Smoking and your Life Insurance rates

When you apply for a smoker’s life insurance policy you are generally accepted depending on the state of your health. Smoking affects your health so therefore it will affect your insurance policy.

It is a well known fact that if you are a smoker you should expect to pay more for your life insurance policy in fact smokers generally end up paying about two or three times as much as non smokers. The reason for this is smoking is linked to chronic illness such as emphysema or heart conditions. These are aspects that lower your life expectancy and the less time you are estimated to have to live, the higher your premiums will be.

When you are applying for your life insurance policy it should however be noted that you aren’t simply stating whether you are or aren’t a smoker. Instead insurance companies use a smoking status system to determine how your tobacco use will affect your policy. This smoking status consists of standard non-smoker, a premium non-smoker and a non-tobacco user but what exactly do these titles mean?

You would be classed as a standard non-smoker if you have not touched tobacco for a specific period of time, in this case 12 months. An insurer is not concerned about whether you smoke, they are more bothered about how long you have either been with or been without cigarettes. So a standard non-smoker is if you haven’t smoked for 12 months; a premium non-smoker however is the most common type of status applied to life insurance policies. This status indicates an individual has refrained from tobacco for at least 24 months. So obviously a non-tobacco user refers to someone who hasn’t used tobacco. The term life insurance rates for a premium non-smoker are a lot better than those of a standard non-smoker, which indicates that a person is a much better risk and can receive better rates on their life insurance policy. However those who qualify as a non-tobacco user will of course have even lower premiums.

To give you a better example of just how much smoking can affect your life insurance, take a look at this example. If you were between 50 and 60 and you were looking to take out a term policy for 15 years but you were a smoker it would cost you around $3555 a year, and that’s one of the cheapest premiums! Now take the same situation but the person is a non-smoker, the premium they would be paying is only $1160, that’s a saving of about $2395!

If you are struggling to find a cheap life insurance premium because you are a smoker then you may wish to consider quitting. This may seem like a drastic move but think about all the money you would be saving. The one thing that you don’t want to be doing however is lying about your habit.

It may seem easy to lie on an life insuranceapplication as to whether you smoke but remember these insurance companies may require a medical or they may request your medical records so it really isn’t worth it as trying to cover up traces of nicotine in a urine sample is very difficult.