When insurance brokers look out into the world they see two types of prospective customers. Every individual person fits into one of the two categories. They are either smokers or non-smokers.
Someone who occasionally smokes socially and someone who smokes everyday can end up in the same insurance category. He will pay even more if he smokes more than 20 cigarettes a day. Often premium rates for smokers can be up to three times the rate non-smokers pay. This is because insurance companies believe that smoking amplifies the risk of untimely death.
The financial penalties of smoking extend far past the price of a pack of cigarettes. In addition to the nickel-and-dime of a pack of smokes every time he runs out, the smoker endures costly consequences to lighting up.
Homes and vehicles that retain the stench of cigarette smoke lose resale value. Smokers can also be penalized when shopping for a new home because insurance companies believe smokers are more likely to burn down the house.
Smokers will also pay more for health insurance, dry cleaning and yearly teeth cleaning appointments. All of these costs add up quickly to put a hefty dent in a smoker’s wallet.
It isn’t simply what a smoker pays in extra an expense that reduces funds, but being paid less in the first place can cause his bank account to suffer as well. Studies have shown that smokers earn up to 11 percent less than non-smokers. These figures not only take into account time wasted on smoke breaks, but first impressions as well. Smokers may be perceived as less attractive and therefore passed by for jobs.
Insurance costs aren’t the only money matters smoker’s have to worry about; however, it is a huge issue. A smoker literally burns his money away. That nicotine rush can cost thousands of dollars a year more in insurance premiums.
While saving money on insurance premiums may not persuade him to quit smoking, a smoker may not be conscious of how much the habit is actually costing him. He may even lose his job. There have been several companies in the news recently who have fired employees who smoke simply because they pay more insurance on smokers than non-smokers.
It begs the question, is it worth the cost?
But, the high cost of smoking doesn’t necessarily only affect the smoker himself. Documented studies have shown that Americans spend over 60 billion dollars a year treating smoking related illnesses. Women who choose to smoke during pregnancy cost the country another 3 billion dollars a year. It also causes the deaths of 2,500 unborn babies a year and results in low birth weight and life-long complications in countless others.
Fires set by smokers who fall asleep or are otherwise careless with their habit, cost the government 500 million dollars a year. The human cost is great, as fires started by cigarettes take the lives of more than 2,000 people a year.
Smokers with group life insurance push up premiums for smokers in the same pool by 4 billion dollars a year.
Smoking is by far the most prevalent cause of untimely death in the United States today. More than 400,000 people a year pay with their money and their lives to light up a cigarette.
That quick fix can not only be deadly, but greatly reduce quality of life as well. Be it human life, depreciation of property, health factors or jacked-up life insurance premiums, the decision to smoke cigarettes is costly.