Higher fees for smokers
STOCKHOLM The insurance company Skandia in Sweden has from June 1 raised fees with up to 50 per cent for new customers who are daily smokers. The winners will be Skandia’s non-smoking customers.
By taking this action Skandia will focus on the consequences of smoking and also help reduce smoking, says Skandia´s Scandinavian director Bertil Hult together with other members of the company in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter.
The higher prices for smokers may vary between 25 and 50 percent for a life insurance for example. Skandia is reported to be the first insurance company in the country to take actions like these against smokers.
Skandia will not specifically check customers who state in their health claims that they do not smoke – that is a matter of conscience. The intention of the company is not to make money, but use the additional revenue to benefit non-smokers by offering reduced fees.
Costumers who want to quit smoking will be offered assistance and support in this and those whom have not smoked for the last twelve months will no longer have to pay the charge, according to Skandia.
Smokers die earlier and have more sick days. Tobacco damages cost society at least 26 billion Swedish Kronor annually.