I Smoke, Can I Get Life Insurance?
There are many smokers in the world today and many of them do not have life insurance. They don't have it because they don't believe that they can get it. They believe that because smoking is a lifestyle risk that an insurance company won't take a chance on them.
The good news is that insurance companies do take the risk, but they do have certain rules that they follow to offset that risk. They have to make sure they don't bankrupt themselves when they take risks on their customers. At the same time, everyone deserves to make sure their families are financially protected in the case of their untimely death. Quitting smoking and applying for insurance is a good way to improve you odds at getting insurance.
Smoking is a lifestyle choice and one that can cause a variety of health problems. Because of this, an individual is placed within a higher risk category. This risk category is what determines the premium that is paid by the customer.
When the health examination is done, if one is done, one of the questions is whether or not you smoke. Just because you answer yes doesn't mean that the insurance company is going to say, "Uh oh, better watch out for this one." No, they are not going to do that. What they are going to do is take a number of factors into consideration. They are going to look at your age, your overall health, and then factor in the fact that you smoke. All of these items together will place you in the appropriate risk category.
You could more or less say that smoking aggravates the risk. It can be the difference between a higher risk category and a lower one that would yield a lower premium. In other words, you're going to have a little bit of an additional cost that goes beyond the tax increases on cigarettes, making the habit cost a little more than it already does. You do, however, need to be insured.
As for the premium itself, it is going to vary based upon how much coverage you want, the type of insurance you are getting to obtain that coverage, and your risk. For instance, you may want a term life insurance policy for a term of 20 years in the amount of $350,000 in coverage. This may cost you less than a $100,000 whole life insurance policy. The reason is because you are operating on a term rather than a permanent level.
The insurance company is banking on the fact that in 20 years you'll still be here. When you smoke, there is always the possibility of heart disease, lung cancer, circulatory issues, stroke, emphysema, and a variety of other issues that could cause your untimely death. They raise your premium to offset that risk.
With a whole life insurance policy, they still raise your premium based on your lifestyle choice. However, the risk is not as high as it would be if they were paying out $350,000 on your life. This is permanent coverage that even gains cash value throughout the life of the policy, so that is a consideration you may want to take.
So can smokers get insurance? All-in-all, just because you smoke doesn't mean you can't get life insurance. It is encouraged that individuals get life insurance so that their families are protected in the event of their deaths. It doesn't matter if a person is a smoker or a drinker because coverage is important. But if you ever do decide to change your lifestyle, you will want to inform the insurance company because this could mean positive changes for your policy.