A New Policy for Vegetarians
The new policy, underwritten by the Liverpool Victoria Life Company, are offering a 25 per cent reduction on monthly premiums in the first year of life insurance for vegetarians, bringing a new meaning to the carrot and stick approach. AFI – which stands for Animal Friends Insurance, a not-for-profit insurance business are going even further and are campaigning for long term discounted cover for vegetarians, as they are offering a full term 6% discount, this policy is also underwritten by LV Life Company. But why? There are different rates for smokers Vs. Non smokers and different rates depending on your job. So why not provide different rates for vegetarians or meat eaters? Firstly it is probably more difficult to know for sure if someone is a vegetarian and are sticking to it. Smokers are easier to spot and often a smoker’s GP will know they smoke, making it more difficult to deceive the insurance company. The insurers that have started to offer discounted rates to their vegetarian customers feel that the industry has failed to catch up with the reality that vegetarians are a better insurance risk.
But why are vegetarians a better insurance risk?
AFI’s managing director, Elaine Fairfax, said: “The risk of vegetarians suffering from some cancers is reduced by up to 40% and from heart disease by up to 30%, but despite this they have to pay the same life insurance premiums as meat eaters. We believe this is unfair and the life insurance industry needs to acknowledge the fact that being a vegetarian can have a very positive impact on life expectancy and reduce premiums accordingly.”
According to the Vegetarian Society not only can going vegetarian reduce your carbon footprint, help conserve land and water and protect the oceans it can also make you much healthier. As a vegetarian you are more likely to exceed your daily 5 fruit and veg potions. If you have a balanced diet as a vegetarian you are more likely to have a diet low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates and full of a variety of fruit and vegetables.
A healthy vegetarian diet is also meant to help stave off a number of diseases that would see you shorten your life expectancy, and of course life insurers want you to live longer.
- Cardiovascular/heart disease
- Cancer, especially of the colon and reproductive organs
- Type 2 diabetes
- Diverticular disease
- Bowel disorders
- Gall stones
- Kidney stones
It sounds too good to be true that a vegetarian diet can help improve your health so much, that the above diseases are less likely to happen to those following a vegetarian diet. But researchers looking for a cure for cancer are focusing a lot on finding key cancer fighting elements in fruit and veg. Vegetarians are considered to be having a lower risk of cancer when compared to those who take non-vegetarian foods daily. This is one of the reasons why vegetarians live longer.
Obesity can of course be hereditary, but if we focus on those who become obese due to bad eating habits, vegetarians are lucky! Vegetarians are less likely to become overweight due to the increase calories in non-vegetarian dishes.
Heart health as the general cholesterol intake for those on a vegetarian diet is much lower than that of a meat eater. Vegetarianism gives you a smaller chance of clogged arteries and thus improving your heart health.
How to Slowly Cut Meat Out of Your Diet
Convinced about the health benefits but think you like or eat meat too much to be able to go full speed ahead into vegetarianism? First of all if you a big meat eater and rarely go a meal let alone a day without eating meat, cutting meat completely out of your diet can be difficult. Start by slowly cutting it out of your diet. Make a plan of your meals for the week ahead and schedule in some days that will be completely meat free. On the days where you plan not to consume meat try a meat substitute. The meat substitute industry has come a long way since the days of old and some of the products are really quite tasty! Try and schedule in one day a week in which you eat only veg, that’s right, no meat substitutes. You may find it surprisingly fulfilling and will definitely feel much better after consuming the meal. Take it from a 20 year vegetarian veteran, when I have cooked a full vegetarian meal for friends and family (with no meat substitutes) after the initial trepidation they have been more than just pleasantly surprised. Most even ask for the recipe by the end of the night.
For some great vegetarian summer recipes you can look on the Peta website. If you aren’t ready to try out brand new veggie dishes there are plenty of vegetarian versions of your favourite meat dishes. You can easily replace the beef in your burritos with beans and grilled veggies. Or you could even try some quorn mince to give your vegetarian burrito a more ‘meat’ texture. You can use meatless pepperoni and plenty of vegetables, such as sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, peppers and chilies on a great tasting pizza. Just want a classic meal of spaghetti bolognaise? You can simply replace the minced meat with quorn mince or take the mince out all together and add some tasty grilled vegetables. The possibilities are endless, for more everyday vegetarian eating, Peta have created a great list of recipes.
Whether you are vegetarian or not, SoSmart Money can help you find the right life insurance for you. Compare life insurance on SoSmart Money from as little as £6 per month. We work with a range of advisers who can help guide you through the right policy for you.
The above post is intended to be informative but does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. Any opinions given are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or the Mitchell Farrar Group.