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The one habit that will more than DOUBLE your life insurance fees

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Australian smokers spend $14 billion a year on their cigarettes, but the financial costs of smoking extend far beyond a $30 pack a day.

Australia’s 2.8 million daily smokers are paying more than twice as much for life insurance as their non-smoker counterparts, according to new research from Finder.

Already spending an average $5,237 a year on cigarettes, these Aussies are spending an average $80.07 a month on life insurance, compared to $38.80 for non-smokers.

And smoking half a pack a day will cost smokers just over $100 a week (based on a 20-pack of Winfield Blues which are currently selling for $28.70).

“Smoking half a pack a day will cost you $436 a month and $40 a month more in life insurance premiums. That’s over $5,700 per year you could be saving if you gave up the smokes,” Finder editor-in-chief Angus Kidman said.

“Insurance companies generally don’t differentiate between an occasional smoker and a pack-a-day smoker,” he added.

How do insurers stack up?

While some insurers charge smokers a staggering 134 per cent more, others charge 84 per cent more.

Image: Finder
Image: Finder
What should you do

Insurers generally require their members give up the cigarettes for at least one year before they classify them as a non-smoker.

But as smoking is one the leading preventable causes of death in Australia, claiming nearly 19,000 Australian lives a year, the health benefits outweigh the financial.

Smokers can lean on their health insurance to help them quit.

Some providers will include approved quit-smoking programs in their extras policies. These can include Allen Carr’s Easyway, UIT Foundation and Smokenders.

There’s also a chance you can claim back for nicotine replacement therapies like patches, fum and inhalers. Alternatively, you could claim for services like hypnotherapy.

And you can claim a Medicare rebate for visits with practitioners who specialise in tobacco treatment, along with registered psychologists.

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