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A Short Guide To Life Insurance For Smokers

Cigarette smoking is not only hazardous to health but also affects your pocket when it comes to buying life insurance. Since smoking results into poor quality of life and untimely death, life insurers are cautious before issuing policy to a smoker.

 To help you find the right life insurance policy, the below guide has answers of all questions that a smoker might have. 

1. How do life insurers define smokers?

A smoker is a person who uses tobacco/ nicotine in any form, be it cigarettes, cigars, gutka, beedi, khaini, flavored pan masala, nicotine patch or chewing gum. Life insurers have different ways in which they ask questions to check the smoking habit of a person. Some of the common questions posed by insurers are:-

  • Do you consume tobacco/nicotine products?
  • Have you used a tobacco product in past four years?
  • Have you ever consumed tobacco product?

If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, you will be classified as a smoker. Also, insurance companies do not differentiate between an occasional smoker and a frequent smoker. Insurers only quote low premium to those who have stayed off from cigarettes and nicotine products completely. Even if you smoke occasionally, you will fall into the smoker category.

2. Why do insurers charge high premium from smokers than non-smokers?

Smokers have low expectancy ratio as they are more susceptible to chronic ailments such as lung cancer, bronchitis and heart problems. They may have a shorter life span than non-smokers, making them risky for an insurance company.

3. How much extra premium is charged from a smoker?

The extra premium to be paid varies from one insurer to another. Besides smoking habits, the insurer also considers various factors during the computation of premium such as age and health. Check the following table to know the difference between premium of a smoker and non-smoker.

Name of the Insurer Plan Name Annual Premium (in Rs.)
    Smoker Non-Smoker
Aegon Life Insurance iTerm plan 7,403 5,229
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Smart Protect Goal Term Plan 6,217 4,459
Birla Sun Life Insurance Life Shield Plan 10,490 7,393
Canara HSBC Life Insurance iSelect+ Term Plan 8,195 5,188
Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance Zindagi+ Term plan 7,211 5,035
Exide Life Insurance Smart Term Comprehensive Plan 10,074 8,125
Future Generali Life Insurance Flexi Online Term Plan 7,964 5,259
HDFC Life Insurance 3D Plus Life Option 12, 102 6,817
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance iProtect Smart 12,129 6,832
India First Life Insurance e-Term Plan  7,434 4,248
Kotak Life Insurance e-Term Plan 8,260 5,546
Max Life Insurance Online Term Plan Plus 7,965 5,664
PNB Metlife Life Insurance Mera Term Plan 8,319 6,254
Reliance Life Insurance Digi Term Plan 8,856 5,970
SBI Life Insurance e-Shield Term Plan 14,403 8,527
TATA AIA Life Insurance Maha Raksha Supreme Term Plan 9,912 7,670
See More Plans
Disclaimer : *Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

*Above calculation is done for a 30-year old man who is staying in Delhi and looking for Rs 50 lakh sum assured coverage.

4. What happens if you hide smoking habits?

Lying at the time of filing policy application is equal to fraud and will lead to the following implications:-

  • Individual can be charged with fraud
  • Insurer can consider the policy null and void  

Remember, term insurance ensures that your loved ones stay financially secured in the event of your death. Lying to the insurance company puts your family’s security at risk. The customer needs to be honest about their smoking habits because life insurers take smoking as a serious condition and are extremely tough if they later find any false declaration.

5. What if you quit smoking after buying term insurance?

If the policyholder quit smoking, they can request the insurer to recalculate premium of the insurance policy at the time of policy renewal. The insurer may cut the premium rates depending upon the amount of time elapsed since the policyholder last smoked. While every insurer has its own rules for someone who quit smoking, usually an insured should stay away from nicotine for at least two years before they would be called non-smoker.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 05 June 2020
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