Life Insurance Considerations For Smokers
When shopping for life insurance, you’ll find that premium costs for tobacco users (smokers) is always more expensive than non-smokers. Most insurance companies only offer two rate classes – Standard and Preferred. Insurance companies ‘define’ a smoker as primarily a cigarette user. However, they look at other forms of tobacco or nicotine products, too: cigars, pipes, chew/dip, even nicotine gum and the patch.
If you have an occasional cigar, say no more than one per month, most life insurance companies would offer you a Standard Non-Smoker rate, but you can’t test positive for nicotine during your insurance exam – which is when a urine sample will be taken. A few insurance companies will also offer Standard non-smoker rates if you use other forms of the product (a pipe, chew/dip or nicotine gum/patch).
However, if you have an occasional cigarette, say at social functions or ‘only on the weekends’, while you might not think of yourself as a smoker – unfortunately insurance companies do. While I say this, I also remind you to not lie about your cigarette use on your life insurance application. It’s always better to be truthful, and lying on your insurance application is insurance fraud. Also remember that the insurance company has you tested for nicotine, and if they review your medical records and find conflicting information, they’ll ask you for more information.
You quit smoking? That’s great news! If it’s been at least 12 months, you can qualify for nonsmoker premium rates. The longer you’ve stopped, the better the discount you might qualify for.Typically insurance companies look at your non-smoking progress in years – one year, two years, three years and at five (or more) years. You can also re-apply with your life insurance company to see if you can get better premium rates.
About the author: Melanie Tretheway has been in the life insurance business for over 30 years. She is a mother of two who loves baking, reading, gardening, and taking care of her family. Melanie takes great pride in making sure you are informed, especially when it comes to choosing the right life insurance policy for your family. You can contact Melanie at 1-800-651-1953 or MTretheway@Pivot.com.