If you have recently purchased a life insurance policy, you might be wondering what happens if you start smoking afterward. Well, the answer might surprise you. According to GetSure.org, if you begin smoking after purchasing life insurance, there will be no effect on your policy or premium rate.
Smoking is known to increase mortality risk, and life insurance companies take this into account when determining premium rates. Most companies require a medical exam for policies over $50,000, and smoking history is a significant factor in underwriting. Smoking will always result in higher premiums than for non-smokers.
While smoking comes in many forms, including cigars, cigarettes, and vaping, life insurance companies consider anyone who uses tobacco-related or nicotine products a smoker. After the initial screening on the application, most life insurance companies require a medical exam before approving an application and issuing a policy. The exam will include a urine or blood test to check for the presence of cotinine, a nicotine byproduct. Medical exams are a more reliable way of identifying smokers and distinguishing between occasional users and those with heavy smoking habits.
It’s important to note that the only way an insurance claim can be denied for smoking is if you falsely claim to be a non-smoker on your life insurance application. If you claim to be a non-smoker but ultimately die of a smoking-related illness, your insurance company can deny your beneficiary’s claim for the death benefit payout.
If you quit smoking, your life insurance company cannot change your smoker rating or lower your premiums to the non-smoker rate. However, if you believe that you can get better rates as a non-smoker, you can terminate your policy and purchase a new one.
|Cigarettes||Any product that contains tobacco and is smoked|
|Cigars||Any product that contains tobacco and is smoked|
|Pipes||Any product that contains tobacco and is smoked|
|Smokeless tobacco||Any product that contains tobacco and is chewed, sucked, or sniffed|
|Nicotine gum||Gum that contains nicotine and is used to help quit smoking|
|Nicotine patch||Patch that contains nicotine and is used to help quit smoking|
|Nicotine lozenge||Lozenge that contains nicotine and is used to help quit smoking|
|E-cigarettes||Electronic devices that heat a liquid to create an aerosol, which is then inhaled|
Life insurance companies take smoking history seriously, and it’s essential to be truthful when applying for a policy. While smoking won’t void your life insurance coverage, lying on your application can cause your beneficiary’s claim to be denied if it’s discovered that you died of a smoking-related illness. If you have any questions about your life insurance policy, contact your insurance provider for more information.
- The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Does Smoking Void A Life Insurance Policy? [No-Bs Answer]
- Banking Truths. Does Smoking Void A Life Insurance Policy?
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Life Insurance For Smokers And Tobacco Users
- Charles Schwab Corporation. Life Insurance For Smokers — And Quitters
- Investopedia. Can You Hide Smoking From Life Insurance Companies?