Does Smoking Void a Life Insurance Policy?
Updated: Oct 10
Why Smoking Matters for Insurance Life insurance rates are calculated by looking at the risk of early death from a statistical point of view. That means that life expectancy is the basic measure of what your life insurance premium will be. When an insurer sees that you smoke, there are mountains of evidence that say you are more likely to get sick and die younger. Because of the higher rate of mortality and the likelihood that youll pay fewer premiums before you pass away than a nonsmoker, insurance companies view this as a great risk to them in insuring you. Even though smoking is at an all-time low according to US health authorities, many millions of Americans already have a smoking-caused illness. Smoking matters to insurance companies because it presents significant risk to them just as it presents a serious risk to your health. More than that, you could be categorized as a smoker even if you do not use traditional smoking products like cigarettes. There are actually many more ways to run into higher premiums because of the health concern.
What Counts as Smoking: Gum, Cigars, Cigarettes, and More Nicotine can get delivered to the body in several ways, and insurance companies often consider many of these as legitimate ways to characterize a policy applicant as a smoker. Sometimes they refer to this category as a smoker, nicotine user, tobacco user, or a user of a nicotine delivery system (to be most general). Some of the products they may include in the smoking- and nicotine-related category are pretty exhaustive and evolve as tobacco products aimed at delivering nicotine enter the market:
Nasal Sprays If you do use alternative nicotine products such as smokeless tobacco or cigars, some insurance companies will still offer Non-Smoker rates. It is important to reach out to an advisor so that they can help you get the best possible pricing.