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No Smoking Day, is a national event promoted by the British Heart Foundation to encourage more of us to give up tobacco.

Of course we shouldn’t need encouraging to quit. The increasingly graphic health warnings on pouches and packets should be enough. Then there’s the statistics: Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) reports some 100,000 smokers in the UK die from smoking related causes annually.

Smoking is a risk factor in so many life-threatening and fatality causing diseases, including Aortic Disease, Cancer,  Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disorder (COPD), Coronary Heart Disease and Strokes. And yet, despite the number of smokers having more than halved in the past 40 years or so, around 10 million of us can still be found dragging on cigarettes.

To discourage take-up and encourage quitting, smokers are regularly hit where it most hurts; in their wallets and purses. At every budget the Chancellor’s little red box contains another financial penalty. A packet of twenty now costs around an eye-watering £10.

Different health insurers treat smokers in different ways

If being hit in the pocket would motivate you to quit, then we have another incentive. If you want private health insurance and you smoke, then it could well cost you more.

Different health insurers treat smokers in different ways. AXA PPP, for example, asks for a higher premium whilst The Exeter gives non-smokers a 10% discount. Vitality is more innovative, rewarding with quarterly cashback payments policyholders who have been tobacco and nicotine free for at least 12 months. Proof of that milestone is provided by tests included within Vitality’s free healthchecks, with points awarded to boost your Vitality status. The higher your status, the more cash gets returned, with cashback levels ranging between 5%-15%.

How much can quitting smoking save you on your health insurance?

To give you an idea, we pulled together some sample quotes from AXA PPP, pitching smokers versus non-smokers.  If you’re a Londoner aged 68 you might get hit for an additional £176.64 a year, with a Mancunian of the same years having to find an extra £162.60.

Whilst in cash terms the numbers are lower for younger people – because their premiums are typically lower – the percentages are remarkably stable. Whether you are 30, 40 or 68, living near Wembley or Old Trafford, if you smoke then expect to be charged around 5% more.

Of course the financial realities and indeed the health implications may still not be enough to force people to quit; nicotine is, after all, a highly addictive substance.  So whilst we would heartily endorse the sentiment behind No Smoking Day, we do have some good news for those smokers who struggle to quit as a number of private health insurers do not load premiums for smokers.

London Sample Health Insurance Premiums for smokers

Age Smoker Rate Non-Smoker Rate Saving
30 £1,138.92 £1,091.04 £47.88
45 £1,620.00 £1,541.64 £78.36
68 £3,693.72 £3,517.08 £176.64

Manchester Sample Health Insurance Premiums for smokers

Age Smoker Rate Non-Smoker Rate Saving
30 £1,043.16 £992.28 £50.88
45 £1,484.76 £1,412.76 £72.00
68 £3,387.96 £3,225.36 £162.60

* Prices sourced 8th March 2016

 

Chase Templeton can help you find the right Health Insurance policy – even if you smoke

The key, then, to getting the best deal as a smoker is, as ever, to shop around. Of course we’ll be more than pleased to discuss your private health insurance options and healthcare plans available to you. So why not contact the team at Chase Templeton today?