Lifestyle and life insurance

Find out how a healthier lifestyle could mean a more affordable life insurance premium that still gives you and the people you love peace of mind.

Find out how a healthier lifestyle could mean a more affordable life insurance premium that still gives you and the people you love peace of mind.

Kara Gammell
Finances expert
minute read
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Last Updated 27 MAY 2022

How does lifestyle affect life insurance premiums?

Life insurance premiums are partly based on how likely you are to make a claim. So choosing (and maintaining) a healthier lifestyle could reduce 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.

A big 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 or haven’t used any tobacco-related products (including nicotine patches and e-cigarettes) within the past 12 months, although some providers may have different timeframes. Read our guide to vaping and smoking to find out how insurance providers view e-cigarettes.

What else influences the cost of life insurance?

While smoking, vaping and drinking alcohol are more obvious habits that can drive up premiums, a risky occupation – for example, being in the army or working at height – can also mean that insurance providers view you as higher risk.

Life insurance premiums are also influenced by:

The other key 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. So 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?

Making sure you have a balanced diet, don’t drink to excess and regularly exercising are the key ingredients of a healthy lifestyle. 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.

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

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.

So while it may seem that a few white lies will save you a few quid, fibbing will be a costly mistake if there’s a need to claim on your policy.

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. Often sold as an add-on to a standard life insurance policy, critical illness insurance can protect you against serious injury or an illness that’s specified in your policy, which could mean you’re unable to work for a long period of time. You’ll usually receive a tax-free, one-off payment.

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