Insurers 'can check whether life cover applicants smoke'

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Some insurers in the UK have ways to check whether people applying for life cover are telling the truth in their applications, according to a health charity.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has stated that some providers may ask for people to undertake medicals or provide saliva samples in order to discover if those applying for life insurance smoke or not.

The organisation's research manager, Amanda Sandford, added that she did not feel it was unfair for insurers to ask for such tests to be carried out.

"At the end of the day there is a lot of money at stake," she explained.

"There are reasons for offering non-smokers better premiums – we do know that those people will live longer."

Recent research by Norwich Union found that smokers could cut their life insurance premiums by almost 50 per cent by quitting their habit and apply as non-smokers.

The firm added that such a move could mean that cover costs around the same amount as a packet of 20 cigarettes.

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