If I don’t mention it, can a life insurance company find out that I’m a smoker?

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2014

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UPDATED: Mar 26, 2014Fact Checked

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Asked March 26, 2014

1 Answer

How a smoker is defined varies from one insurance company to another. Most companies define a smoker as someone who uses nicotine, even patches or gum, as a smoker. Once you quit smoking, insurance companies require from 1 to 3 years before you can be declared as tobacco-free.

When you apply for life insurance you will be given a medical exam. Part of the exam includes blood and urine tests that are used for a number of reasons, including checking to see if you are a smoker. A smoker's body produces a chemical related to nicotine, called Cotinine, and if that chemical is found in your test results, you will be labeled as a smoker. The amount of the chemical in your system indicates the degree of smoking, and has a varying effect on your insurance rates and availability.

There are three common rates used for smokers. A Preferred Smoker is someone who uses tobacco but is in otherwise healthy condition. Standard Smoker rates are charged to people who use tobacco and have minor or unrelated health concerns. Finally, a Table rated Smoker is someone who uses tobacco and has significant health issues. The rates you will be charges are directly related to which one of these categories you fit into.

If you are having trouble finding life insurance, try getting a free online life insurance quote from this website. The quote you receive will automatically be compared to other leading insurers so that you can get an idea of what your rates will be while you are shopping for the most cost-effective policy. If you decide to buy a policy from the quote you receive, you can apply online and get the life insurance process underway immediately.

Answered March 26, 2014 by Anonymous

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