No matter your lifestyle habits, a term insurance plan is always important for keeping your family safe from tomorrow’s uncertainties. And a term insurance plan is all the more necessary for those with smoking habits. Even if you are an occasional smoker, do consider getting a suitable life insurance policy; after all, any amount of smoke is enough to cause damage to your lungs.
For smokers, term plans differ from term plans for regular policyholders, naturally, given the greater health risk to a smoker’s life. So, before you understand how you can go about getting a term insurance plan, here is what you should know.
Why Must Smokers Have Term Insurance?
Generally, a term insurance policy is important for everyone, irrespective of whether they smoke or not. Smokers may be more susceptible to heart and lung diseases, but it does not mean non-smoking individuals are completely immune to such health conditions. However, if you compare two healthy persons with the same lifestyle habits – with one as a smoker and the other as a non-smoker – there are some definite indicators that differentiate between the two.
Hence, those with smoking habits should certainly plan to buy a term insurance policy with adequate coverage for their dependents/family members. It is also equally important that they purchase the term plan as early as possible since, with every passing year, health risks to a smoker’s life are likely to increase.
One can also add health riders# to their term plan for smokers if they need additional life insurance coverage. Hence, in case of a medical emergency or the policyholder's untimely demise, their family will be able to cover the cost of the treatment and maintain their lifestyle without disturbing their emergency funds or life-long savings.
Types of Smokers Under Life Insurance
It does not matter whether it is one cigarette a day or a few; the damage to a smoker’s lungs and health can often be irreversible. However, since life insurance guidelines are quite meticulous, it is important for life insurance providers to differentiate between varying smoking patterns of their policyholders so that everyone can pay a fair premium amount depending on their smoking habits and the corresponding risk to their lives. Thus, these are three categories of smokers under life insurance:
- Preferred Smoker:
Preferred smokers have very sparse smoking habits, such as once in a couple of months or on occasion. Despite their smoking habits, such policyholders do not suffer from any related health conditions and are quite fit as any non-smoking individual. Therefore, while their policy premiums may be slightly more than a non-smoking individual’s premium, it is the lesser in the smoker’s term insurance premium category.
- Typical Smoker:
A typical smoker has more severe smoking habits as compared to a preferred smoker, as a result of which they may have minor health issues arising from their smoking habits. Though it is advisable that such policyholders get medical help to gradually reduce or quit smoking, most life insurance companies will not deny them the benefit of a life cover. However, given the risk to their health, the premiums on their term policy will be slightly more.
- Table-rated Smoker:
Table-rated smokers are regular or heavy smokers who suffer from obvious health issues due to their smoking habits. Again, a life insurance company will not deny term insurance coverage to such policyholders; however, the premiums charged for this category of smokers will be more. While table-rated smokers wanting to quit may not be able to reduce their premiums, they can improve their health and lead a more comfortable life.
What to Remember While Buying Term Plans for Smokers?
When seeking out term insurance plans for smokers, it is important to understand how the term plan will work for your family. With the help of the following pointers, you should be able to choose a suitable term plan:
- Premium rates:
When comparing policies, check the difference in the premium rates so that you can opt for a reasonable premium amount.
- Rider# Options:
The fine print in your term insurance plan can help you understand how your term plan can protect your family. In case you want to add health riders# to your term plan, be sure to check for a waiting period for any pre-existing health condition or whether you should opt for another rider# instead. Since premiums for smokers are already more expensive, consider the riders# carefully.
- Maximum Coverage:
The maximum limit for term insurance coverage may be subject to the life insurance company’s underwriting guidelines. However, when choosing coverage, consider your family’s needs and any possible emergencies. Suppose your unfortunate demise is preceded by an illness; the sum assured should be able to cover the treatment as well as your family’s future.
There is no doubt that no good can come from one’s smoking habits; however, this should not come in the way of securing your family’s financial future. Very often, occasional smokers choose to first give up smoking entirely before buying a term plan. Therefore, whether you buy your term plan early or late in life can play an important role in your premium amount. And if you have very little to no smoking habits at all, you can always take steps to improve your health and get term insurance for a reasonable premium.