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How Smoking Affects Mortgage Life Insurance Premiums

The packaging on the auld smokes has been changed for years now, and if anything, all it’s done is train smokers to steadfastly ignore the big rotten tumour on it.

The massive jump in the price of cigarettes over the last few years has probably done more to dissuade you from smoking.

It’s why that one mate is always so popular when he comes back from Spain with a suitcase loaded with packets of 200 cigs for cheap.

I’m not going to tell you not to smoke.

I’m not your ma.

I’m also not going to tell you about the health risks, because we all already know. After all, we’ve seen the big rotten tumour on the fag packets.

I am going to tell you that smoking and/or vaping makes your Life Insurance premiums more expensive.

And don’t think you’re not included in this one too, holier-than-thou-vape-smokers. While your vape may smell like cotton candy or whatever notion-y flavour you’ve gone for, the insurers will charge you more for mortgage protection too.

How much more expensive is Life Insurance if you’re a smoker?

I can’t give you an exact quote as I don’t know your personal situation, Mr/Ms Blog Reader, but I can give you an example.

Cheech and Chong are 30-somethings who are looking for €300,000 cover for the next 30 years. For argument’s sake, everything about them is the exact same except that one smokes, and the other doesn’t.

This is the non-smoker’s quote:

non smoker life insurance quote                  

This is the smoker:

smoker life insurance quote

It’s almost twice as expensive.

Let’s say that Cheech, the non-smoker, and Chong, the smoker, both go with Royal London.

Across the lifetime of their policy, the difference really adds up.

Chong will pay more than €6,000 for THE EXACT SAME THING.

And let’s not even go near how much he might be spending a month on the fags. It adds up to thousands over those 30 years. 

And remember e-cigarette vapers: it’s the same for you.

The difference in cost only gets worse as you get older, and premiums continue to get more expensive. Insurer Royal London estimates that the gap between two 45-year-olds’ policy prices can amount to €16,000 all in.

For Serious Illness Cover, their figures for these same 45-year-olds adds up to a SHOCKING difference of over €60,000.


Let that sink in for a second.

The only way to get cheaper Life Insurance as a smoker is to quit smoking.

In the words of famous Irish philosophers B*witched, ‘C’est la vie.’

Getting Mortgage Protection as a smoker

In case you’re skimming: you have to be off the cigs to get cheaper Life Insurance. 

In fact, you have to be off all tobacco products for 12 months before the insurers will consider you to be a non-smoker.

That includes your rocket-powered vape, patches, chewing gum, the whole shebang.

You may just have to give Keith Barry a buzz and ask him to hypnotise you.

Now, you mayyyyy be thinking that you’re just going to lie.

And lookit, you wouldn’t be the first person in the world to have this thought – or even to follow through. According to a study by the AA, almost two in five smokers are lying on their Lie Insurance forms.

But if you die and your insurer can prove you used nicotine in the 12 months before taking out life insurance, they will refuse to payout. Your policy will be void, at best you’ll get back your life insurance premiums but that couple of thousand euro won’t be worth much to those you leave behind.

I’m now a non-smoker, can I get cheaper Life Insurance?

Well done for giving up cigarettes, from one ex-smoker to another.

Here, I made you a badge of honour.

Wear it with pride ?

quit cigarettes

Yes, you can get non-smoker rates as soon as you are 12 months off all smoking paraphernalia:

  • cigars
  • cigarettes
  • vape (including 0% nicotine e-cigarettes)
  • nicotine gum
  • chewing tobacco (howdy pardner)
  • cannabis

If you’re considering quitting and are taking out life insurance or mortgage protection, please get in touch. One of our insurers will automatically reduce your premium as a non-smoker. However, with the other insurers, you will have to reapply and answer health questions.

Life Insurance for smokers FAQ

Let’s rattle through some quick info for the skimmers.

Will I get away with it if I lie on my form?

You might, but if you don’t get away with it, your family won’t get any pay-out, and they’ll be destined for a lifetime of poverty because you lied.

You won’t have to live with the consequences, but they will.

Don’t do it.

If you’re a social smoker, disclose you smoke but then quit and get a non-smoker policy in 12 months.

You’ve been meaning to stop the social smoking nonsense for ages now anyway.


Do the insurers make you prove you’re not a smoker?

Not usually but you might be randomly picked and asked to go for a cotinine test with your GP. This is where your GP gets a sample of blood, urine, saliva, or even hair and tests it to see if there is any cotinine or nicotine in your system.

What if you’re a casual smoker or you only smoke when you’re drunk?

Which box would you tick?

If it’s not the “I have never smoked” then you’re a smoker.

The insurers used to ask “are you a smoker y/n”. Since they changed how they ask the question, a lot more smokers are fessing up.


What about people who use e-cigarettes?

Vapers are classed as a smoker, just the same as your baccy-based pals. This was formally rolled out by all the insurers in August 2019.

But what if you’re trying to quit?

Fair play to you, pal, but any patches or nicotine products need to be out of your system for 12 months. So in short: you need to be off the fags or vape, and any nicotine replacement products for an entire year.

When it comes to life insurance for vaping the information isn’t wildly different as the insurers now class them as being the same.

For balance, you can also watch a video of sick vaping tricks here. It’s a thing and appears to be a bunch of young lads in hoodies blowing smoke out their noses. 

A bit like ole Gandalf.

What if your partner smokes and you don’t or vice-versa?

The insurers will assess you separately. You’ll get non smoker rates, the insurer will charge your partner smoker rates which will increase the overall cost of your policy.

If you are getting a policy and you know the smoker is going to quit or at least is very strongly thinking about it, find the insurer who is most sympathetic to this situation. Some insurers will offer non-smoker rates automatically once you haven’t used nicotine in 12 months. Others will make you reapply all over again.

Over to you…

Little carcinogenic sticks are always, always, always a blight to the cost of insurance and the only way to get a lower premium is to quit.

Have you or your partner quit smoking for over 12 months? If so, you could save over 50 per cent by applying for non-smoker’s Life Insurance.

If you’ve reached the end of this article and you’re resolute in continuing to smoke, fair play, something’s gonna kill you in the end, it might as well be something you enjoy.

The discounts we offer take the edge of the extra you will pay as a smoker. If you’d like some help getting the most suitable cover, complete this questionnaire and I’ll be right back.

Chat soon.




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