Life insurance for people who quit smoking
How long do I have to quit smoking to get better life insurance rates?
In general, life insurance companies consider you as a current smoker if you are currently smoking or quit smoking within the last 12 months.
You will be considered a non-smoker, once you have not used nicotine products for 12 months or more.
So if you are considering quitting before applying for life insurance, unfortunately, you’ll have to quit for at least 12 months if you want to lock in better rates.
While many insurance companies classify you as a non-smoker (non-tobacco) after 12 months of quitting, that doesn’t mean you get the best rates just yet.
In fact, some companies won’t give you regular non-smoking rates until 5 years after you quit. On the other hand, companies like Sagicor offer non-smoking rates after only 2 years.
Can I adjust my life insurance rate once I quit smoking?
Yes! You won’t be penalized forever if you get life insurance as a smoker. If you quit smoking for 12 months, you can either apply for a new policy, or you can contact your insurance provider and ask them for a more affordable rate.
You could then take a medical exam or a blood, saliva, or urine test to confirm your new status. It’s possible that the insurance company would re-evaluate your situation and lower your premium payments.
For example: Say you are planning to quit smoking, or recently quit. If you apply for life insurance now, yes, you’ll be considered a smoker, and you will pay more. But once you quit the habit and are nicotine-free for a year, you’ll be able to drastically reduce your rate.
What if I quit smoking, but I am using nicotine patches or gum?
If you are currently using a nicotine patch or if you are chewing nicotine gum, it’s fairly obvious that you are trying to kick a habit. That may seem like a point in your favor as far as determining whether you’re considered a tobacco user, but it’s actually likely to work against you as far as the insurance company is concerned.
The patches and gums still deliver nicotine to the body, just like cigarettes and other tobacco products do. So, regardless of how it’s getting into your system, the nicotine can increase your risk for developing heart disease, which is something that doesn’t go over well with insurance providers.
It is likely that you will be considered a current smoker, even if you haven’t smoked for a month and are using nicotine gum or patches instead.