Term Life insurance Smoker vs non-Smoker

You must have heard that smoking is injurious to health, but apart from affecting health, do you know that it can also hit your pocked hard when it comes to purchasing term insurance. In Insurance, one of the biggest myths is that smokers cannot avail themselves of the term insurance benefits. But this is not true. Smokers are also eligible for term insurance policies but their terms and conditions are quite different from non-smokers.

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Let’s understand the term insurance policies for smokers and non-smokers: 

Term Insurance Plans For Smokers 

Term Insurance is a basic protection plan which provides risk coverage on the life of the policyholder at a certain premium amount for a limited time. Low life penetration and the younger generations of India have pushed insurers to offer different online term insurance plans which are designed specifically for customer protection. Term insurance plans depend majorly on the rate of mortality and life expectancy. There are some term insurance plans available in the market that requires no medical examination or the premiums are also adjusted in a way that smokers and non-smokers are required to pay the same amount. But it depends entirely on your choice, what plan suits your requirements. 

How Insurers Define Smokers? 

An individual who consumes Nicotine or tobacco is a smoker according to the Insurance Companies. The individual who can consume smoke or smokeless tobacco or nicotine such as gutka, bidi, cigarette, pan masala, etc is considered a smoker. It is always advisable to inform the respective insurer about your smoking habits. While filling the form, insurers ask a question in different ways to determine when an individual smoke or not. Some of the common questions asked by the insurer are: 

  • Do you smoke? 
  • Have you consumed nicotine/tobacco products? 
  • What was the last time you smoked? 
  • How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day? 
  • How often do you smoke? 

Insurance companies can also ask you about your past medical records. The smoking habits of all the insurers are not the same and which is why some insurance providers have categorized smokers into different types: 

  • Preferred Smoker - Someone who smokes but is medically fit and active is called a Preferred type of Smoker. The premium of these types of smokers is also less.  
  • Typical Smoker - An individual who smokes and experiences minor health issues is a typical type of smoker. The premium prices for typical smokers are higher as compared to the preferred smoker. 
  • Table-rate Smoker A person who has severe health issues because of his smoking habits is called a table-rated smoker. Premium prices of these types of smokers are generally the highest because this individual has already health-related illnesses and the insurer looks to lessen their risks.

As we have discussed above, both smokers and non-smokers are eligible for availing of term insurance policies. However, the classification of smokers into different categories helps insurers to decide the premium price for various individuals based on their smoking habits. 

Why Smokers Pay Higher Premium Prices for Term Insurance Than Non-Smokers? 

As you all know, smoking is not good for health and it leads to chronic and severe illnesses such as heart diseases, lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and bronchitis. Thus, the risk of being infected by such diseases is higher in smokers than non-smokers. Smokers also have a lower life expectancy ratio. While calculating the premiums for term insurance, life risk is one important consideration. Smokers are required to pay higher premiums as compared to non-smokers because of their low life expectancy. This additional cost also depends on your age, your health status, and the coverage amount you chose in term insurance. 

What If I lied to an Insurer about my Smoking? 

A lot of smokers, often lie about their smoking habits to the insurance company to avoid paying higher term insurance premium rates. But this is quite risky and unproductive. You can hide your details while filling the proposal form of term insurance, but it is very difficult to avoid the nicotine traces in the urine sample that is taken during medical check-up or examinations. However, hiding details from the insurer might create a problem at the time of claim. In such cases, insurers have the power to terminate the policy and charge a fraud case against the policyholder. 

Let’s understand this with the help of an example: 

Imagine, if somehow you have been registered as a non-smoker in the insurance company and if you die one day because of your smoking habit. At that time insurance company will get to know that you were a smoker at the time you purchased the policy. Then, that is a case of material representation and in such situations, they can deny the claim request immediately. 

Term Life Insurance Smoker vs Non-smoker



The term insurance premium prices are higher as compared to non-smoker because they are more prone to infections and illnesses. 

The premium charges for non-smokers are lower. 

Always inform the insurers about your smoking habits to avoid future problems 

Fill in all the correct details and inform the insurers about illnesses (if any)

Choose large sum assured at nominal premium charges

Protect your family by availing term insurance plan that suits your requirements. 

Smokers have a low life expectancy. 

Non-Smokers have a high life expectancy as compared to smokers. 

They are more easily infected with illnesses and their death risk is more. 

They are mostly fit and active and their risk of death is lower as compared to smokers. 

Hiding information about your smoking might be a problem during the claim process

Inform the insurer in case of any illnesses.

For example, a term insurance plan charges Rs.1468/month for 30 years males who smoke tobacco at Sum assured 50 lakhs.

For example, the same term insurance plan charges Rs.1004/month for 30 years non-smoker males who smoke tobacco at Sum assured 50 lakhs.

Which term Insurance Plan to Choose: Smokers vs Non-Smokers? 

A chain smoker with a heavy smoking habit is always advised to choose a term insurance plan which offers a large amount of sum assured at a minimal premium charge. These types of plans would be more pocket-friendly for you and will provide financial protection to your family in case of any unfortunate incidents. 

And if you don’t smoke, it is always a good idea to keep you and your family secure for tomorrow with a term insurance plan. 

Best term Insurance Plans in India Best term Insurance Plans in India

At A Closing!

Whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker, always inform the insurer. Do not hide any information as it will create problems in the future for you and your family. The premium prices are higher for the smoker as compared to non-smokers and their terms and conditions also vary based on their illnesses. Choose the right term plan wisely that provides you a better tomorrow.

Written By: PolicyBazaar

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