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Life insurance prices can vary by up to €7,500 - study

The National Consumer Agency found that smokers pay on average 90 per cent more for their life insurance.

Image: Insurance policy document via Shutterstock

IT PAYS TO shop around – especially when it comes to life insurance policies.

The National Consumer Agency has encouraged consumers to compare quotes after a cost comparison found a difference of up to €7,500 in the price of term life insurance.

The price comparison survey by the NCA  found that smokers now pay approximately 90 per cent more for their life insurance than non smokers, reflecting the increased risk of their premature death. The Department of Health has found that half of all smokers will die from smoking related diseases.

In the most significant difference in price, the NCA got quotes for a couple, both smokers and both aged 33 years old, for dual term life insurance cover of €250,000 over 25 years. The difference between the cheapest and the most expensive quotes was €7,509.

For a 47-year-old non-smoker – either male or female – the difference in price was €1,830.

The price comparison survey also found potential savings of up to €6,841 on mortgage protection insurance.

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Fergal O’Leary of the National Consumer Agency said people generally only took out new cover or reviewed their existing cover when their circumstances changed. “We would strongly urge consumers, before they take out cover, to take the time to get the best possible value by comparing quotes from a number of companies and/or brokers,” he said.

Insurance companies can no longer use gender as a factor in insurance quotes following a ruling by the European Court of Justice. The NCA found that companies were charging men and women the same for life insurance.

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