Lifestyle and life insurance

Your lifestyle and life insurance costs are connected. Find out how a healthier lifestyle could lower your life insurance quote, and give you and your loved ones extra peace of mind.

Your lifestyle and life insurance costs are connected. Find out how a healthier lifestyle could lower your life insurance quote, and give you and your loved ones extra peace of mind.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Insurance comparison expert
Last Updated
25 MAY 2023
4 min read
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Why is a healthy lifestyle important for life insurance premiums?

Life insurance premiums are partly based on how likely you are to make a claim. So maintaining a healthier lifestyle could be the key to reducing the cost of your life insurance premium – without sacrificing your level of cover.

On the other hand, there are several lifestyle habits or choices that can negatively affect your life expectancy. And the lower your life expectancy, the higher your insurance premium is likely to be.

An important factor that an insurance provider will take into account is whether or not you’re a smoker. You may be eligible for a lower premium if you:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Have stopped smoking
  • Haven’t used any tobacco-related products (including nicotine patches and e-cigarettes) within the past 12 months.

Some providers may have different timeframes for when you stopped using tobacco. Read our guide to vaping and smoking to find out more about how insurance providers view e-cigarettes.

What else influences the cost of life insurance?

Smoking, vaping and drinking alcohol are obvious lifestyle factors that can drive up premiums. Another is working in certain occupations – for example, being in the army or working at height – that insurance providers view as higher risk.

Life insurance premiums are also influenced by:

The other big influence on the cost of life insurance is the level of cover you choose. The higher the level of cover, the more you’ll pay.

While it’s important to get the cover you need, you’ll also want to avoid paying more than you have to. To get an idea of how much cover you need, use our life insurance calculator.

What’s considered a healthy lifestyle?

Some life insurance policies will encourage you to follow a healthy lifestyle, and will provide apps and advice for physical and mental health.

The key ingredients to a healthy lifestyle are making sure you:

  • Have a balanced diet
  • Don’t drink to excess
  • Exercise regularly.

Having a healthy weight is often part of the picture too. Broadly speaking, to maintain a healthy weight, you should eat and drink around 2,000 calories a day if you’re a woman and 2,500 if you’re a man.

Do I have to tell my life insurance provider about my lifestyle?

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked questions about your lifestyle. A provider may also ask to see your medical records.

It’s never a good idea to hide anything from your insurance provider, even if you think it will help save you money. If you withhold any information, your policy may be void and won’t pay out anything at all.

Can I get life insurance that doesn’t take my lifestyle into account?

Over 50s insurance offers guaranteed acceptance, regardless of health or lifestyle – although whether you smoke will affect your premium. However, there’s usually a waiting period before a claim can be made on the policy and you may end up paying in more than your policy will pay out.

What else should I think about when choosing a life insurance policy?

Another type of cover you could think about is critical illness cover. It’s often sold as an add-on to a standard life insurance policy.

Critical illness insurance can protect you financially if you can’t work for a long period. This could be due to a serious injury or an illness that’s specified in your policy. You’ll usually receive a tax-free, one-off payment.

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Helen Phipps - Car and home insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Comparethemarket. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

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Kara Gammell - Finance expert

Kara Gammell is an award-winning financial journalist with more than a decade of experience writing for national newspapers and magazines such as The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, Good Housekeeping, The Metro, The Guardian, The Observer, Marie Claire, The Sun, Cosmopolitan and The Radio Times.

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