Are Smokes and Bacon Harming Your Insurance?

by Kyle Taylor on February 27, 2013

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BaconWhen you think about it, humans are a strange species. Even though we have the intelligence to do simple math (even complex math, for some!), we still spend hundreds of dollars a year shoving an inordinate amount of unhealthy things into our mouths. Daily cappuccinos loaded with cream and sugar, big, juicy burgers and whatever else are convenient thanks to our time-poor lifestyles are all high on the list for many. And how do we deal with it? For some it’s reaching for another smoke to reduce stress. Oh the irony!

Then there’s the couch potato or more increasingly – the desk-chair potato –spending hours in front of a screen, consuming mindlessly out of habit more than need. It’s less of an issue of course if we’re trading off these splurges for jogs, but for many, we simply wouldn’t dream of putting down our treats and getting up from the sofa for something that is more a chore than part of a ritual.

What’s the cost of over indulgence?

The sad fact is that sedentary lifestyle with poor diet choices not only adversely affects good health, but it has an impact on our bank accounts. With some basic math, a daily coffee from the café adds up to a several hundreds of dollars per year – and that’s assuming you’re a ‘one a day’ kind of person! If you routinely treat yourself to fast foods from Macca’s or KFC, then you’re not only hurting your wallet, but your health.

The accumulative impact of consuming foods high in saturated fats and sugar increase the likelihood of obesity, heart disease, cancer and a myriad of other health problems. Not to mention the collective expansion of our nation; yes, obesity!

Other ways bad eating & smoking gets you down

What many people don’t realise is that as the collective health of our nation becomes poorer, the pressure that places on our health system is enormous. With this comes increased demand on our health services – public AND private, so how does the market correct? By increasing its prices of course; and health insurers are no exception.

When insurers have a higher than average likelihood of paying out on claim, the natural way they respond is by increasing premiums. But alas: thankfully, not all insurers are so rigid. Some progressive health insurers, in an effort to combat the rising costs that come about from poor lifestyle choices, now offer better premiums by rewarding those who can demonstrate a willingness to lead a healthier life.

We’re not saying do away with the occasional burger, beer or sugary treat, but there’s little denying that for those who frequently indulge in less than stellar food and lifestyle choices like smoking, cutting down can save hundreds of dollars each year. Not only that, but if it also means potentially saving money on your health insurance cover then it makes sense to give it a shot. Of course, anyone with health insurance may already be overpaying for extras they’re not likely to use…at least not for a long while. The best way to find a deal that fits not only your pocket but your lifestyle is to compare the market online and check out what’s out there. Now, back to your bacon…

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  • I’m definitely working on being more healthy. Being unhealthy is such a drag on insurance costs!

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