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What If I Start Smoking After Taking Term Insurance In India?

Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits a human can indulge himself/herself into. It not only puts his/her health into risk, but also paves way for an unfit future, both physically and financially. With various lung and various other diseases, it further leads to untimely death. Therefore, it is always a good time to get rid of such hazardous habits and save the money for better life decisions, such as buying term insurance. In this article, we will understand the impact of smoking on term insurance plans and what happens if the policyholder starts smoking after he has already purchased the term insurance. 

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Who Is Called A Smoker According To Term Insurance?

Any person who consumes tobacco or nicotine products, like cigarettes, beedi, gutka, cigars, flavoured paan masala, khaini, nicotine patch/chewing gum, vapes, etc. Insurance companies ask tobacco related questions to the person willing to buy term plan in different ways followed by observing the medical test results that prove if a man has been consuming nicotine/tobacco in the recent past or not. Below mentioned are some of the common questions that are asked to an interested person:

  • Do you take/consume nicotine or tobacco products?

  • Have you consumed any tobacco products in the past 4 years?

  • Did you ever consume tobacco products in your life?

Your answer to these questions will determine whether or not you are a smoker. If the answers are positive, you will be declared as a smoker, and vice versa. Below mentioned are the categorizations that classify a smoker or non-smoker:

  • Non-smoker: Someone who does not smoke

  • Preferred smoker: Someone who smokes and is healthy and fit

  • Typical smoker: Someone who smokes and only has minor health problems

  • Table-rate smoker: Someone who smokes and has visible health issues

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What Affect Does Smoking Have On Term Insurance?

Smokers usually are considered to have a low expectancy ratio which categorizes them as people who are more prone to catching chronic ailments, like lung cancer, heart problems, bronchitis, etc. Since their life span is shorter than most healthy, non-smoking people, insurance companies charge them an increased premium rate, as they are a visible risk to the company. 

For example, Mr. Kishore, a 52 year old non-smoking male, will pay Rs. 3,847 premium per month for 1 Crore term insurance until the age of 65, in comparison to Mr. Anmol, a 52 year old smoking man, who will pay Rs. 4,731 premium per month for the same life cover and policy term.

*You can use a term insurance calculator, to check the impact of smoking on premium rates for your profile

What Happens If You Start Smoking After Taking Term Insurance?

Below mentioned are a few possible occurrences if you start smoking after you buy the best term insurance policy in India:

  1. Putting family at risk

    You purchase a term plan keeping in mind that your family/dependents are secured once you are not alive. Therefore, if you start smoking, you are putting your own life at risk as there is a high chance that you will catch chronic disease and be more vulnerable to declining health, which will ultimately result in your untimely death.

  2. Insurer increasing your premium

    Since you are now more prone to health diseases, after you began smoking, the insurance company could re-evaluate your life insurance plan and charge you an increased premium rate. However, if there is a change in your smoking habits, you must always inform your insurer.

  3. Delay in payout 

    If the insurer comes to know that you had been hiding your smoking habits and were dishonest all throughout the policy term, they might delay your payout/claim settlement during the verification process. Therefore, it is best to not hide the changing smoking habits from your insurer to ensure your family doesn’t suffer in the long run.

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What Happens If You Quit Smoking After Taking Term Insurance?

While there are various benefits of term insurance, smokers are usually charged a higher premium due to their decreased life expectancy. In case you have quit smoking or consuming tobacco products after buying term insurance, then you can request your insurance company to recalculate your premium rate at the time of policy renewal. By doing so, the insurer will ask for medical test reports to be confirmed of your changed smoking habits and consider altering your premium rates. Although some insurers do not allow change of plan during mid-term, some insurers consider the non-smoking status of a policyholder if he/she has not smoked for atleast 2 years. 

However, you must not lie about your smoking habits to the insurer, or else there is a high possibility that the insurance company will cancel/reject your policy completely and you will be charged with fraud. Moreover, by lying about your smoking habits, you are also putting your loved ones’ financial protection at risk. Therefore, it is important that you take serious action against your smoking habits and never hide the truth from your insurer while buying term insurance for smokers.

Wrapping It Up!

Smoking is a habit best avoided. It pollutes your body, the environment and your financial situation. Moreover, it makes you vulnerable to a lot of health issues that attack prematurely. If you are considering buying term insurance for your loved ones, then now is the best time to quit your smoking habits.


  • Can I still purchase life insurance if I smoke?

    Ans: As a smoker, tobacco chewer, or vaper, you might be able to get life insurance, but you could have to pay a higher premium. Smoking elevates the risk that your insurance company assumes by offering you coverage since smoking is recognised in the life insurance business as a health risk.
  • What will happen if I lie on my life insurance application about smoking?

    Ans: People who understand what is term insurance, know that if you lie on your application about smoking, the policy might get rejected. Your insurance provider may reject/cancel your coverage entirely if they discover that you misrepresented your smoking habits on the application.
  • Should I admit to smoking when I apply for insurance?

    Ans: Yes, you must inform your insurance provider of your smoking habits when acquiring a coverage, even if you just smoke sometimes.
  • How do term insurance companies assess if you smoke?

    Ans: Insurance firms utilise medical testing to identify heavy smokers and calculate the cost of coverage. It is simple to identify nicotine in the hair, blood, saliva, and urine.

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