What lifestyle and physical factors might affect your insurance premiums?

People often say that a great time to get any personal insurance cover, like health insurance or life cover, is when you’re young and don’t think you need it.

When you’re young and healthy, you can often take out a policy that will cover health conditions you develop in the future, although this may be subject to any family history or genetic conditions that may excluded from the cover.  

But what if you’re looking at insurance when you’re not quite so young or not as healthy as you could be?

Here’s how a few lifestyle and physical factors might affect your insurance cover.


Insurance is generally more expensive for people who smoke, because of the health risks associated with the habit. On a statistical level, you’re more likely to claim on many types of insurance if you’re a smoker.

The good news is that if you can stop consuming any tobacco or other nicotine products for at least a year, you may qualify for non-smoker rates. We can help you work out whether that will apply to you.

Drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol to excess can also be an issue. Sometimes trauma claims for things like chronic liver disease and even head trauma can be excluded if you have a history of problem drinking.

Your insurer may ask about your drinking – and could request a certain number of years’ worth of your doctor’s notes, which could also highlight any concerns that have been raised.


Insurance companies sometimes use the body mass index (BMI) when assessing whether your weight could pose an additional health risk.  In very general terms, you may find that if you have a noticeably high BMI, you’re facing higher insurance premiums. You may find that the insurer will ask for more information from a doctor.

But insurers don’t all deal with weight questions in the same way, so it might be worth looking around to see whether one insurer offers more favourable terms than another.

Occasionally, insurers with questions about an application might ask for a medical examination.

Health conditions

If you have pre-existing health conditions, you’ll need to disclose these to any new insurer. The insurer will then decide whether to cover them. Often, if they offer cover, it might come at a higher cost. Sometimes there’s a standdown period before you’d be able to make any claim or have the condition reassessed. Other times, they won’t provide any cover for that condition at all but may still offer cover for other conditions that may develop in the future.

The important thing is to make sure you’re really upfront about all your health conditions when completing an insurance application form.


If you’re a bit of a daredevil in your spare time, you’ll also need to let your insurer know about this. Sometimes insurers can be a bit wary of things like regular private flying, gliding or hang-gliding – or anything that has a statistically significant increased risk of injury. But again, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for the industry, so it’s worth comparing how different insurers would treat your hobby. Sometimes, they might offer cover with an exclusion or an additional premium.

Ready to chat?

If you’ve got a few questions about how your lifestyle, health or hobbies might affect your ability to take out an insurance policy, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk about your options and how you can compare what is available.


Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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