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Here Is How a Smoker Can Buy a Term Insurance Policy

Published On Jul 21, 2021

It is a common myth that if you're a smoker, you won't be able to receive term or health insurance. However, the insurance company can raise the premium rates according to your smoking habits and risk evaluation report after the medical examination. Thus, it can be fairly said that cigarette smoking is not only bad for your health but also for your pockets. Let's learn more about how a smoker can buy a term insurance policy.

Who is Defined As a Smoker?

Anyone who takes nicotine in whatever form - cigarettes, cigars, khaini, gutka, beedi, flavoured paan masala, or even gum or nicotine patch – is referred to as a "smoker." However, insurance companies recognise that not all smokers have the same smoking behaviours. As a result, they have divided smokers into three groups. 

  • Preferred Smoker - Anyone who smokes occasionally and has a fit and healthy body comes under this category. They have the lowest premium.
  • Typical Smoker - Anyone who has minor health issues due to smoking can be counted under this category. The charged premium is higher than the first category. 
  • Table Rated Smoker - Anyone with visible health issues due to smoking is referred to as a table rated smoker. Due to the high risk involved and existing health conditions, the person has to pay the highest premium compared to other categories. 

Why are Smokers Charged With Higher Premiums?

It is widely assumed that smokers have a shorter life expectancy than those who have never smoked. They are more prone to ailments such as bronchitis, throat cancer, lung cancer and heart disease. Different insurance companies may charge an additional premium. Aside from whether or not the person purchasing health insurance is a smoker, insurers also consider his/her age and health. 

Why Should You Disclose Your Smoking Habits Honestly?

It is not a good idea to conceal the fact that you smoke or have smoked in the past. The medical examination done before the issuance of the term insurance policy can easily detect nicotine in your urine sample. Hence, if you hide the fact that you smoke, you could be prosecuted with fraud, and your policy could be ruled null and void.

What Happens When You Quit Smoking?

There are some advantages to quitting smoking after purchasing term insurance. In this instance, the policyholder might ask the insurance company to recalculate his rate at the time of renewal. The insurance provider offers the option of lowering premium rates based on how long it has been since the life assured last smoked. Although separate insurance companies have varying requirements, most require a policyholder to be a non-smoker for at least two years.

Take Away

Since the policy inception, it is wise, to tell the truth, so that the insurance provider can devise the most satisfactory plan to provide maximum benefits. So, accept the expensive rates resulting from your smoking habits and disclose all the information honestly.

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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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