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Difference Between Health Insurance Premium For Smokers And Non-Smokers

Published On Aug 03, 2021 10:00 AM By InsuranceDekho

Leading a healthy lifestyle is important for our own good. We must religiously follow a healthy regime to build better immunity and protect ourselves against future threats to our health like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. People who have a medical history or are at a risk of life-threatening diseases, have to pay a higher amount of premiums for their health insurance policy as their medical treatments can cost higher than a standard health insurance plan. Other toxic health habits like consumption of tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, etc. can also affect your insurance policy as these habits do not cause accidental medical conditions. 

Smoking is one such injurious activity which affects our body and can have serious consequences on our health. It is not difficult for smokers to get a health insurance policy but certainly they have to pay more premium on their cover as they are at a risk of life-threatening diseases. The criteria to roll out policies to the smokers differ from one insurer to the other. The pre-medical test conducted on the customer helps the insurer determine their health according to which the rate of premiums are set for their policy. If a customer lies about their smoking habit then they can be legally charged and the medical compensation for hospitalization due to smoking habit will not be provided by the insurance company. 

Who Is A Smoker According To The Health Insurance Companies? 

Any individual who consumes tobacco, nicotine, cigarettes, pan, chewing gum, cigar, bidi, pan masala, gutka, etc. is considered a smoker. The insurers enquire the customers about their smoking habits and conduct pre medical health checkups based on which the customers are categorized into four different types namely non-smokers, preferred smokers, typical smokers, table rate smokers. Table rate smokers have to pay the highest amount as premiums while typical smokers get some relaxation, which is because a typical or preferred smoker has a lower risk of contracting diseases due to smoking. Thus, premium amounts are decided by the insurance companies according to these categories. 

Difference Between Health Insurance Premium For Smokers And Non-Smokers

What If The Smoker Hides Their Smoking Habit From The Insurance Provider?

In case the policyholder lies or hides about his/her smoking habit to their health insurance provider, then the insurance company can take a legal action against them. If the individual gets hospitalized and seeks treatment due to their smoking habit then no medical compensation  is provided to the customer at the time of claim settlement. Therefore, it is best advised to not hide about your smoking habits and confront it with the insurer. 

If you plan on quitting smoking and decrease your premium amount for the health insurance policy, then you have to get categorized as a non-smoker for which you must not smoke for at least 2 years. However, the rules and regulations regarding the smoking clause might differ from one insurer to the other and therefore, you must consult and question your insurer about the same at the time of investing in a health insurance cover. 

Why Are Premium Rates Higher For Smokers?

Smoking, as you are already aware, is injurious to health, and it is the cause for various vulnerable and chronic diseases like heart disease, lung disease, and bronchitis. Smokers have a larger risk of contracting these diseases, and they have a lower life-expectancy ratio than the non-smokers. The treatment costs of these disorders are high and therefore, the premium for smokers is also higher than that of the non-smokers. Smokers have a lower expectancy of life and they might have to claim their policy before reaching a certain age, unlike non-smokers, resulting in them having to pay higher premium amounts. The amount of premium depends on the insurance company and can differ according to the condition of the customer. 


It is always better to not indulge in unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking as it not only increases the risk of contracting chronic diseases but also creates a stressful environment for the customer and their loved ones. You must carefully go through the policy-related documents to make sure that your demands have been included. 

Also Read: Can A Smoker Buy Health Insurance ?

Health Insurance For A Smoker Explained

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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