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What difference does it make?

I won’t make rocket science out of this for you. Cigarette smoking and more recently vaping can put you at risk of a large number of diseases, and yes, death. Life insurance companies probably won’t decline you if you smoke, but they will charge prices that reflect their concern with those diseases, and yes, death. So if you quite, when are you a non smoker in life insurance underwriting terms.

With virtually all companies you can break out of smoking rates and get to non smoking rates 12 months after you quit. The difference that makes is that the new rates will be less than half, sometimes even one third, of the rates you would pay as a smoker. The longer you are a non smoker, the lower the rates can go. Some companies give you another break at 24 months, while some wait until 36 months. It’s often prudent, once you have secured that first non smoking rate policy, to see what is available at 24 and 36 months. There is often significant money to be saved by replacing that first non smoker policy with a lower price policy at 2 or 3 years out from the last cigarette.

You need to know!

In your medical records is a section called social history. When you first see a doctor they ask you a boat load of questions about meds, family history, past health problems….and whether you smoke. If you happen to have been a smoker when you first saw the doctor that will be recorded in your social history. If you have ever looked at your medical records you may have noticed that your social history is pulled forward and repeated every time you go to the doctor. They never ask the questions again with the possible exception of updating medications. So, when you quit smoking, unless you tell the doctor or nurse to note that in your medical records, your social history will continue to declare that you are a smoker. When you apply for those wonderfully lower rates the life insurance underwriter, at best, is going to ask why what you put on your application (quit 3 years ago, etc) doesn’t match your medical records and, worst case, they will just approve you as a smoker.

The great news!!

When you break into non smoking life insurance rates, you’ve hit the jackpot. Life insurance is an excellent value, and especially so when you do something that improves your health and makes you the kind of risk that life insurance companies love to have on board. If you have questions or need to know other information like how cigars, ecigarettes and pot play into the picture, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.