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TV couch potatoes

Scottish Equitable Protect says a lifestyle of hard drinking, heavy

smoking and a poor diet does not have to affect premiums for

critical-illness and life cover.

The office is urging IFAs to encourage clients to protect themselves

financially against the unhealthy effects of drinking, smoking and obesity.

ScotEq Protect says people with unhealthy habits can still benefit from

competitive rates on critical-illness and life cover. Based on its rates,

an individual can drink up to four pints and smoke up to 40 cigarettes a

day without seeing a hike in premiums. Smoking more than 40 cigarettes a

day, however, almost doubles premiums to £41 from £21.70 on a

25-year life policy.

ScotEq says people only a stone or two overweight will not be uprated by

most insurers. An individual would have to be 20 stone in an average of 12

to see critical-illness and life premiums rise.

Marketing manager Heather Armstrong says: “Individuals may well shy away

from critical-illness or life insurance cover for fear of being unduly

penalised for their bad habits. However, IFAs are ideally placed to

emphasise the need for protection and that this cover will, most likely,

cost far less than they think.”

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