It should come as no surprise that cigarette users pay higher prices for life insurance policies.
According to a College of Waterloo study, 15.1% or 4.6 million Canadian adults smoke. Health and wellness hazards associated with smoking. Diseases associated with smoking range from lung, throat, and bladder cancer cells to persistent respiratory disease and emphysema. In addition, cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
As far as smokers go, insurance providers protect themselves from the position of smokers at greater risk by increasing prices for cigarette users.
Life insurance coverage gives your beneficiary an amount that is explained by the plan if you die. Failing to disclose your smoking practice to your insurance provider when you use it for life insurance coverage is fraud. That could result in your plan being terminated or an insurance claim denied. But what happens if you start smoking after you get a plan?
What Makes Smokers Cigarettes for Insurance Purposes?
There are many levels of cigarette use, from regular smokers to everyday smokers. Insurance providers do not differentiate between casual and regular pure nicotine users. Insurance providers may categorize you as a smoker if you use any type of pure nicotine product consisting of cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and chewing cigarettes and smoking cessation items.
When filling out a life insurance policy application, you will be asked about smoking cigarettes for a certain period of time, which is generally 6 to years. Any level of pure nicotine use during that time will categorize you as a permanent cigarette user for insurance purposes.
Cigarette packages are issued at a higher premium than non-smoking packages, regardless of how good your health and fitness is. If you are a non-smoker at the time of your application, you will definitely be provided with a regular non-tobacco user plan.
What Happens If You Quit Smoking After Getting Life Insurance?
If you start smoking after your life insurance coverage is approved and issued, it is difficult for your insurance company to know. There are circumstances, however, where you will find yourself facing some problems as a result.
Most insurance providers have something called a contest duration, in which the benefits of your life insurance policy can be questioned. If you die during that time, there will be a direct examination into the circumstances. Suppose an insurance company discovers that you misinterpreted something on your application such as cigarette use. Due to the situation, they may deny the claim or convert it to a permit for the fees you would otherwise have to pay as a smoker.
If you start smoking after actually being approved for the non-smoker program, you’re practically not committing fraud, because you weren’t actually a smoker when you ratified the paperwork. But suppose your death occurred due to a smoking-related disease? Due to the situation, it can be difficult for insurance companies to pinpoint when you started smoking, and there may be suspicions of fraud. If there are indications that you smoke for an extended period of time, your recipient may lose the total benefit of the package.
How Does Vaping Affect Life Insurance?
Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, can also affect life insurance policy premiums. Claimed to be an alternative to traditional cigarettes, vaping involves the consumption of aerosols often combined with pure nicotine through a digital device that mimics a cigarette.
Health and wellness Canada warns vaping with pure nicotine can lead to pure nicotine dependence. Plus, there may be long-term repercussions for your health and wellness from inhaling compounds in vaping products that are not identified and are being evaluated. As for the circumstances, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Structure warns vaping is linked to breathing problems and an increase in high blood pressure.
However there may be variability across life insurance providers about whether vaping is treated the same as individuals who smoke or marijuana, but if you do vape, you are more likely to be considered a smoker and will face higher life insurance policy costs.
How Cigarette Smoking Affects Call Life Insurance Plans
If you do get full or global life insurance coverage, smoking won’t affect your costs, because it’s guaranteed forever. Changes in your health and fitness condition may not affect your price.
Call packages, on the other hand, expire or recover, and new clinical exams are often required to continue or get more coverage. The clinical examination and questionnaire are designed to find out any changes in your health and fitness since you first got the plan, which consisted of smoking. A urine test can show evidence of pure nicotine use.
We did a quick contrast of the cost of life insurance policies in August 2020 with $250,000 on call life insurance coverage for 10 years providing separate coverage for smokers and non-smokers. Our imaginary customers are 30 year old men and women living in Toronto. The cost difference is stark. Here are the most affordable prices we found:
Sex Smoker Annual Premium Non-Smoker Annual Premium Men $288 $160 Women $192 $125
If you have started smoking since you got your initial calling plan, you will no longer be approved for the non-smoker rate and must pay the cigarette use price on each revival or new plan. Since you will be older than when you first got your life insurance policy, this can mean a sizeable increase in your premiums. If you recover your life insurance coverage and cannot disclose during a medical examination that you have started smoking, it is considered fraud.
If you terminate life insurance coverage that covers a whole life, or gap, you may be asked to reapply and disclose any changes, including smoking, during that time. It is always best to maintain applicable life insurance coverage to avoid rate increases.
Quitting Smoking Smoking or Vaping Can Save Money (and Your Health and Well-being)
Whether you smoke or vape, have returned to smoking after quitting, or have just started, quitting can save your life and a lot of money. For example, if you normally smoke 10 cigarettes a day, and the cost of a cigarette is $19, you can save up to $3,467.50 per year by quitting.
The Canadian Cancer Cell Society Helpline website provides resources and support for individuals wishing to quit.
Here’s good information: if you quit and stay smoke-free for a year, the life insurance policy company will assume you’re a non-smoker. You’ll most likely have to sign an acknowledgment form stating that you’ve been smoke-free for a year, and you may need to have a urine test to verify this. You can then use it for a lower premium non-smoker plan.