Life Insurance for Smokers
Is Life insurance for smokers possible? Yes! Smokers also have loads of life insurance policies available for them. The only difference is the costlier rates for smokers. Here in this blog, you can get a picture of the best life insurance for smokers. Let’s see how smoking and life insurance go hand in hand!
- What qualifies as a smoker for life insurance?
- How do insurers classify smokers?
- How do life insurance agencies test for nicotine?
- What is a Contestability period?
- Why should you never lie about smoking on your application?
- How long does nicotine stay in your blood?
- Would a passive smoker test nicotine positive?
- Would nicotine gum or patch show up on the test?
- Will chewing tobacco show up on your life insurance test?
- How much does life insurance for smokers cost?
- When would a life insurer consider you a non-smoker?
- What if you start smoking after you bought life insurance?
- Which are the top US life insurance agencies for smokers?
What qualifies as a smoker for Life Insurance?
Anyone who occasionally or regularly uses smokes is classified as a smoker for the life insurance companies. It includes regular smokes, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping, chewing tobacco, cigars, pipes, nicotine gums, nicotine patches, and marijuana.
Also Read: How do life insurance agents get paid?
How do insurers classify smokers?
The following are the insurers health classification categories in a descending manner. First is the healthiest and last is the worst heath case scenario: Preferred plus, preferred, standard plus, standard, preferred smoker, smoker, table rating.
The smokers usually lie somewhere between smoker and table rating. Whether you’re a healthy smoker, standard smoker or a sub-standard table rating guy, you would be paying considerably higher rates for life insurance policy.
How do life insurance agencies test for Nicotine?
They ask through the health questionnaire and in a brief interview. The general rule is to be 100% honest because paying higher costs is not as bad as the other consequences. Life insurers collect your public, driver and medical records and verify your answers through a third party.
Lying on an application or hiding anything can lead to insurance fraud. This will get you imprisoned and if you get away with it in lifetime, your dependents might be denied death benefit payout after your death.
The medical test also includes a nicotine test. Any user can quit for a week or two before taking up the exam thinking that his test will come clear. This is a misconception; a single smoke generates a certain amount of nicotine through your bloodstream. When nicotine enters your body, it gets processed into cotinine, which stays in the body and gets passed out in urine for a month.
Quitting a month ago might help you get nicotine negative on the test, but insurance firms always research thoroughly before paying your beneficiaries after your death.
What is a Contestability period?
After your death, there is a 2 years’ time period called the contestability period. Every life insurance agency researches the medical records, cause of death, driver record, DUI’s and so many other factors. If they find out that you have been a smoker but you lied on the life insurance application and cleared the test. They can deny your claim and your dependents will get no death benefit payout.
Why should you never lie about smoking on your application?
If you under-report, obscure, hide, omit, lie, or exaggerate on your life insurance application and it gets detected, you’re convicted with life insurance fraud criminal charges. You can go to prison in your lifetime and after death your dependents will not receive any payout.
How long does nicotine stay in your blood?
Nicotine turns to cotinine after the human body metabolizes it. Cotinine stays in your system for a month after the last cigarette you smoked.
Would a passive smoker test nicotine positive?
According to the CDC; any secondhand or passive smoker who sits regularly next to an active chain smoker does not test nicotine positive on any test. Sitting in the company of an active smoker can ruin your health somewhat but nicotine does not enter your system.
Would nicotine gum or patch show up on the test?
Since this is substance abuse, and people say it is healthier than regular smoking without smoke. The truth is both nicotine patch and nicotine gum have a considerable amount of nicotine to pass into your body. As long as nicotine enters your body by any way, you will test positive for your life insurance nicotine test.
Will chewing tobacco show up on your life insurance test?
Chewing tobacco inserts large amounts of nicotine in your bloodstream. This will be traced in a test right away. It will be a nicotine positive test and you will buy life insurance on considerably higher smoker rates.
How much does life insurance for smokers cost?
On an average any life insurance policy costs about 217% more for a smoker compared to a healthier non-smoker, for that matter! For instance, if a 20 year old guy buys a term life policy of $500,000 coverage, he would be paying $8,800, less than any smoker during 20 years’ of this term life policy. In a nutshell, if he was a non-smoker, he could’ve saved $8,800 in 20 years.
When would a life insurer consider you a non-smoker?
Generally, it is a rule of thumb for the reputed stable life insurance agencies to be strict with the smoking policies. You can apply for a new life insurance policy at a non-smoker rate after you quit smoking and 2-5 years have passed. Similarly, if you want the premiums of an existing policy in force to start offering you non-smoker premiums. You have to prove through medical documentation that you’ve quit smoking for 2 to 5 years, at least.
What if you start smoking after you bought life insurance?
Obviously, at the time of your life insurance application you passed the nicotine test and got rates approved as a non-smoker. But if you pick up the habit after a few years, it will affect your current policy in many damaging ways. If during the 2-year contestability period after your death, any of your medical records, all along your life show any nicotine traces. Your family will be denied any death benefit payout, no matter how punctually you paid heavy premiums.
And while you were alive, if you ever bought another life insurance like burial insurance or group life by your employer, you would have paid the smoker’s rate. It’s better not to indulge in smoking for buying life insurance and for your health, in general!
Which are the top US life insurance agencies for smokers?
- Best firm for smokers who plan to quit: John Hancock Life Insurance.
- Best for living benefits: Transamerica.
- Most affordable: Haven Life.
- Best for smokers with great health: Ethos Life Insurance.
- Best Guaranteed Issue: Mutual of Omaha.
- Best for Cigar Smokers: Mass Mutual.
- Best for Marijuana Smokers: Prudential.