As you prepare to purchase a new life insurance policy, you may be concerned about how your smoking habit could impact your rates. If you are like many smokers, you may only smoke occasionally, such as on the weekends. Because other people who have a pack-a-day habit understandably smoke much more than you, you may wonder if you can qualify for a slightly better rate than other smokers. The reality is that smoking plays a significant part in the insurance rates that you may pay regardless of how much you smoke. As you search for occasional smoker life insurance coverage, it is important to understand how and why providers view any smoking or nicotine use negatively and similarly.
Why Smoking Matters When Applying for Life Insurance
Smoking is directly linked to numerous serious health conditions. These include:
- Lung cancer
- Other types of cancer, such as bladder, stomach and throat cancer
- Heart disease
These conditions play a direct role in your longevity and may reduce your life by several decades in some cases.
Life insurance companies review many factors when they determine your coverage rate, and these factors are all statistically linked to your lifespan. For example, men statistically pass away earlier than women, so male rates are higher than female rates when all other factors are held steady. Some of the many other factors that are reviewed include your activity level, your weight and body mass index, previous or underlying health issues, risky lifestyle habits or activities and more. While smoking is only one of many factors that are taken into consideration, it can impact anyone’s longevity dramatically, and so anyone looking for life insurance for smokers should be aware of that fact.
The Difference Between Occasional and Heavy Nicotine Use
While some people are heavy smokers and may use a pack or two on a daily basis, others may only go through a pack every few weeks or more. You understandably may think that your risk of developing lung cancer and other similar respiratory conditions decreases based on how much you smoke. However, most life insurance companies do not differentiate between occasional and heavy nicotine use. More than that, they usually take into account all nicotine products, including chewing tobacco and cigars. While there is no nicotine in marijuana, if you are searching for life insurance for marijuana smokers, some companies will treat your policy the same as a regular tobacco smoker.
Keep in mind that you are committing insurance fraud if you lie when applying for life insurance. Common questions that life insurance companies ask include if you have used any nicotine products within the last year or two. This means smoking even a single cigarette. In the event that you lie to your life insurance company about your use of nicotine products or about any other factor on your life insurance application or questionnaire, you are committing insurance fraud. Among other consequences, your life insurance coverage may be nullified if you commit insurance fraud. This means that the death benefits that your loved ones may have been counting on may not be provided to them.
When to Quit Smoking for the Best Insurance Rates
Each insurance company analyzes various statistics and factors in their own way, and this includes the analysis of smoking habits. Many people struggle to stop smoking, and they may quit for a few months before they start smoking again. Because of how difficult it is to quit smoking permanently, life insurance companies commonly ask if you have smoked within the last one or two years. Some even ask if you have smoked within the last five years. This is because the longer that it has been since you last smoked or used tobacco, the more likely it is for you to continue on in this way. In addition, as more time elapses between the time of your last nicotine use, your ability to stay healthy and free of serious health issues becomes increasingly relevant in your insurance rates.
The best time to quit smoking is right now. Regardless of whether you are applying for life insurance or not. The link between smoking and serious health issues is well-documented and factual. From the perspective of qualifying for life insurance rates, you may potentially qualify for better rates after you have not smoked for a year or two. Because each insurance company analyzes this factor differently, it makes sense to compare several life insurance policies now to see if coverage is affordable for you given your current factors. Shopping around your options for term life insurance for smokers can get you the best possible policy.
While there is not special coverage for occasional smoker life insurance, you may still qualify for a competitive rate in the next year or several years if you stop smoking today. If you are otherwise healthy, it makes sense to compare rates today as well. Because death may come at any time regardless of your age or health status, it makes sense to purchase coverage as soon as possible. Get a free quote today.