Asked by Owen  |  Submitted January 15, 2016

I bought a life insurance policy when I didn’t smoke. Now I smoke. Can they find out I smoke and then charge me more money?

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  Answers  |  2

January 15, 2016

Curious question, Owen.

The short answer is "no", they don't do that. The longer answer is that once your policy (contract) is in place on a date, you could start rock climbing, smoking while you're doing it, and immediately after that, practice blowing up dynamite while scuba diving and it won't change your policy or your premium. Carriers underwrite your policy just prior to issue, and conclude that process once they know about your past and also the present moment when you take the your life insurance exam. They even ask about medical tests *recommended but not performed yet* to get a glimpse into the near future of your mortality. Altogether, that is the "approvable" you. Once it is done, the task is complete and you are free to roam about the cabin (or get a pilot's license and sit just ahead of the cabin) without causing a problem with your coverage or the cost of it.

If you apply for more insurance, however, the rock climbing, the dynamite, the smoking, the pilot's license, etc., are going to come into play in a negative way. Hope that helps!


$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 09.29.20 @ 03:50


January 20, 2016

Hi Owen, No the non-smoker premium includes the assumption that some non-smokers will later take up the habit. I understand the joys of smoking, but have to warn you that smoker insurance rates are much higher because smokers die much younger. And in my own family, they didn't go quietly into that good night. Best wishes,
Gaylord Rohloff

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 09.29.20 @ 03:50