I’m sure people have constantly told you how much smoking costs you…
If you smoke a pack weekly, you’re looking at about $50 per month. You know this very well and all your loved ones won’t let you forget it.
But there is an additional smoking cost that you likely haven’t considered, the increase in life insurance premium.
Some companies charge 300% more the second you mention you are a smoker.
Here is an example.
A 38 year old, non-smoking, healthy male would normally pay about $78.00 per month for a 20 year term policy with $1,000,000 in coverage in Ontario.
If we update that quote with a smokers status, that exact same policy jumps up to $207.00 per month.
Why Do Companies Charge So Much For Smokers?
Smokers have much higher health risks than their non-smoking counterparts.
Insurance companies know this very well and know there is a very high chance they will receive less premium over a life time.
For that reason, they increase the rate.
What Is Classified as a Smoker?
Whether you smoke once a month or three times a day, you are classified as a smoker. Cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, marijuana and basically anything you smoke puts you in the smoker category.
Should I Just Lie on my Life Insurance Application?
This can be extremely tempting.
The question on the application will read “Have you smoked in the last 12 months?”
It just seems so easy to say no… How would they find out?
Well, life insurance companies don’t employ dummies. They are very aware of potential misrepresentations on the application.
When you are applying for life insurance, most companies will require a blood test. Usually traces of nicotine will show in the results.
Secondly, if you do somehow get away with it, and in the near future you pass away from complications due to smoking, your loved ones may have some issues.
It’s a very bad idea to try to lie on any insurance application. It’s better to pay the increased premiums but be confident you have coverage.
Reclassification As a Non-Smoker
By now, you are probably so stressed that you went out for a smoke.
Hopefully this next portion will stop you in your tracks.
There is hope!
Once a policy is issued, generally there is little that could be changed. But as a smoker, you could reapply for a non-smoking status which will reduce your premium significantly.
Each company will have different rules regarding this so it’s best to speak to your life insurance broker.
What Should a Smoker do?
Well, I believe my best piece of advice will be….to quit!
You will save a lot of money and more importantly, your health will be much better.
Option 2: Since I know a few smokers and my first piece of advice was likely ashed out, your only other option would be to get life insurance as a smoker and in the future, try to get reclassified.
Speak to a life insurance broker as they will have a good idea of which life insurers offer the best rates and coverage for smokers and with what companies you can reapply in the future.