Making a virtue out of your policy
If you can withstand such vices as smoking, drinking and meat-eating, you can cash in on your well-earned virtues with cheaper insurance cover
Saturday 01 September 2001
Virtue is said to be its own reward, but it can also bring financial benefits when buying insurance. Those who abstain from such temptations as drinking alcohol, eating meat or smoking cigarettes are targeted with cut-price insurance by companies that share their values.
In July, vegetarians were offered their own life insurance policy by niche brokers Animal Friends Insurance (AFI). It offers a 25 per cent discount on premiums in the first year to vegetarians buying life insurance or critical illness cover.
"Around four million people are vegetarians. Research suggests their lifestyle is healthier, which should mean they live longer and suffer fewer serious illnesses," says AFI director Christopher Fairfax.
AFI is a non profit-making organisation, which means it can offer savings to policyholders by rebating its commission. After business expenses are deducted, all profits are divided among various animal-related causes.
Teetotallers can buy insurance-based investment products from Rechabite Friendly Society, set up in 1835 to provide financial support for working people who had signed the pledge of abstinence. It offers two policies, a single-premium investment bond and a with-profits endowment policy.
Endowment returns may have fallen lately, but this little-known society has maintained impressive performance, paying annual bonuses on its endowment policy of between 7 and 8 per cent this year.
"We have 22,000 members across the country and there are around 600,000 active teetotallers in the UK," says chief executive Bill Turnbull.
He says Rechabite can reduce premiums on its endowment policy because it can negotiate a higher sum assured, as non-drinkers are considered to be a safer life insurance risk.
Insurance company Ansvar, originally set up by the Swedish temperance movement, offers discounts on household insurance to teetotallers, non-smokers, active church members and those involved in charity or voluntary work.
"Many accidents in the home are caused by drinking, while fires can be accidentally started by smokers, so there is an underwriting justification for these discounts," says Mark Ingram, head of insurance operations.
Customers who clock up all three virtues, will see the saving stack up on Ansvar policies, which are sold through insurance brokers.
To a lesser degree, most mainstream insurance companies consider lifestyle factors when setting premiums for life, critical illness, household and motor insurance.
Non-smokers benefit most, because their life expectancy and propensity to illness is much lower than smokers.
A non-smoking man aged 40 buying £100,000 life cover over a 25-year term would pay £28.20 a month with Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS), but £44.60 if he smoked.
A non-smoking female aged 30 buying £100,000 critical illness cover over 25 years would pay £23.80 with CIS, but £41.40 if she decided to take up the dreaded weed.
Alexandra Lovesey of insurance brokers Hill House Hammond says insurers increasingly examine customers' lifestyles when they are setting their premiums.
"If you are married or living with a permanent partner, some insurers will consider you a lower risk for motor insurance, and cut premiums. This is particularly the case for young men, as insurers think they will drive less recklessly if their partner is in the car."
Women, seen as safer drivers, should get cheaper motor insurance. Specialist insurer Diamond only covers female drivers, while Ecclesiastical Insurance offers a motor policy called Careful Lady Driver, for those aged between 25 and 69.
One virtue that is rarely rewarded by insurance companies is loyalty. If you want the cheapest premiums it pays to check out the competition at renewal, as insurers often slash their rates in order to attract new business.
Contacts: AFI 0870 444 3438 or www.animalfriends.org.uk; Ansvar 01323 737 541 for details of a broker selling its policies; Diamond 0800 36 24 36 or www.diamond.uk.com; Ecclesiastical Insurance 01452 528 533 or www.ecclesiastical-in surance.co.uk; Rechabite Friendly Society 0161 832 4821
Derek Pain: I'm cautious, but remain one of the few bulls in the market
Donald MacInnes: Who would want to be a Barbie girl in a non-Barbie world?
Mark Dampier: How to get an income now that savings are past the 'use by' date
Thousands of UK investors could lose out following collapse of Secured Energy Bonds
Bargain Hunter: Fly off for a winter break in France or Portugal for well under £100
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
Day In a Page
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion