From the start, life insurance companies will ask many important things through their health questionnaires. In your responses, you swear honesty, and saying whether you smoke is one thing you certify. Smoking and life insurance is complicated, but misrepresenting the truth comes with big implications, and smoking (or using nicotine) will bring you higher premiums.
You won’t be denied on your life insurance application because you use nicotine products, but the higher premiums mean some might think it’s better for the insurance company not to know. But, if the insurance company discovers, for example, that you died a smoking-related death, they can keep death benefits from your beneficiaries.
Smoking doesn’t always just mean smoking cigarettes. There are many ways to be considered a smoker. Learn if you might be considered a smoker according to the insurance company in this post, and then decide on which new policy for yourself.
Life Insurance Premiums and Smoking
Your life insurance premium is determined based on the risk of an early death. When your life expectancy is the primary factor, smoking turns out to impact that calculation quite a bit. If you smoke, there is considerable reason to believe that you will get sick or pass away at an earlier age.
For the insurer, that means you will pay fewer premiums than another policyholder. You, therefore, pose a greater risk to the insurance company that will guarantee death benefits. Premiums increase with this risk to your health and the risk to the insurance company. You could face these higher premiums even if you’re not a user of traditional smoking products like cigarettes.
Who’s a Smoker according to Life Insurance?
Nicotine is an addictive substance that can interact with the body in many ways, and life insurance companies consider many of these forms of delivery “smoking.” In line with that, they may not use the term “smoker” at all, but they might refer instead to applicants as a nicotine user, tobacco user, or other.
They include a broad range of products on their list of smoking-related uses. The list is constantly changing with the market, but it often already includes:
· Nasal Sprays
Using a different product than cigarettes doesn’t necessarily mean that you will still get the lower premiums and lower risk of being a non-smoker, but some insurance companies offer different rates on a case-by-case basis. It’s important to iron out these details with an advisor so you’re prepared for what could happen to your death benefits as well.
Quitting Smoking? How It Affects Your Life Insurance
If you’re seeking lower insurance rates and a different quality of life without nicotine, it can be helpful to quit smoking. Your health improves with each week, month, or year that you stop using nicotine or cigarettes, but life insurance companies can be slower to recognize that you’ve quit when it comes to your policy.
If you want to be considered a non-smoker with the best premiums, you will usually have to quit for at least one year. Still, you may find it more motivating that some insurance companies use different categories than merely “smoker” or “non-smoker.” If you quit for a certain amount of time, you may get one rate, and if you quit for five years, you may get a much better one.
Not every insurer has the same rules when it comes to whether or not you are still considered a smoker, but, with all of them, lying on your application can bring dire consequences to your life insurance death benefits.
Misrepresenting Smoking on Life Insurance Agreements
There seems to be little reason that a life insurance company would actually know if you are a smoker, but when they find out the risks are steep if you’ve been dishonest. In some cases, people pay for their life insurance for years only to find that because they should be in a smoker category, their policy is cancelled and voided.
In less extreme cases, beneficiaries receive a limited benefit, but it makes sense that it could threaten your policy if you misrepresent the truth about yourself on your application. The insurance company demands a clear picture of your health, so giving you a lower rate when you posed a greater risk means the agreement is compromised.
Explore Smoker and Non-Smoker Policies
Just like anyone, smokers want the best premiums and plans. You can find the most competitive rates and benefits using the right tools to shop for life insurance and secure quotes. Sproutt can help.
Sproutt uses advanced technology and industry insight to find the best life insurance policies for its customers. Find out your rate.