Believe it or not, most people can get some form of life insurance. It isn’t quite as easy as getting health insurance these days, but then again, it isn’t mandatory. Still, you shouldn’t assume that life insurance is unavailable to you just because you have a preexisting condition or you’ve made unhealthy lifestyle choices. Certainly, these factors will make it more difficult to secure a life insurance policy. And you will have to resign yourself to paying much higher premiums than other policy holders because of your medical history. But there are options available. You just have to decide whether or not a life insurance policy is worth the additional price you’ll have to pay when you smoke or use other tobacco products.
The inescapable truth of being a smoker is that the habit harms you in a variety of ways. The main concern for life insurance providers is your health, or more specifically, the many potential medical problems you may suffer from as a smoker. Serious and sometimes fatal ailments like emphysema, COPD, heart disease, stroke, and a variety of cancers have all been linked to smoking. And even if you never develop any of these conditions, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with far more respiratory issues than the average adult, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, and so on. Along with all the health problems associated with smoking, there’s also a very good chance of a shortened life span. This makes you a bigger risk for life insurance companies. Not only will they likely end up paying out on your policy sooner than they might have with a non-smoker, but they’ll also lose the money they would have continued to receive in premiums had you lived longer.
So as you might expect, it all comes down to money. Insurers must weigh the risks against the rewards when deciding on your premium. And because the risk of health concerns and shortened life span increases when you smoke, so too do your premiums. It may sound discriminatory, but the truth is that smoking is a lifestyle choice. And it will cost you in more ways than the price you pay for a pack. So while it is possible to get life insurance as a smoker, you should be prepared to pay more for the privilege.
The good news is that you have the opportunity to lower your life insurance expenses. Whereas people with preexisting medical conditions cannot reverse time and undo their health issues, smokers have a choice. If you are able to quit smoking, you can reduce your life insurance premiums by a significant margin. As soon as you go one year without using tobacco products, you could be paying the same rate as other adults your age, all things being equal. Of course, you’ll also improve your health and your life expectancy in the process.
Quitting smoking is no easy feat, as you may already know. Plenty of smokers have tried and failed to quit (most more than once). But if you’re looking to make life insurance more affordable and easier to obtain, nipping your tobacco addiction in the bud is the best option. It’s not that you can’t get life insurance as a smoker, but you’ll have to do a lot more work to find a suitable policy and you’re going to pay a lot more for it when you do. If you can quit for good, you’ll see both medical and financial benefits as a result.