As with all of the many lifestyle choices that we make, you will probably not be surprised to learn that. When it comes to Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover. Smoking will impact your eligibility and the monthly premium you pay for your policy. In today’s post we will take a deeper look at Critical Illness Cover for smokers. Including how to find the best level of protection if you have a history of smoking.
In today’s guide we will cover:
Can Smokers Get Critical Illness Cover?
The simple answer is yes, as a smoker you are able to get Critical Illness Cover protection. However, if you smoke, or have used any nicotine based products which includes replacements. Such as vapes, e-cigs and patches within the last 12 months, you’ll be classed as a smoker. This also includes social smoking and even if you only had the one cigarette.
When being defined as a smoker by an insurer will not be impacted on your choice of what you smoke (i.e. cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco). Another point to remember is how much tobacco you consume (a pack or more a day, or just the occasional cigar on weekends). Many Critical Illness insurers will usually treat smokers equally. However, individuals who choose to consume nicotine based products with a very high level of tobacco. Will often lead to an additional load on top of the smoker premium.
A Critical illness Cover Insurance policy for smokers will usually be more expensive. This is decided by a few factors and that a policy will be based on an impairment. Other factors will include your age and overall health and other lifestyle choices. As a smoker you should expect your premium to be slightly higher than a non-smoker. Potentially a premium could be between 25% and 50% higher. Even if the rest of an insurers criteria perfectly matches with a non-smoker. Some policies exclude cancers that are commonly associated with smoking.
To help you find the best Critical Illness Cover Insurance as a smoker, it is important to compare different polices. At Life Insurance Cover we compare all of the insurers. Helping you find the best policy for you and your family.
Can An Insurer Test Your Smoker Status?
During the application process for a Critical Illness Cover policy, an insurer can request that you have a medical examination. It is common practice for a test for nicotine based products to be done with a simple urine nicotine/cotinine test. If you have chosen to declare yourself as a ‘non-smoker’ in your application to take advantage of the lower monthly premiums. Please be aware that the test for nicotine is quite precise and is able to detect trace amounts of nicotine. If you are a smoker, it is important to provide all of the correct information to an insurer. It can impact your policy in the long term if you deliberately withhold key information.
What If I Start Smoking After Getting Critical Illness Cover?
After you have decided to buy a Critical Illness protection policy. It becomes your responsibility to tell your insurer of any changes to your health and personal circumstances. Because changes to your health and circumstances can impact your protection cover. You will need to update your provider so that they can potentially re-evaluate your monthly premium.
Some people could be tempted withhold or not disclose that they smoke to their insurer, but this is not advisable. Within the Insurance industry this is referred to as ‘non-disclosure of material facts’. If you choose to withhold or not disclose your smoker status. It could mean your policy being made void or in the worst case scenario, it could count as Insurance fraud.
Alternatively, if the time comes that you need to make a claim and it is discovered that you have started smoking, your policy could be invalidated. Which will mean that your claim will not paid out at all, or paid out at a reduced rate. Also you will not be able to get the money you spent on your premiums back.
Will It Cost Less If I Stop Smoking After Getting Critical Illness Cover?
If you have decided to make a healthy choice to stop smoking and you want your premiums to be adjusted down to ‘non-smoker’. You will normally have to be able to demonstrate that you successfully quit smoking for 12 months. As a successful non-smoker you will be tested to ensure that all the nicotine based products have left your body prior to re-broking your policy. You will have to apply to make the policy changes as they do not happen automatically.
It is very important to remember that tobacco replacements like nicotine patches or gum will add nicotine into your body and still class you as smoking. Once you have been able to abstain from smoking for a complete 12 months. Only then will you be classed as a non-smoker.
Although the process can seem quite daunting. An increasing number of providers are flexible around the use of smoking cessation products. If you have recently stopped smoking and are keen to reduce your monthly premiums. Some of the many providers we search at Life Insurance Cover do offer positive premium reductions while you stop smoking.
When you apply for a premium reduction or new policy, your insurance provider may arrange a test to see if there are any traces of nicotine left in your body. If the test shows that you have successfully stopped smoking and there are no traces of nicotine. You will be classified as a non-smoker without a policy impairment and your premiums will decrease accordingly.
Can I Get Critical Illness Cover If I Vape?
Because vaping is a relatively new lifestyle choice and the data is quite limited. Currently insurers treat vaping exactly the same as any other form of tobacco consumption. Although not all vape products contain nicotine, it is currently unknown about what damage could be caused by the long term use of vapes.
Over the past few years vaping and electronic cigarettes have become more established. Within the Critical Illness Cover providers there has been an increase in specialist insurers offering better rates for vapers. It is important to remember that although the monthly premiums might be less than a smokers. They will not be as good as the rates available to non-smokers.
If you vape and don’t smoke or use nicotine products, an FCA regulated broker like Life Insurance Cover. Can help you find a Critical Illness Cover policy for vaping. Simply use our free no obligation quote service.
Compare Policies For Critical Illness Cover For Smokers
If you are unsure on how to find the best protection policies available to you, or you may have questions about Critical Illness Cover insurance. Because Life Insurance Cover is a whole of market insurance broker. We can compare the market to find you the best policy at the right monthly premium. Helping you to find the best rates for smokers and ex-smokers, with no obligation and free quotes, start comparing today.