What happens to my health insurance if I start smoking after purchasing a policy as a non-smoker?

UPDATED: Jun 18, 2012

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UPDATED: Jun 18, 2012Fact Checked

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Asked June 18, 2012

1 Answer

There is a major distinction between smoking when you get health insurance quotes and starting the habit after a policy is in force. When apply for a policy, you will be asked if you have used tobacco products as part of the medical examination. If you answer yes, then you will be charged premiums commensurate with smokers, but if you answer no, and have been a non-smoker for at least a year, your premiums probably will not be affected at all.

If the insurance policy has been in force for a year or more, and you start smoking, your rates will not change. The reasoning is that you were not a smoker at the time the policy was issued, and the premiums were based on your health at that time, not your current health, so taking up the habit after your policy is in effect will not have any adverse effects.

Be careful not to lie about whether you are a smoker on your insurance application. You may be able to get away with claiming to be a non-smoker initially, but if you later development a condition related to smoking, your insurer would have the right to terminate the policy on the grounds that you fabricated all or part of the application. It is much better to pay higher rates based on being a smoker than to find out that your insurance policy has been voided because of inaccurate information.

Answered June 18, 2012 by Anonymous

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