Quitting smoking could mean life insurance costs next to nothing

Article date: 8 March 2010

Two thirds (65%)* of British cigarette smokers say they want to give up. This "No Smoking Day" (Wednesday 10 March) Aviva advises that by giving up not only can people improve their health, but also see a significant reduction in their life insurance premiums.

Aviva data shows that the number of smokers has decreased in the last year. But, one in seven (15%) Aviva customers are still smoking, meaning they pay more for their life insurance premiums than non-smokers**. 

Not only does quitting smoking reduce the risk of life threatening illness such as cancer and heart attacks***, but by quitting smoking, they may be able to help protect their family by purchasing life insurance with some of the money they save, meaning they can achieve peace of mind, at no extra cost.****

It’s not only the people who have never touched a cigarette who benefit from reduced life insurance premiums. Anyone who quits smoking for a year is classed as a non-smoker and will receive the same lower premiums, as the table below shows. *****

Customer details

Monthly premium – non smoker(s)

Monthly premium – smoker(s)

Annual difference for non smoker(s)

Female, 35 next birthday. 15 year level term assurance without critical illness (CI) cover. Sum assured £75,000.







Male, 25 next birthday. 30 year level term with reviewable CI cover. Sum assured £125,000.







Joint policy - male and female both 30 next birthday. 25 year level term without CI cover. Sum assured £150,000.







Male, 45 next birthday. 10 year level term assurance without reviewable CI. Sum assured £50,000.







Louise Colley, head of protection for Aviva, said; “It’s encouraging to see our statistics showing people are giving up. We want to encourage people to think about the effect of smoking, not only on themselves but also on the people they care about.

"It’s not a nice message, but the facts are there. Smoking is a danger to people’s health, that’s why it costs less for non-smokers to buy life insurance and critical illness policies. Life insurance companies offer the opportunity for financial security and peace of mind financially for loved ones, but it’s doesn’t protect customers health, quitting smoking is a crucial step for people to protect themselves”.


For further information contact:
Louise Duffy                  
Telephone: 01904 452791 / 07800 690963        
E-mail: louise.duffy@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

* Office of National statistics, published March 2009

** Aviva statistics

Males - 20.3% smokers         
Average 11.2 cigarettes per day

Females - 16.2% smokers     
Average 9.9 cigarettes per day

Males - 18.5% smokers         
Average 10.8 cigarettes per day

Females - 15.3% smokers     
Average 9.8 cigarettes per day

Customers who have stopped smoking for 12 months will need to reapply for a new policy as a non-smoker.

*** The risk of developing lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic lung disease is reduced - the sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your risk starts going down. Taken from www.nosmokingday.org.uk/smokers/healthbenefits.htm (Link no longer active)

**** Based on the annual cost of cigarettes of 10 per day at £3. The annual cost of cigarettes, £1,000, is more expensive than a life insurance policy, see table, therefore no addition to individual or family outgoings.

***** Prices valid as quoted on 9 March 2010. These policies have no surrender value. Term assurance pays a lump sum on death (or critical illness if selected) within the plan term.

About Aviva
Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. Aviva also provides roadside assistance through RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.

Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 10.6% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.

Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.


Back to top