Quit and save on No Smoking Day
If your new year's resolution to stop smoking has become a distant memory, today is No Smoking Day, which provides you with the perfect excuse to give it another go.
Recent research from the Office for National Statistics show nearly two-thirds of smokers in the UK would like to quit.
Giving up smoking not only improves your health, it can also give your finances a substantial boost. With a pack of 20 Marlborough Golds costing around £6.85, smokers who get through a pack a day stand to save around £2,500 over a year.
But the cost of cigarettes isn't the only saving reformed smokers can make. Life and health insurance is substantially cheaper for non-smokers and insurance companies will stop classifying you as a smoker 12 months after you quit and should reduce your premiums.
For more read: Will smoking affect your life insurance payout?
Non-smokers typically pay around 50% less for these types of policy. According to Lifesearch, a typical 30-year old male smoker could be paying around £1800 more over a 25-year policy compared to a non-smoker. A female smoker aged 40 meanwhile, would pay £27.35 a month with Aviva compared to £13.55 for a non-smoker with the same company.
This means it's worth contacting your insurer a year after you've stopped smoking and asking it to review your premium. Or, it's a good opportunity to speak to a financial adviser to get the cheapest possible deal.
It's not guaranteed you will be able to get a cheaper policy as other factors, including age and general health, could push costs up, but Matt Morris, senior policy adviser at LifeSearch, says there is a very good chance that the premium will fall.
But he advises: "It is important to make sure you have a new policy in place before cancelling the existing one, as a new policy could turn up some nasty surprises in underwriting and may even be declined if your health has changed."
Generally thought of as being interchangeable with life assurance, but isn’t. Life insurance insures you for a specific period of time, at a premium fixed by your age, health and the amount the life is insured for. If you die while the policy is in force, the insurance company pays the claim. However, if you survive to the end of the term or cease paying the premiums, the policy is finished and has no remaining value whatsoever as it only has any value if you have a claim. For this reason, life insurance is much cheaper than life assurance (also called whole of life).