How does smoking effect your life insurance?

Around 1 billion people in the world smoke, making the question ‘can I get life insurance if I smoke’ applicable to a sizeable percentage of the population. The answer is yes!

Whilst it is possible to secure life insurance if you smoke, it will definitely affect the price of your premiums due to the increased health risks associated with smoking. Therefore, to mitigate the cost of the imposed risk to the insurer, an increase in the cost of your monthly premium is applied.

So, when are you classed as a smoker? The majority of insurers require you to have not smoked for a year before classing you a non-smoker. This also includes the use of vaping and nicotine replacement products, such as patches and gum. This means that everyone from the 20-a-day cigarette smoker to the occasional smoker after a few drinks, is classed as a smoker in the eyes of the insurer.

It can also be tempting to lie about your smoking habits to avoid the increased monthly premiums, but if information about whether or not you smoke is not disclosed during the application and it is discovered upon your death, an insurer has the right to deny a pay out to your loved ones.

When arranging life insurance as a smoker it is important to shop around for quotes as the cost of monthly premiums can vary dramatically between insurers. You can do this independently or employ the services of a life insurance broker who will be able to provide you with the best level of cover, at the most competitive price.

Life insurance for smokers in summary:

  • Be honest – Always disclose if you are a smoker or not
  • Replacement products – Nicotine products, like patches and e-cigarettes, will still classify you a smoker
  • Tests – Insurers can test if you are a smoker or not, or on occasions check your medical history
  • Review your policy – If you stop smoking, review your policy, you may be able to save money
  • Insurers will classify you as a smoker for 12 – 18 months after quitting the habit
  • Compare multiple quotes – The best way to find the cheapest quote is to compare multiple policies.

Smoking, Vaping & Life Insurance Infographic (2018)