Explained by an Expert: Smoking vs Non-smoking Life Insurance

Posted on September 27, 2019 and updated September 27, 2019 in Life Insurance Canada News 2 min read

I’m going to talk a little bit today about smoking versus non-smoking in terms of your life insurance.

Smoking can have a really big impact in terms of your life insurance premiums. Some companies on a term insurance policy will charge up to three times as much for a smoker versus what they charge for a non-smoker. It’s something you’re really going to want to understand. You are going to want to understand the definition within the different life insurance companies.

Most companies will usually use a 12-month period, where if you used any tobacco or tobacco substitute product within that 12 months, you’d be considered a smoker. Another thing to factor in is that insurance companies are now treating marijuana use, generally, as a non-smoker—as long as the person is limiting their marijuana use to a certain amount—but those requirements and those protocols are constantly changing, so you are going to want to make sure you work with a broker who understands those different protocols.

Another interesting nuance for smokers versus non-smokers is that smoking has a bigger impact on a term insurance premium than it does on a whole life or permanent insurance premium, so the difference in rates between a smoker and non-smoker is much larger on a term policy than it is on a permanent policy.


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