The life insurance industry is becoming tougher on smokers and obese people. When calculating its premiums, the insurance company works out the risk of a person dying whilst the policy is in force. In this context, smoking and obesity have become increasingly important issues.
Pro Smoking Pressure Groups argue that smokers under the age of 40 have around the same probability of dying as non smokers. This has been ignored by the life insurance industry. Health risks associated with smoking can have an enormous effect on life cover costs. It is vital for those who have kicked the habit to review their policies as an average smoker pays 56% more than a non-smoker.
The life insurance industry has also recently tightened its belt on the obese members of society. Previously, anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 33 or more was considered as overweight. Now anyone with a BMI of 28 or more is considered obese and is likely to face premiums loaded by 50%.
For smokers, it's not quite so straightforward. Most insurance companies insist that a person to qualify as a non-smoker must not have "smoked or otherwise consumed any form of nicotine products during the previous 12 months". Some companies go further and extend the qualifying period to 5 years.
Because smokers and obese people pay high premiums, it becomes very important to seek out the cheapest possible prices.