As a former smoker, you heard it a million times: you need to stop smoking for your health and your budget. So you did! And you started using smoking cessation products like gum, patches, or e-cigarettes that contain nicotine in order to kick the habit. However, the time has come for you to upgrade your life insurance policy, and you’re wondering if being a nicotine user is going to affect your premium. Even though you aren’t a smoker anymore, are you still eligible for non-smoker benefits on your life insurance? Keep reading to find out.
In order to qualify for non-smoker rates with any insurance company, it is a requirement that you be cigarette-free for at least 12 months. If you need a life insurance policy immediately and you’ve only stopped smoking for a few months, you won’t qualify for non-smoker rates when you start your policy, even if you haven’t touched a cigarette. Carriers require this timeframe as a way to protect themselves. If you haven’t smoked in a year, they can trust that you are committed to the switch and are at a lower risk of smoking-related health issues.
Different insurance companies rate nicotine uses in different ways. For example, one company might give non-smoker rates to gum and patch users, but not to e-cigarette users. Another may give e-cigarette users non-smoker rates. The reason is because the use of cessation products cause cotinine (a biomarker for exposure to tobacco smoke) to show up in your urine test whether you smoke or not, which puts you in a tobacco risk class. Every company has a different classification system for insuring customers with a tobacco risk, so your rate depends on who you’re insured by.
Finding a policy that gives you non-smoker rates while you’re using nicotine replacement products can be a complicated process because of the way carriers define tobacco risk status. This situation calls for the expertise of an independent insurance agency like ours. We specialize in finding you the best rates from a selection of carriers. No matter what cessation method you are using to quit smoking, make sure you get a policy with rates that are fair to you and how far you’ve come.
If you don’t smoke cigarettes, you deserve to qualify for non-smoking status on your life insurance policy. Contact us with any questions you have about how your health can affect your coverage options!