If you’ve been looking for a good reason to quit smoking, here’s one: your premium rates for life insurance as a smoker are roughly two or three times more than what they would be if you were a non-smoker.
Smokers are one group of people who pay a serious penalty when buying life insurance.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a policy for a smoker, and it is still possible to find reasonable rates if you do your homework, get multiple quotes and ask questions while you research. In this report, we will look at what constitutes smoking as far as your life insurance company is concerned, the best types of policy for you as a smoker, and other factors that matter when you are in the market for a life insurance policy.
How are smokers defined for life insurance?
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked if you smoke. But the company won’t just take your word for it. In the medical exam, which is a requirement for most (but not all, as we’ll discuss later) policies, a sample of blood, saliva or urine will be taken. When analyzed, this will indicate if there is nicotine or cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, in your system. If this evidence is found, you will be tagged by the company as a smoker.
Any tobacco use will be clear, whether from cigarettes, pipe smoking, chewing tobacco, vaping or cigars. The blood test will also show if your system contains THC, which indicates marijuana use. Any of these will indicate that you belong in the smoking category — and are subject to higher premium rates.
Even if you have recently quit smoking, there may be a residue of nicotine in your body. Generally, insurers want you to be nicotine-free for at least one year before you are considered to be a non-smoker.
Mary Van Keuren – Bankrate – October 27, 2020.