Why smokers have to pay more for life insurance


In a world where the cost of living keeps increasing and the number of outbreaks due to diseases are also increasing, the need to provide good financial security for your loved ones is also paramount. Relying merely on your savings is not sufficient,especially if you are not there for your family anymore.

One way you can provide your loved ones the financial assistance they require even after you are long gone is by investing in a life insurance policy. While life insurance is affordable, you might end up paying more if you are smoker. Read on to understand why smokers pay more more for this policy.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance policy is a type of policy in which the insurer gets into an agreement with the insured. As per the agreement, the insurer agrees to compensate the dependents, i.e., the family of the policyholder. This compensation is given in the event of the policyholder’s untimely demise. Depending on the type of life insurance you purchase, the life cover could be lower or higher.

What are the risks of smoking?

India has one of the highest number of smokers in the world. There are almost 267 million smokers in India. What causes so many people to take up the habit of smoking? One of the main causes is wrong influences at any stage of life. Another cause is stress due to personal or professional life. Whatever the reason, smoking is a life-killer.

Every cigarette you smoke reduces your life expectancy a little. There are health ailments that are caused due to smoking. As smoking causes blockages in your respiratory system, the amount of air reaching your lungs also reduces, which could cause heart diseases in the future. Similarly, the chances of a stroke also increase due to lack of oxygen towards the brain. Smoking is also known to cause lung cancer and mouth cancer. However, this is not just limited to the smoker, but to those around them who inhale the smoke as well.

What is the connection between smoking and life insurance?

When you plan to purchase life insurance, one of the pre-requisites of the insurer is a medical check-up. This helps the insurer in understanding the health condition and the fitness of the potential policyholder. If during the check-up, any health problems show up that are caused due to smoking, your insurer will increase your premium. Similarly, when purchasing your policy, you will need to declare that you are a smoker. This will also lead to an increase in your premium.

Why does smoking cause an increase in the premium of your policy? As the hospitalisation cost to treat the ailments caused due to smoking is much higher, the insurer will be required to compensate more if you were to pass away during treatment. This means added expenditure for the insurer. Many times, people do not declare their smoking habit to the insurer, which could cause problems when filing a claim.

If you were to pass away, your family would file a claim for compensation. However, if during the verification, the insurer finds out that the demise was caused due to smoking-related ailments, they could instantly reject your claim. Even if they do not reject your claim, the compensation amount your family would receive would be lower. This is because the insurer will deduct the premium amount from the sum assured, following which the compensation will be given.

What can you do?

To avoid having to pay a higher premium due to your smoking habit, you can try quitting smoking itself. There are many remedies such as nicotine gum and patches that help in lowering your dependency on cigarettes. There is the option of therapy as well that helps you in kicking the butt. Exercising and focusing on increasing your willpower also helps in reducing the addiction.


If you are planning on purchasing life insurance and happen to be a smoker, do keep these things in mind, along with the cost of your policy. Another way you can get an idea about your policy is by using the life insurance calculator from the insurer’s website.