Smokers’ Habits Raise Their Life Insurance Rates

If you’re a smoker, your California life insurance policy will be different.

When you apply for a life insurance policy, you will be asked a handful of questions about your medical history. A question that will most likely crop up is if you use or if you have previously used tobacco or nicotine products, along with if you have stopped and why. The answers to these questions will determine your policy and rate. If you’re looking for a reason to quit smoking, it could be the high life insurance premiums!

Testing, Testing

If you have recently quit smoking and have been free of tobacco for at least three to five years, companies will typically charge you the same rate for life insurance as a non-smoker. If you buy a higher amount of coverage, typically around $100,000 or above, the company will collect a saliva or urine sample to test for cotinine. Once nicotine is absorbed into the body, it’s converted into cotinine. If you are currently using a nicotine patch or gum recently, you will test positive which will affect your test results.

Time Matters

The mortality rate for smokers is much higher than for non-smokers, but there are ways to combat the high life insurance rates that come with that high mortality rate. For example, if you have smoked for five years but have been tobacco-free for ten, the risk is lower than if you have smoked for fifty years but have tobacco-free for five. In the latter situation, the exposure has been too great to counteract the length of time since you quit smoking. Insurance is all about risk, and smoking is proven to cause many types of cancer. As a result, recent or long-time smokers who are more likely to suffer with health issues and have a higher risk of death will pay more for coverage.

Fine Details

E-cigarettes, patches, gum, and hookah are all alternative nicotine delivery systems. Insurance companies ask about your nicotine use as all of these practices fall under the umbrella of bringing nicotine into your body. As a precaution, it is best not to skew the truth as the insurance company will find out your smoking habits.

After your life insurance policy is issued, you should be open and honest with your insurer should your plans or lifestyle change. As a smoker, it is possible to acquire a reasonable, adequately covered life insurance policy. Contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency for your insurance needs in California.

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