Smoking is a greater cause of death and disease than any other single disease. It is the probable cause of 25 diseases including cell mutations and various types of cancer. This is not just anti-smoking spiel but hard facts produced by the WHO. Smoking kills so it is little wonder that insurance companies charge smokers a higher premium.
How much more do smokers pay?
Smokers can pay three to four times more than non-smokers for insurance premiums. So if your life insurance premium is say, $1500 a year, you would have to pay $5000 to $6000 instead. These figures are based on the cold, hard fact that the mortality rate of smokers is higher than non-smokers.
As long as you ingest any tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, nicotine patch or tobacco chewing) insurance providers will consider you a smoker. It doesn’t matter if you only have an occasional stick on the weekend or if you go through a pack a day, you will still be classified as a smoker.
Insurance companies will want to know a bit more detail about your smoking habits. Be prepared for questions like: How many sticks do you smoke a day? At what age did you start smoking? The more you smoke, the higher your chances of developing a critical illness related to smoking. Insurance providers are trying to gauge your health risk exposure.
If you are trying to quit or have quit recently, be aware that you will still be regarded as a smoker. The magic number is 12 months. Only when you have not touched a cigarette for 12 months will insurance providers consider you a non-smoker.
How Can Smokers Get The Best Quote
Just because you smoke and have to pay higher premiums doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get an insurance policy. An insurance policy protects you from all kinds of future eventualities and having this kind of financial safety net is the best thing you can do to protect yourself. If you smoke, here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the policy that suits you best.
Get a reviewable policy
If you are planning to quit smoking, it’s a good idea to get a reviewable policy. That means the policy will be reviewed after a few months and you can get a lower premium rate based on your new circumstances. Just because you smoke and can’t afford the higher premiums, doesn’t mean you have to settle for a cheap plan with less than satisfactory coverage. With a reviewable plan you can still enjoy the benefits of a good plan with features such as higher coverage and shorter waiting times for claims.
Tell the truth about your smoking habits
Insurance providers will ask you: Have you used a tobacco product within the last 12 months? It may be tempting to say No but it is really in your best interest to give a full disclosure. If you declare yourself as a non-smoker, life insurance companies will still require you to undergo a medical examination to confirm your circumstances.
Should you be found to be less than honest about your habits, there will be serious repercussions. You could be slapped with hefty premiums or your policy could be cancelled on the spot.
Shop around for the best policy
There are all kinds of policies out there. And for a smoker it is important to find one that matches your needs taking into account your health risks, dependents and financial situation. You may want a policy which has higher critical illness coverage or one that is more flexible should your circumstances change, you may want to look into Trauma Insurance plans.
Once you have a better idea of what policy to go for, you may want to compare prices and features from different insurance companies. A good way to get a heads up is to ask what your friends, colleagues or people in similar situations are doing. Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to get reliable information. Of course, these days you can always go online. Check out forums or review sites which list out different insurance products along with their features, costs and benefits.
Talk to an insurance broker
At the end of the day, choosing an insurance policy can be a headache. If you are facing any problems at all, you can always engage the help of an insurance broker. They will be happy to talk you through any questions you may have, usually at no obligation to purchase. If you do decide to purchase from that agent, all the better.
A good insurance broker will have your best interest at heart and not be pushing the product that he has. Be sure to find an insurance agent with a wide portfolio so he is not pressured to offer only what will benefit him. At the end of the day an insurance policy should fit your needs now and in the future and you are more likely to find it if you have a wide range of options to choose from.
The Number One Strategy For Smokers
No matter how great the insurance policy is, the best way for smokers to save on insurance premiums is to quit smoking. Easier said than done. But if you can do it, the rewards will be tremendous not just for your health and well-being but also for your bank account.