If you’re a smoker in the market for life insurance, you know you’re going to pay higher rates than a non-smoker. Typically, that rate is as much as three times more than for non-smokers.
So you may be tempted to try to fool the insurance company into thinking that you’re not a smoker.
Don’t do it. You’re going to end up paying higher rates anyway, and by hiding the fact that you’re a smoker, you’re putting the protection of your family at risk because policies can be dishonored for lying.
You’re also limiting your options for finding smoker-friendly coverage through an independent life insurance agent.
Blood Tests: Take 'em or Leave 'em, You Get High Rates Either Way
The reason you’ll end up paying higher rates anyway is that a life insurance blood test and nicotine are intertwined in a way to make sure you don’t get by with lying.
Your first though might be, “Well, I’ve heard of life insurance companies that don’t require physicals and blood tests; I’ll just get one of those and say I don’t smoke on the application.”
Even if you’re willing to take the risk of lying on your application, that’s not going to work.
Insurance companies aren’t stupid. If you chose to skip a health test, they’re going to assume you have something significant—such as smoking—that you don’t want them to know about. So they’re going to take that into account when they set premiums for people who chose to skip blood tests and other doctor screening.
They may not know the specific issues of people who skip tests, but they’re going to charge in a way that covers them for the worst cases—which means high rates just as if you took the life insurance blood test and nicotine showed up. Your premiums will be lower if you take the insurance with the exam and blood test.
Beating the Test? You Might As Well Quit!
Nicotine is usually detectable in the blood for two to four days, but it can last longer. If you’re trying to pass a life insurance blood test and nicotine is your worry, it might occur to you to try to quit for a few days before the test, just to pass the test, and then to start again.
The problem is that you never know exactly how long the nicotine will stay in your blood. And you’re still leaving yourself open to having your death benefit invalidated if the insurance company finds out you’re a smoker.
Besides, if you can go four days without smoking to save some money, why not do your body—and your wallet—a favor and quit entirely. If you do quit, make sure you note the date because you have to be a non-smoker for a minimum of one year to get non-smoker rates.
The Bottom Line
A life insurance blood test and nicotine are things smokers don’t like to think about when they’re buying life insurance. But the best policy is to be straightforward about your smoking and talk to an independent life insurance agent with a knowledge of how different carriers rate smokers.
An independent agent can help smokers find the best rates possible for their smoking, and also find carriers who are most flexible in rewarding smokers who do manage to quit.
Photo credit: Lydia