When a person applies for life insurance coverage, one of the biggest factors in determining the price of their policy is whether or not the individual is considered to be a smoker. In fact, depending on your age at the time of application, being a smoker can more than double – or even triple – the premium rate that you pay for coverage – all other things being equal.
Oftentimes, when people realize just how much more it is to purchase life insurance as a smoker, they realize just how much smoking can truly affect their life expectancy – and because of that, they may decide to quit smoking.
Quitting smoking can be one of the most difficult challenges that an individual can face. However, the rewards can also be substantial. Certainly, there are a great many health related benefits that go along with being a non-smoker, but there are also a tremendous amount of financial rewards as well. And, one of the biggest of these is the amount of money that you can get away from smokers rates for life insurance coverage.
What Happens to Your Life Insurance Rates When You’ve Stopped Smoking?
Once a person has quit smoking, it can make a big difference in the amount that they have to pay for their life insurance coverage. However, in most cases, it will require that you have to wait a certain amount of time after you’ve stopped smoking before you can apply – or re-apply – for coverage. The time period will ultimately depend upon the particular life insurance carrier.
In terms of waiting to apply for better life insurance rates, each company has its own policy. Therefore, it will vary as to when is the best time to apply with one or another. For example, some insurers will re-rate an individual as being a non-smoker after one year, while others will make you wait for two or even three years after quitting smoking.
In addition, some insurance companies will take an individual’s word for it that they have quit smoking, while other insurers will require that the person take a blood test or provide a hair follicle in order to determine whether or not they are in fact nicotine free.
It is important to note that nicotine free here means that an individual is free of not just cigarettes, but also of cigars, pipe smoking, tobacco chew, and even pot with some insurance companies, while others will offer a person non-smoker rates if they smoke cigars and / or a pipe.
There are some life insurance companies that will allow a policy holder to begin using non-smoker rates based on the date that he or she actually quits smoking. So, in this case, if a person quit smoking six months ago, and the company requires that a person be smoke-free for one year, then the person would only need to wait six more months in order to be considered as a non-smoker.
Other insurance carriers will guarantee that they will re-rate an individual once they have met the non-smoker guidelines, regardless of his or her current health, while other insurers will require individuals to actually go back through the entire underwriting process again – even if they have been smoke free for a certain period of time.
In any case, an individual should never quit smoking just long enough to qualify for non-smoker life insurance rates only to return to smoking again. If this does occur and death occurs, if nicotine is found in the system of the deceased insured, the death benefit claim is likely to be denied and the policy’s beneficiary will not receive any money at all. This is money that survivors may have been counting on for income and / or the payoff of various debts – and it could make a substantial difference in their lives going forward. With this in mind, it only makes sense to continue on as a non-smoker.
Other Factors to Consider
When applying for coverage – or additional coverage – it is important to keep in mind that the life insurance underwriters will also be reviewing all of the other pertinent factors that go along with the acceptance or declination of a life insurance policy.
For example, your overall health, family health history, and lifestyle will also be reviewed, as well the information that you provide on the life insurance application for coverage, which will typically include details regarding your:
- Marital status
- Occupation and income
- Foreign travel frequency (if applicable)
- Whether you have other life insurance coverage in force (and if so, how much)
- Whether you participate in dangerous or risky hobbies such as rock climbing or sky diving
At the conclusion of the question and answer period, you will most likely have to undergo a quick para-med exam, in which your blood, urin and other vitals will be tested.
All of the information will then be fully reviewed by the life insurance underwriters so that they can then make a decision regarding your policy, as well as make a more accurate determination regarding an appropriate premium price for your coverage.
The Best Way to Shop for Life Insurance Coverage After You Quit Smoking
Whether you already have life insurance coverage and you’re looking to re-price, or you’re seeking a new life insurance policy, if you have recently quit smoking, the best way to go about shopping for a policy is to work with a company that has access to more than just one insurance carrier. This is because not all insurers will price their policies the same – and this is especially the case when it comes to someone who has just recently quit smoking.
Our advisors can get you a quote from most, if not all the life insurance carriers in the marketplace. The great thing about being an independent agency is that we aren’t having to hard sell for just one company.
If you should have any questions along the way regarding how to apply – or to re-apply – for life insurance coverage after you quit smoking, or about how to obtain new non-smoker life insurance premium quotes, please feel free to contact us directly. We can be reached, toll-free, by calling 888-229-7522.