Life insurance for smokers
Smoking is a habit almost as popular as it is dangerous. The serious health risks associated with smoking translate into seriously inflated life insurance costs.
We’ll explain why this is, and show you how, by quitting, you can eventually bring your premiums back down.
In This Guide:
- Dangers of smoking
- Health risks and premium costs
- Full disclosure
- Urine tests
- Cut costs by cutting out cigarettes
Dangers of smoking
The links between smoking and lung cancer are incredibly well documented and well known, but there are a whole host of other medical issues that it can cause.
Others cancers that can be related to smoking include mouth and stomach cancer, and then there are chronic diseases like emphysema as well as a heightened risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Health risks and premium costs
All of these health risks caused or exacerbated by smoking serve to quite drastically bump up the cost of life insurance policies for those who smoke.
The cost of premiums associated with life insurance policies are calculated to a large extent according to any health issues you may have, past or present.
This will include whether or not you’ve had a heart attack in the past for example, or whether you suffer from diabetes.
The fact that you smoke is obviously relevant to the insurer and can cause your premium costs to go up by as much as 200%.
You absolutely must tell your insurance provider if you are a smoker, even if you’re a casual smoker. Occasionally insurers will make concessions for those who only smoke every now and then, just at weekends for example, but as a general rule, if you smoke at all, you are, in the eyes of the insurance company, a smoker.
Importantly, you will count as a smoker even if you only smoke e-cigarettes. This is because the long term medical effects of e-cigarettes are still not very well known.
Generally, in order to able to class yourself as a non-smoker, insurers will require you to be totally free of all nicotine products for at least twelve months.
Don’t be tempted to when comparing life insurance policies, even if you’ve quit for a few months, you need no make sure you’re being absolutely transparent if you don’t want your policy to be invalidated.
In order to guarantee transparency and honesty from the policy holder, insurance companies will sometimes require saliva or urine tests in order for you to prove that you are nicotine free.
They can even look at your medical history to double check.
If you die of an illness that could be smoking related, and you are found out to have lied to your insurer, your policy will likely not pay out at all.
Cut costs by cutting out cigarettes
If you quit smoking, and have quit for the amount of time specified by the insurer in order for you to count as nicotine free (usually 12 months), then you’ll find that your premiums can go back down.
Just make sure that you let your insurer know this, and they’ll take the necessary steps to bring the cost of your policy back down to earth.