Life insurance for smokers
When purchasing life insurance there are many factors that are put into use by the insurance companies. In many ways life insurance is similar to health insurance to the point where the majority of insurance companies will actually require you to go through a medical checkup before signing you with a policy. It’s quite obvious why there’s such a strong link to the health of the policyholder, because it is the most apparent factor of the person’s life expectancy. And as with health insurance, providers are very sensitive when it comes to specific habits that are strongly associated with poor health such as smoking.
There are tons of scientific and popular articles on the dangers of smoking and even more programs that are designed to help you quit. And it’s really hard to smoke a cigarette these days without someone mentioning about the dangers of smoking in general and second-hand smoke in particular. Denying the risks of long-term smoking may be as hard as quitting it, and life insurance providers know this very well. That’s why if you mention that you are a smoker in the quote form your rates will automatically go up. No, there’s no discrimination taking place, just insurance company assessing their risks adequately. And according to their math, a long-time smoker has a significantly lower life expectancy and higher risk of sudden death than a non-smoker.
We all know this very well because we are told about it every day. Smoking kills and it has many different ways of doing it. Countless studies have linked smoking to such nasty health conditions as lung, throat and lip cancer, heart stroke, hypertension, arthritis, erectile dysfunction and many others. No wonder life insurance providers are so sensitive about smoking. Each of these conditions can seriously decrease a person’s life expectancy, which means that it’s more likely for the insurance company to pay out the benefits in the near future. That’s why in some cases smokers can be charged up to twice the rates for having their life insured compared to non-smokers of the same age and social status. Makes you wonder what can be done about it, right?
Well, the best solutions would be to stop smoking. There are countless programs that are designed for this and some may actually help. But even if you stop smoking this doesn’t mean that your life insurance rates will instantly go down. Insurers usually have a six month waiting period for fresh non-smokers before they actually adjust the rates. So if you’ve stopped smoking just recently don’t rush getting life insurance because it will cost you the same as for other smokers. Moreover, if you start smoking again after the waiting period the rates will be automatically increased or the policy will be terminated altogether.
Some people may have the temptation of “fooling” their providers by stating that they are non-smokers without kicking the habit even for some time. This is a typical example of life insurance fraud, which can have serious repercussions. If at some point the insurance provider will find out that you’re actually smoking or you will develop a health condition that is linked to smoking your policy will be automatically terminated and you may be subjected to additional penalties if any are indicated in the contract. So it’s definitely not a good strategy to even consider.
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