As a regular smoker who smokes a pack a day you could easily be spending as much as R12 600 per year on cigarettes.

Lapsing on payments will invalidate your cover, meaning that your loved ones will not receive a pay out if you were to pass away. Life insurance policies are calculated through a combination of many factors, so there are a few avenues you can explore to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. They don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If your life insurance policies are getting expensive, here are some things you can do to lower them:

Quit smoking

The price of cigarettes is ever increasing, and as a regular smoker who smokes a pack a day you could easily be spending as much as R12 600 per year on cigarettes. Quitting smoking would easily pay for your life policy premiums, but remember that if you manage to kick the habit, your premiums will decrease accordingly. By quitting smoking, you are improving your health and lowering your risk profile significantly, so you will pay less on a monthly basis to maintain your cover. 

Lose weight

In a similar vein to smoking, losing weight can help you decrease your monthly premiums. Being overweight makes you more predisposed to certain conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and many more. These conditions are common causes of an early death, so if you are overweight you are a more risky bet for life insurance companies, meaning you will be charged more per month to receive coverage. If you can lose weight and reduce these risks, you will pay less for your premiums. If you are already a healthy weight though, losing weight won’t help your premiums – so you’ll have to find an alternative way to save money each month.

Shop around

Speak to different life insurance companies and receive quotes from all of them. Consider the varying benefits of each insurer before making a decision - if there’s a terminal illness payout and your family is heavily predisposed to cancer, you may be willing to pay more for a policy that offers this benefit, for instance. If the benefits are much the same though, you may find that the quoted price varies from one insurer to the next. If this is the case, you have a bit of flexibility as far as the monthly premium price goes. 

Get it done early

When you’re young you might not be considering the possibilities of death. Nobody likes to think about it, and you’re probably pretty healthy. That’s exactly why you should get life insurance now. Your premiums are much cheaper when you’re healthy and low risk, so if you want the best rates you should lock in your premiums when insurers are more than happy to put you on their books. 

Choose the appropriate amount of cover

If your house is mostly paid off, or you own a R250 000 flat, you probably don’t need five million rand in life cover – unless you have some huge debts or expenses. Your life cover should be enough to pay off your bond and outstanding debt, as well as allow your loved ones to retain their quality of life. Generally, it is recommended that you take out 10-20x your annual salary in life cover. However, this depends on your debts, outgoings, and the amount of dependents you have as well as how well they will be able to manage financially. If you only have one child, a spouse, and have paid off a reasonable amount of your house and car, 10x your salary might be fine. Be sure to provide enough cover, but don’t over-insure yourself if money is tight, as your premiums will be higher.