There are several requirements you must meet when obtaining any kind of insurance. Taking out term life insurance is no exception. For the most part, insurance companies want to make sure you start out healthy before issuing you a policy. Premiums are based on your lifestyle and what your medical history is like. The cost of your premium is based on your age, gender and even occupation. Tobacco use has always been of concern when you are applying for term life insurance.
Tobacco use in any form already sets you apart from non-users. Some insurance companies do not distinguish between the form and frequency of your tobacco use. If you are a person who smokes an occasional cigar you are treated the same as a person who smokes two or three packs of cigarettes per day. Despite this unfair categorization, there are some companies that do make the distinction. The key is to find these select insurance companies that individualize their rates. These select companies base their premiums upon the type of tobacco and frequency of usage. They make a clear distinction between the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipes, smokeless tobacco, nicotine gum, marijuana or a nicotine patch to quit your smoking habit. If you smoke marijuana, you must also disclose that you use drugs on your application form.
While automatic higher premiums set for smokers are seemingly unfair and may even be viewed as lifestyle discrimination, it is also important to understand the perspective of insurance companies. Generally, smokers miss work more often than non-smokers due to respiratory problems. It is believed, although not clinically proven, that smoking lowers the immune system defenses, therefore causing smokers to be more susceptible to certain smoke related illnesses than non-smokers. Smoking has also always been believed to cause premature death. Ailments such as lung cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks, emphysema, severe asthma, stroke, and other forms of cancer are all associated to nicotine use. Current studies have also found a connection between heavy tobacco use and Alzheimer’s disease. Certainly one can compare the consistent use of a known carcinogen to someone who is employed at a job considered to be “hazardous duty.” Both are subject to higher premiums due to higher risk for insurance companies to carry you.
Tobacco Use and Low Cost Term Life Insurance
If you are smoker who has tried to obtain term life insurance in the past, you have probably been disappointed by the high premiums quoted to you. In recent years some insurance companies have opted to offer low cost term life insurance for tobacco users. Smokers or nicotine users are now eligible for 10, 15, 20 or 30 year term periods at low rates. For example, as long as a smoker is in otherwise excellent health and is at a reasonable weight, he or she may obtain $250,000.00 worth of coverage for about $40 per month over a 10 year period.
The best thing to do would be to research out companies and their policies for tobacco users. By shopping out the different insurance companies, you are sure to find one that does not penalize you excessively for tobacco use. Doing an internet search is the fastest way to obtain a quote online as many companies are now doing “Insta-quotes” that only take minutes. Tobacco users can now afford to protect their families at much more affordable rates and doing due diligence in shopping out your quotes will save you money in the long run.