One of the first questions you’ll be asked when filling out a life insurance application is whether you smoke, and if so, how often. Smoking, chewing tobacco and using nicotine products raise red flags for insurance companies because they come with a variety of health risks. Whenever there’s a health risk, insurance companies raise their rates.
But just how much more do smokers pay for life insurance than non-smokers? Anywhere between 100% to 300% more for term life insurance. Pretty shocking.
So if health isn’t enough of a reason to quit smoking, perhaps a high insurance premium is! In all seriousness, if you are considering to quit smoking, it will undoubtedly affect your life insurance rates, and for the better.
Qualifying for Non-Smoker Status
Don’t expect to get better life insurance rates if you’ve quit smoking for two weeks. But if you quit for a long period of time, like 12 months or more, then you should definitely reach out to your insurance carrier and see what they can offer you. You will probably not qualify for non-smoker status right away — that usually takes about three to five years to happen. Bear in mind that each insurance carrier has its own time requirements for reclassification and its own process, which may include undergoing another medical exam. While reclassification may seem laborious, it can be a significant amount of savings every year!
What’s the Deal with e-cigarettes and cigars?
Every insurance carrier deals with e-cigarettes a little differently. Most of them DO classify them as a type of smoking, however there are multiple carriers that do not. For cigars it is very similar, and the occasional cigar smokers can also qualify for non-tobacco rates with certain carriers.
Don’t Put Off Getting Life Insurance Just Because You Smoke
One of the common mistakes people make is putting off getting life insurance because you smoke. You say to yourself, “I’ll wait until I quit smoking to get life insurance, that way, I can get a better rate.”
Don’t fall into this trap! Quitting smoking can take time, and there’s no reason to put off getting life insurance and taking the risk of leaving your family vulnerable during that time. Instead, find the best coverage you can get as a smoker and tell the insurance company when you apply that you’re planning on quitting. Some insurance carriers give you better rates based on your good intentions. Also ask how you can get reclassified as a nonsmoker once you quit, and that way, you can have peace of mind as you embark on your brave venture.
How can you find out which insurance carriers have the best rates for smokers and for people planning to quit? How can you find the policies that are best for you?