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Does Smoking Affect your Life Insurance?

According to a report by the Canadian Cancer Society, smoking generates a massive $6.5 billion in healthcare costs in a year.

So, if you have been wondering it your smoking habit affects your life insurance policy, the answer is certainly yes. If you are a smoker, there can be an additional price for your life insurance premium. But what are the long-term effects of smoking on your life insurance? And, does it make a difference when you quit?

Here, we’ll learn all that and a lot more.

How does It Affect your Life Insurance?

Speaking in very basic terms, life insurance policy premium depends on you healthy you are, that is, at the time of the policy purchase. Consequently, it also depends on your habits that may be putting your health at risk. So, habits like smoking and alcoholism, that pose a threat to your health, increase the policy premium.

Smoking is, in fact, one of the biggest factors that insurance companies take into account before offering you a premium. They’d typically want to know if you have been smoking or using any other tobacco products over the past one year. if it’s a positive, they will offer you a higher premium because of a higher health risk.

So, to What Tune do Smokers End up Paying for Life Insurance?

To be honest, and speaking on a broad level, even if you are buying insurance at a relatively young age of, say, 32 years. despite being young, you may still end up paying almost double the premium if you are a smoker.

So, for example, if the monthly premium of a non-smokers life insurance policy for $700,000 cover for, say, 20 years is around $50, you, as a smoker mau end up paying close to a $100 for the same specifics.

Same is in the case of renewal. if you weren’t a smoker at the tome of the previous term, but are one now, your premium, at the time of renewal, will rise exponentially.

Technically, Who is a Smoker as Defined by Life Insurers?

in general, most life insurance providers define smoker as a person who regularly uses nicotine or tobacco in any of its various forms.

The following products constitute the list:

  1. Cigarettes
  2. Cigars
  3. Cigarillos
  4. Chewing tobacco
  5. Nicotine gum and patches (or any nicotine product that helps in smoking cessation)

Does Vaping Affect Life Insurance Like Smoking?

Typically, a life insurance application may not ask particularly about vaping. However, most applications will require medical tests to trace nicotine content in your blood or urine, no matter what your source of nicotine is. So, you will still be considered a smoker if you vape.

Does Cannabis Affect Life Insurance Like Smoking?

Casual use of cannabis, wherein you do not mix it with tobacco, you may fall in the non-smoker category.

However, if you are consuming cannabis pretty much regularly and more than one time in a day, you are still going to pay a higher premium because considering the higher level of risk posed to your health.

What if a Smoker Buys a Policy Online?

Well, when you buy a policy online, there is no way to check whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker. So, the premium rates are usually somewhere in between what they charge a smoker and what they charge a non-smoker.

So, What Happens If you Quit Smoking while You Still Have a Cover?

Well, in addition to better health and reduces expenses you may be able to avail the premium rates for non-smokers  In terms of your life insurance policy, you may be eligible for non-smoker rates if you can:

  1. Sign a declaration which states that you have not been smoking for the past one year. This implies that you no longer smoke cigarettes, cigars, use chewing tobacco, chew nicotine gum or apply nicotine patches.
  2. Agree to get a urine test proving that there is no trace of nicotine in your body.
  3. Declare the previous habit of smoking has not had any significant adverse changes in your health.

The last-mentioned point is the most important here since your insurer will always want to know the reason behind quitting smoking. In case you’ve quit because of a health problem (like a heart attack, or lung infection) that was caused due to smoking, you will be categorized as a smoker because the health condition places you at a high-risk situation.

However, if you give up smoking while you are still healthy, you can be categorized as a non-smoker and premium can come down substantially.