How does being a smoker affect my ability to get a life insurance policy?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2013

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UPDATED: Jan 7, 2013Fact Checked

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Asked January 7, 2013

1 Answer

Life insurance rates are based on the perceived risk you pose to the insurance company. If you partake in risky activities or have habits that could affect your longevity, you can always expect to pay more than someone who is not as risky to insure. In some cases, combining risky activities and unhealthy habits can even result in your being too high of a risk for traditional insurance to cover at all.

Smoking is recognized as being potentially harmful. It can lead to lung cancer, heart disease, and may have negative effects on pregnancy. More and more, the effects of second smoke are being recognized as harmful for people who do not, themselves, smoke, and insurance companies are taking steps to bring the cost of such insurance into line by increasing the rates of those who smoke.

Typically, you have to be smoke-free for a specified period of time before you can receive the discounts offered to non-smokers. For some companies, this period could be as little as 6 months or as much as 5 years. If you already have life insurance and have quit smoking since purchasing the policy, contact your insurance company and talk to them about the discounts you may be eligible for if you quit.

In addition to quitting smoking, you can also receive discounts for other healthy behavior patterns. Joining a gym or taking up some other regular exercise routine is one method, giving up fried foods and taking an active interest in improving your health is another. Since not all insurance companies offer the same ways to get cheaper life insurance, you should consult your policy or discuss the possible ways to save money with your insurance company.

Answered January 7, 2013 by Anonymous

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