I just stopped smoking and want income protection – do I need to tell the insurance company?

I’ve just quit smoking after over fifteen years and am considering getting insurance – maybe income protection, maybe life insurance.

I am currently paying a huge amount for my Virgin Active gym membership and I think there are some options to combine insurance and get money out of that.

But how long do I have to be a non-smoker so that my insurance premiums aren’t so high? How should I approach this?

Usually at least 12 months after a person stops smoking they are considered a non-smoker

Usually at least 12 months after a person stops smoking they are considered a non-smoker

LifeSearch insurance policy advisor Emma Walker responded as follows: First of all, congratulations on your great achievement.

StopTober, Public Health England’s health awareness campaign, has led to more than 1.5 million people trying to quit smoking in Britain, since its launch in 2012.

The success rate of those who quit smoking is actually the highest in a decade. So, it’s good that you have successfully quit smoking.

As the British Heart Foundation explains, smoking can severely damage the lining of the heart, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

It can also lead to blood clots, increased blood pressure and other serious heart and lung problems, such as coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

Emma Walker is the Director of Professional Protection Insurance Advisor at LifeSearch

Emma Walker is the Director of Professional Protection Insurance Advisor at LifeSearch

Quitting smoking improves one’s health and has health benefits in the short and long term.

For example, within two weeks of quitting smoking, it is evident that the heart rate and blood pressure levels drop and the risk of a heart attack decreases.

Because of the high risk of health problems associated with smoking, it is understandable that insurance companies need to consider the various health consequences when determining what insurance premium to charge.

Usually at least 12 months after a person has stopped smoking they are considered non-smokers, free from all nicotine products and eligible for non-smoker rates.

The 12-month period helps prove that the person has really quit smoking and has not started smoking again.

However, it is not recommended that you delay getting some protection until you are a non-smoker.

Insurance companies offer a wide range of product options that help make premiums more affordable for smokers.

For example, income protection plans are available for smokers and non-smokers that will pay a regular amount for a maximum of two years, in the event someone is unable to work due to ill health.

The cheapest guaranteed life cover

This is Money has partnered with Cavendish, an independent financial advisory firm that specializes in life coverage, critical illness coverage and income protection.

To find the cheapest life insurance cover available in the UK, you can apply online through This is Money here.

Alternatively, if you’re not sure about the coverage you need and want some help, choose one of the options here and an independent consultant will help you find the right deal for you.

A financial advisor will be able to help evaluate all the options available and the maximum level of coverage you can put in place, with the budget you have available.

Then after 12 months of not smoking, they will be able to review the market and possibly get a reduction in the cost of your coverage, as a non-smoker.

Yes, there are providers in the market, who also offer a range of health and wellbeing initiatives to support their clients when arranging protection cover with them.

One such provider is VitalityLife, which has an innovative plan that enables its members to earn rewards for continuing to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

This includes discounts of up to 50% on Virgin Active or Nuffield gym memberships as well as other benefits designed to help you stay fit and healthy.

It is even possible under the Healthy Living Rewards program to reduce the monthly cost of life insurance premiums and get cash back, if you maintain a healthy life as a non-smoker.

The financial advisor will be able to explain the different benefits available in more detail.

adds Sarah Davidson, from This is MoneyWe often consider buying life cover online from price comparison sites because it is possible to search the entire market and find the cheapest price in a matter of minutes.

But it isn’t necessarily the best idea to do so. You may not know how much you have to insure yourself, and it is unlikely that the quote will be tailored to your individual circumstances.

At This is Money, we believe it’s worth talking to an advisor if you’re looking for protection, especially if you want more than just life insurance.

However, if you are determined to go it alone, there are plenty of options out there.

You can buy a cover online from a number of price comparison sites. Market Comparison, Confused or Moneysupermarket offer a good selection of products and will quote you based on averages. When you apply directly to the insurance company, they will give you a personalized quote.

Alternatively, you can get a personalized quote online by answering a few basic questions – This is Money has partnered with Cavendish Online to provide our readers with exactly this option, at the cheapest rate anywhere on the market.

You can complete the entire journey online or you can choose to chat with an advisor if you prefer, at any time.

Life insurance experts

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