I casually smoke a few times each year. Is this something I need to disclose when buying life insurance?
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Asked August 1, 2015
One of the questions you will be asked on your life insurance application is whether or not you are a smoker. If you are not, you will be asked if you have ever been, along with questions to determine how frequently you smoke, and for how long you have done so. By itself, smoking does not disqualify you for life insurance, but it will have an impact on your rates.
You need to tell your life insurance company if you smoke, even if it is only a few times a year. Life insurance companies have grades for how often and for how long you have smoked, and smoking a few times a year is listed as an occasional smoker. This is only one rank removed from a nonsmoker, and the consequences will not be as severe.
If you do not admit that you are a smoker on the application, it may turn up in your medical exam, because long-term contaminants from tobacco and other drugs is one of many tests that will be performed. If you have not admitted to being a smoker and the medical exam shows otherwise, you policy could be in jeopardy because you falsified you application. Since smoking increases the risk of insuring you, the insurance company may decide that you have attempted to defraud the company and refuse coverage at all.
If you are a heavy smoker, you may not qualify for traditional life insurance, but can still get coverage through a high risk insurer. High risk insurance companies will underwrite policies for almost anyone, but they will also charge increasingly higher rates based on the risks involved. For many people who have preexisting medical conditions, as an example, high risk coverage may be the only option available, making it an excellent value for the price.
Answered August 5, 2015 by Anonymous