettes.

Further research by Finder also discovered that such smokers are likely to pay twice as much for their life insurance premiums in comparison to non-smokers.

It is projected that a 35-year-old male smoker pays, on average, $80.07 per month for an $800,000 life insurance policy, as opposed to a non-smoker who pays just $38.80.

Angus Kidman, editor-in-chief at Finder, said he hoped an understanding of the complete financial costs of smoking might inspire the 13.8 per cent of Australians that smoke daily to consider quitting the habit.

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“It’s not just the price of a packet of cigarettes but also more expensive insurance premiums and the cost to your health,” he said.

“Smoking half a pack a day will cost you $436 a month and $40 a month more in life insurance premiums. That’s over $5,700 per year you could be saving if you gave up the smokes.”

Despite this, there has been only a 0.7 per cent drop in smokers over the past three years, according to the ABS.

Mr Kidman said those looking to apply for life insurance should give up at least 12 months prior to applying for their policy, as most insurers require that time period to consider a member a non-smoker.

“Insurance companies generally don’t differentiate between an occasional smoker and a pack-a-day smoker.

“If you do smoke, it pays to shop around for life insurance. Some providers charge up to 134 per cent more if you’re a smoker,” he said.

134% spike in insurance premiums recorded for smokers
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