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Term Insurance For Smokers Research Team | Posted On Wednesday, April 24,2019, 06:22 PM

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Term Insurance For Smokers



Term insurance is a type of life insurance. Term plans cover you over a fixed period for a sum assured. You have to pay premiums periodically, to keep the policy active. Term insurance is a pure risk plan, under which the insurer pays out death benefits to the nominee or beneficiary, if the policyholder dies within the term of the plan. If the policyholder survives the term, then no survival benefits are paid out.

Insurers consider a lot of parameters before deciding to approve your proposal form. A life insurer offers a policy on the basis of a proposal form. You might be asked to undergo medical tests. This is done to ensure you don’t have any pre-existing disease. Your application might be rejected if you have a pre-existing disease. If you are a smoker or an alcoholic, then you must inform the insurer on your habits. You would still be insured, but at a slightly higher premium. This is because insurers feel it is risky to insure individuals who are smokers and drinkers.

Smoking cigarettes is just not hazardous to your health, it also burns a hole in your pocket, when it comes to availing term life insurance. Smoking adversely impacts health and could result in untimely death. Hence, life insurers feel you to be a risky candidate for a term insurance policy and they charge a higher premium.

This article is a guide which answers all questions that a smoker might have.

Want to know more on Term Life Insurance? We at will make it easy for you. Just give us a missed call on 022 6181 6111 to explore our unique Free Advisory Service. is not a seller of any financial products. We only provide FREE financial advice/education to ensure that you are not misguided while buying any kind of financial products.

SEE ALSO: Why Buy Term Life Insurance In April?

Term Insurance For Smokers

1. How life insurers define smokers?

A smoker is an individual who uses tobacco/ nicotine in any form, be it cigarettes, cigars, beedi, khaini, gutka, flavored pan masala, nicotine patch or chewing gum. Life insurers question you in different ways to check the smoking habit. Few of the common questions asked by insurers are:

  • Are you addicted to tobacco/nicotine products?
  • Have you consumed any tobacco product over the last four years?
  • Have you ever consumed a tobacco product?

If your answer to any one of the above questions is a Yes, then you are considered a smoker. Moreover, insurers classify both regular smokers and occasional smokers under the same category of smokers. Insurers quote low premiums only to those who have never consumed any kind of tobacco products. Even though you smoke occasionally, you would still be classified under the smoker category.

2. Why insurers charge a higher premium on smokers when compared to that of non-smokers?

Smokers have low life expectancy as they are more prone to chronic ailments like lung cancer, bronchitis, heart problems and so on. Insurers feel that smokers have a shorter life span than non-smokers, hence making them risky to insure under the term life insurance plan.

3. How much extra is charged on a smoker’s premium towards term insurance policy?

Premium of a smoker’s term policy varies across insurers. To calculate the premium of term policy, apart from the habit of smoking, insurers also consider other parameters like age and health conditions.

The table below gives the comparison of premiums for smoker’s and non smoker’s term life policy:

Name of the Insurer

Premium of the policy


Smoker (Rs)

Non-Smoker (Rs)

Bharti Axa



Reliance Life Insurance



Max Life Insurance



Birla Sun Life Insurance



Note: The above calculations are done for a 30-year old man residing in Delhi and looking for a term policy of Rs 50 lakhs.

4. What if you don’t disclose your smoking habits?

Not disclosing your smoking habits at the time of filing the application is considered a fraud and will lead to the following implications:

  • The policyholder can be charged with fraud.
  • Insurer can deem the policy to be null and void.  
  • Insurer can reject the claim filed by the nominee or beneficiary.

Remember, you avail term insurance to protect your loved ones if an untoward event causes an untimely death. The whole purpose of availing a term policy is lost if the nominee’s claim is rejected because you hid the smoking habit.

You must be honest about your smoking habits as life insurers consider smoking as a serious condition and are very harsh if they find information filled in the proposal form to be false.

5. What if you quit smoking after buying term insurance?

If you quit smoking, then you can request the insurer to recalculate the premium payable towards your term insurance policy at the time of renewal. The insurer might consider your request and cut the premium depending on the amount of time elapsed since you last smoked. Each insurer has own set of rules for someone who quits smoking. Typically, you must stay away from tobacco and nicotine for at least two years, so that they don’t show up in your bloodstream in the medical tests.

SEE ALSO: Tips before Buying Online Term Insurance Plan

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