Life Insurance: What You Need to Know if You’re a Smoker

By | May 19, 2015

If you’re a smoker seeking to obtain a life insurance policy, then you need to go ahead and prepare yourself for two things:

1. Your premiums are going to be much higher than a non-smoker;
2. If you lie on your application about being a smoker in an attempt to save on your premiums, you will get caught.

Tobacco usage is the number one most common lie told on life insurance applications, and considering that these insurance companies have been around the block a few thousand times, they know how to sniff out this particular lie.

Even if you are a smoker, you can still obtain coverage now, at a higher rate, and if you quit smoking later, it can be reduced. So, why not stop smoking now and use a vaping product instead to minimize your expense on insurance rate (Go here for more information about handheld vaporizers). There’s no reason to lie and risk having to pay even higher premiums with another company, or risk your loved ones being denied a claim.

How Smoker Classification Works

If you’ve used any tobacco product (i.e. cigars, chewing tobacco, cigarettes, or nicotine patches) within the past 12 months, you will typically be classified as a smoker. In most cases, it doesn’t matter if you only have a cigar every so often, or are in the final stages of weaning yourself off of tobacco use with a nicotine patch.
To be classified as a non-smoker, you have to be completely free of all tobacco use for that 12-month period prior to the date of your application. Learn more at the Suncorp website today.

Switching to a Non-Smoker Policy from a Smoker Policy

You can do this! The time standard is the same: you must be completely tobacco-free for 12 months; this is proven from health exams and your doctor. Once cleared, your premiums can be reduced to those of a non-smoker, but be sure to consult with your insurer to find out if they have any specific regulations in regards to making this change.

Becoming a Smoker AFTER Being Classified as a Non-Smoker

This is something that is going to be different from insurer to insurer, so it’ll be important for you to read through the fine print of your policy. In most cases, if you’ve already had your policy for 2 years, you’re free and clear; this is the standard contestation period for a policy. In fewer cases, the insurance company only requires that you be a non-smoker at the time of the application, and that’s it.

However, there are some insurance companies that require you to update and change your policy should you become a smoker, no matter how long you’ve had the policy, or face consequences for deliberately violating the terms of your contract. You can click here to find out more.

As mentioned, it’s very important to read the fine print here and to plan ahead, as well. If you were a smoker at one point in life and think there’s a possibility you could become one again in the future, you might want to make sure there isn’t a clause in there that will require you to re-classify. It’s important to know it’s in there, all the same; if you were to die of a tobacco-related illness, and the re-classify clause is present, your loved ones could be denied their claim, or have it drastically reduced-throwing years and years of premiums out the window!

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