Life Insurance - Smoking and Tobacco

Life insurance and smoking are like oil and water when it comes to insurance rates. Insurance companies view smoking and tobacco use as a risky proposition. Even though companies will issue a policy, smokers can expect to pay higher rates, sometimes double, triple or more than a non-smoker.

Smoking History

Past smokers can still expect to pay higher rates, but it all depends on when the applicant quit. A typical life insurance application will inquire as to when the applicant last smoked and how long they smoked. The longer it's been since you stopped smoking, in relation to the date on your application, the better your insurance rates will be. For example, a smoker who stopped smoking five years ago will get a much better rate than a smoker who stopped six months ago.

Medical Exams

Honesty is key when applying for life insurance. Smoking tobacco is not something that can be hidden in a medical history or in urine samples, both of which are often required by life insurance companies. Some companies will send a medical clerk to your home to collect blood or urine samples to test for tobacco use.

It's important for smokers who quit smoking to update their life insurance. Smoking may have resulted in a higher rate, but a lower rate may apply later because of the time lapse.

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