Will your New Year’s resolutions save you money?

It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions again, those blessed promises you utter each year in the hope that you’ll be able to improve your life even a little over the course of the coming months. Whether you’re able to keep them is anyone’s guess, but if there is a financial incentive for doing so, you might be more inclined to see them through.

finder.com.au recently surveyed 2,000 people to uncover Australia's top New Year's resolutions for 2018. As it turns out, some of these can actually save you money on your insurance.

Top 8 resolutions for 2018

1. Reduce stress by meditation and practising mindfulness

Stress can cause many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Will stressing less help you save money on insurance? Resolving to meditate and practise mindfulness (focusing on the present moment) won’t actually save you money on your insurance, but it can certainly improve your health and quality of life if you can learn to reduce your stress levels.

2. Improve sleep quality

A lack of quality sleep is also detrimental to your health. Your ability to function normally is directly related to the amount of restful sleep you get and a prolonged lack of sleep can make you more prone to serious medical conditions like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Will a good night's sleep mean you spend less on cover? Adopting healthy sleep practices or even attending a sleep clinic might not save you money on your insurance, but it’s a resolution well worth pursuing if a lack of sleep is negatively affecting your life.

3. Cutting out sugar, chocolate or sweets

Sugar is delicious but it’s also a big factor in various health conditions including obesity, diabetes and dental health. Cutting out sugar is often the key to increasing your general wellbeing.

Will losing the sweet tooth mean sweet savings on cover? There is a financial incentive to cut out sugar, as some insurers will reward you with lower premiums for doing so. For example, if you have AIA Priority Protection Life Insurance, you can earn points towards reducing your BMI by participating in the AIA Vitality Program.

4. Start a diet

Starting a diet might be easy. Sticking to a diet takes some serious mental stamina, especially if you like treating yourself.

Will your diet plans result in skinnier insurance premiums? Starting a diet is a resolution with a potential financial reward. For instance, you’ll earn 1,500 points towards reducing your premium by taking an AIA Vitality Nutrition Assessment with a Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Generally, losing weight means that you’re not as much of a risk to an insurer, which can result in cheaper life insurance premiums.

5. Go to the gym

This resolution is a hard one for many people to keep because it requires forking out for membership and visiting the gym on a regular basis (something that gets harder for many people as the year progresses).

Will extra muscles mean extra cash? Do you have extras health insurance? If so, there may be a financial incentive as many health funds offer discounts on gym memberships and approved fitness and exercise programs. For example, HCF includes a 10% discount on 3-month or 12-month Platinum or Passport gym memberships with Fitness First.

6. Receive an all-round health checkup

Many insurers require you to have a health exam when applying for life insurance. If you have cover and your health has improved since that first assessment, resolving to have another test could reduce your premium. This is because some insurers will allow for a re-evaluation of your premium rate if it was influenced by your initial blood pressure or cholesterol count and you have managed to lower them since then (if they don’t, look for an insurer that does).

7. Quit or reduce alcohol intake

This is a resolution many people make when resolving to try and improve their health in the coming year. Cutting down on the number of standard drinks you consume per day will certainly improve your overall health and will also save you some money in the hip pocket as well.

Will reducing your drinks per week dry up how much you spend on insurance? When you apply for life insurance cover your level of alcohol consumption is considered when calculating your premium. So yes, if you do cut down on drinking and before being accessed, there’s a chance you’ll cut down on your premiums. Note: If you have an existing policy you may be able to ask for a reassessment.

8. Quit smoking

Putting down those cigarettes is known to provide various health benefits including decreasing your chances of cancer, lowering your blood pressure and better vision. Not to mention, you’ll probably smell better.

Will kicking the habit help you save on cover? Now here’s where you can really save on your insurance. Smokers pay roughly twice as much for life insurance as non-smokers. So simply by giving up smoking, you can effectively cut your premium in half. Providing you can show you have given up for at least 12 months, most insurers will let you apply to have your premium readjusted to non-smoker status.

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