How Smoking Affects Your Health Insurance Premium

Whether it’s banning smoking in public places, placing unsavory images on cigarette packs, or levying high taxes on the purchase of cigarettes, multiple attempts have been made to stifle the smoking habit. Yet people persist.

To say that the government has taken comprehensive action to deter people from smoking would be an understatement. Whether it’s banning smoking in public places, placing unsavory images on cigarette packs, or levying high taxes on the purchase of cigarettes, multiple attempts have been made to stifle the smoking habit. Yet people persist. Unquestionably, there are several harmful effects of smoking.

Impact of smoking on your health insurance policy

The first and most important impact of smoking is on your health. A habit of smoking can affect your health in multiple ways and can cause serious diseases like mouth cancer, lung cancer, coronary heart disease, weaker bones leading to arthritis, etc. Likewise, smoking is also a very costly habit and can be a slow drain on your finances.

In addition to health and economic costs, there is another very important aspect of your life that is impacted by your smoking habit. This is the impact on your life and health insurance premium. This is how your insurance policy could be affected.

  • Higher premium rate: It is well known that smokers are at higher risk of contracting a wide range of diseases and are more likely to succumb to complications. As a result, they would generally fall into the high-risk bracket, meaning that for an insurer, the likelihood of making a payment on a smoker’s policy increases. To compensate for this risk, insurance companies usually charge smokers a higher premium amount.
  • Excludes: Some insurance companies or policies may exclude smoking-related conditions from coverage entirely. These exclusions will be mentioned in the policy and you should definitely focus on how the policy works when you purchase a health insurance plan.

Buy the right health insurance policy

For the above reasons, you may be tempted to provide false information to the insurer when filling out your form and falsely state that you are a non-smoker even though you are a smoker. Let me warn you that you should never make the mistake of falsifying information on your insurance form. This can have far-reaching ramifications.

First, it could be considered a case of fraud, and second, the police may not be able to help you if needed. When you make an insurance claim, the insurer follows a process to verify the veracity of the claim. In the event of a suspicious complaint, an investigation is opened. If the investigation concludes that you have shared false information with the insurer, your claim will be rejected. Not only will you be left in an awkward position when needed, but even the bounty amount spent will also be lost. So choose wisely.

Also, you shouldn’t be misled by the myth that just because you’re a smoker, your insurance policy will be rejected. Everyone has the right to purchase a health insurance policy, regardless of age or pre-existing health conditions. Unquestionably, if you are a smoker, the premium you pay on your health insurance policy will increase. However, this premium increase should not have a deterrent effect. Considering that if you are a smoker you are already susceptible to a wider range of illnesses, don’t let the higher premium deter you from the right decision to purchase a health insurance policy.

Undoubtedly, smoking is a difficult habit to break. Yet, as is obvious, it can negatively impact both your health and your wealth. It is therefore important that you persist in your efforts to quit smoking and that you seek help if necessary.

By, Raghavendra Rao, Director of Distribution, Future Generali

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