Are You are Smoker? How Smoking Affects Life Insurance Rates

When you apply for life insurance, the provider is going to assess your overall health, including lifestyle factors which may affect your health. One of the first questions they ask you on the life insurance form is going to be whether or not you smoke. If you are considered a nonsmoker, then you will get better rates than smokers because smoking is directly connected to many health problems and early death.


Even if you just light up occasionally, you may still be considered a smoker by the life insurance company. Expect questions like “Have you smoked a tobacco cigarette anytime in the past year?” You may get separate questions for cigar and chewing tobacco use. Make sure you explain exactly how frequently you use these products. There is a big difference between smoking only on your birthday and smoking a pack a day! Unfortunately for occasional smokers though (like those who light up just while out on the town), they may be considered smokers of the same level (and life insurance rates) as the people who smoke several packs per day.


If you just smoke one cigarette a year, you can generally get away with calling yourself a nonsmoker on the application form. But be cautious before you lie to the life insurance company! Most life insurance companies which offer good rates will require that you go get a medical examination before they issue the policy. You will likely have your blood taken and checked for nicotine. It usually takes about 3 full days until nicotine leaves your body – but there will likely still be trace amounts for much longer.


Are You are Smoker? How Smoking Affects Life Insurance RatesStill want to lie on your life insurance application about your smoking habits? Before you do, consider this: if the medical test shows that you are a smoker, you could have your rates increased or your life insurance policy may be completely denied. You could even be criminally charged with insurance fraud! Even if you don’t get caught, your lie may be found out after your death. If your death is related to smoking or they find out you were a smoker afterwards, they can contest the policy and refuse to pay out your beneficiaries. Since there is a lot of money on the line, you can expect the life insurance inspectors to do their job well and find out whether you lied or not.


If you become a smoker after you get your life insurance policy, then you don’t have to report it to the company. Your benefits will not be compromised so long as you truly were not a smoker when you filled out the application. However, the life insurance company may still choose to contest the policy until they investigate. This can make a lot of difficulties for your beneficiaries when they make their claim.