Smoking isn't the healthiest of habits, yet you still will light up a cigarette. Even if this habit is only a social one, you are still using tobacco products.
You may get away with lying to your family or friends about how often and how much you smoke. However, it isn't wise to try to pull one over on a major company that has access to almost everything about you.
We are going to take a look at life insurance for smokers, the problems associated with lying, and how you will inevitably get busted.
Keep reading for more information!
Not Just a White Lie
When you lie on your application for life insurance, you may be doing so to ensure you're accepted or for lower rates. When you leave the agent's office or hang up with him, you may be excited thinking that you've gotten away with it.
Truth is, you may get away with it for the rest of your life. In the long run, you're only hurting the beneficiaries listed on your plan.
The thing about life insurance is the fact that there is a 2-year contestability period. This means that over a two year period of time, the insurance company can review the details of your death. If they can prove that you defrauded them, they will deny your benefits.
This basically means that all the months and years that you paid into this policy were for naught. Your family gets nothing, and the financial stability they planned on is out the door.
The Lesser Consequences
The above is the worst case scenario. It is your prize for "getting away" with lying about your tobacco habit.
Hopefully, you're seeing more reasons as to why you shouldn't smoke. If that isn't yet the case, you may get lucky and be caught in your lie before it's too late.
Lying about smoking on health insurance can get you a better rate until the company finds out. When they do, there are two things that can happen: you'll end up paying a higher rate or the company will deny your coverage from the beginning.
These consequences aren't fun, but it's better than leaving your loved ones with a financial burden instead of the planned security.
Medical Screenings for Coverage
You may be thinking that there is no possible way to be caught in the lie about your tobacco use. With the amount of information available, especially in the digital age, this line of thinking is false.
When applying for life insurance, there is a good chance you'll have a medical examination. This medical examination will include a blood pressure reading, and usually a blood or urine sample.
Blood and urine samples will tell the truth about the levels of nicotine in your system. Actually, they will tell about any prescriptions you're taking. If there is any question about illicit drug use, the insurance company can actually ask for a hair follicle test.
The final medical screening might just be an autopsy. Your insurance company can view the results and even though you can't speak anymore, your lungs will. It will be very apparent by the damage to your lungs if you were a smoker.
This means that you need to be honest about smoking as well as any other health conditions.
Medical Information Bureau
The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) is making it increasingly harder to lie about smoking or any other condition you may be dealing with. Most people have never heard of this but they should be aware of it--regardless of your smoking habits.
When you're applying for life insurance, the paperwork or agent asks you for your social security number. Of course, this helps them to verify your identity but it also allows them to access pertinent information on the Medical Information Bureau.
Anytime you visit the doctor's office, the data can (and usually is) put into this database. This includes your answer to the question, "Do you smoke?" It will also show accurate weight, height, blood work, and medicines prescribed.
The MIB will provide a general picture of your health as well as any medical problems you may have forgotten to mention.
Updating Your Policy
When dealing with something as important as life insurance, you should keep your policy up-to-date. This goes for picking up certain habits (smoking, skydiving, hang gliding) as well as quitting them.
The way insurance companies operate is by reducing their risk. Their 'risk' is you and your risky habits, hobbies, and behavior. Behavior can even include legal risks like driving while impaired. You should note, that even traffic ticket and criminal offenses will also show up when the company runs your driving history and background.
If you have been able to walk away from tobacco, let your insurance agent know when you review your policy. If you've been nicotine free for a certain amount of time, you will likely get the same rate as a non-smoker (because now you are one!)
Life Insurance For Smokers
Smoking and tobacco use is one of the most difficult habits to break. It's understandable if it takes time to put them down, or if you truly can't quit.
In the event you want to quit smoking and are having trouble doing so, seek medical help. There are medicines, support groups, patches, gum, and many other options to help you live your healthiest life.
Quitting smoking will make you a healthier person but it will also help you be approved for a lower life insurance rate. In the meantime, life insurance for smokers is still possible and there are many plans to choose from.
Regardless as to if you quit or you decide to keep smoking, just don't lie on your insurance application (about anything.) Keep it updated, and include any pertinent information about your driving or medical history.
If you currently have insurance or are looking for a new policy, but concerned you're not getting the best rates, consider using an insurance comparison platform like us!