Life insurance can be a complicated subject, however in today’s world it has become a necessity if someone wants the peace of mind that his or her family will be taken care of financially even in the event of an untimely death. It only becomes more complicated for smokers, whom already face discrimination every day from increasingly strict smoking bans from both the Government and most businesses.
As a result, life insurance companies charge higher rates for people who smoke. It varies from company to company, but generally using any tobacco product within the last twelve months qualifies an individual as a smoker for insurance purposes. Sometimes this can include up to the last two or three years, and generally will include cigarette, pipe, or cigar smoking as well as the use of smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, snuff, e-cigarettes, or even smoking cessation products like nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges. Even non-tobacco products like marijuana and herbal cigarettes are enough to be branded a smoker. Many insurance companies require meeting with an insurance agent and sometimes even a full physical from a doctor, so simply lying on an insurance application is not an option.
Life insurance works like any other type of insurance, such as automotive or home insurance, where a premium is paid to a company by many people, and the company provides money to cover the object which is insured, in this case a human life. The insurance companies would lose money if they had to pay money back to every insured person, so life insurance companies increase the premium rate for those who are more likely to die within the coverage period. People who smoke provide a greater risk for the insurance provider, as smoking can lead to health issues such as emphysema, vascular disease, osteoporosis, and several types of cancer. Life insurance for smokers is risky for any insurer, so the increased rates are necessary to offset the increased number of payouts.
There are many options for a smoker shopping for life insurance. The cheapest but most difficult method is to quit smoking for the period of time necessary to no longer be considered a smoker; this is dangerous as it leaves one without insurance. One option is simply purchasing a less expensive life insurance policy, such as Term Life Insurance Illinois, will allow a smoker to have the benefits of life insurance without the cost of some of the more expensive policies.
Term life insurance policies differ from other life insurance policies in that they insure a life for a specific term, such as ten or twenty years, as opposed to life insurance policies which provide coverage for an entire lifetime, but with a lifetime’s worth of insurance payments. A Term Life Insurance policy could be useful for a smoker who intends to quit eventually, as he or she could pay for a cheaper short-term policy for coverage for the years necessary to quit smoking and no longer be considered a smoker, then purchase a longer-term policy several years down the road at non-smoker prices.