Need another reason to quit smoking? It can reduce home insurance costs

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Quitting smoking can impact home insurance costs more than many people realize.


Key points

  • Home insurance companies charge premiums for coverage.
  • Many factors affect the amount of insurance costs.
  • This includes if an owner is a smoker.

Homeowners generally need insurance coverage in order to protect their dwelling and to protect the belongings they own in their home.

However, premiums for home insurance policies can cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, it’s a good idea for homeowners to explore all of their coverage options with the goal of finding comprehensive home insurance protection at an affordable price.

Many factors go into determining the cost of home insurance premiums. Perhaps surprisingly, smoking cigarettes is one such factor. Any owner who currently smokes may want to quit if they can, so they can lower their insurance premiums and enjoy the other benefits that come with quitting smoking for good.

How much does smoking increase home insurance costs?

Smokers generally pay more to be covered by any home insurance company. But the exact amount of additional costs that will be imposed on them as a result of their habit will vary depending on many factors, including the insurer they choose, as not all insurers charge the same penalty for smoking.

As a general rule, however, most experts suggest that home insurance premiums for smokers are about 20% higher than the amount a non-smoker would pay for the same policy on the same type of home.

Why does smoking affect insurance premiums?

Smokers wondering why their insurance costs would be affected by their habits need to understand one simple fact. Home insurance companies try to assess the risk of a claim being made on the policy, and they set higher premiums when there is higher risk and lower premiums when the risk decreases.

And smoking increases the risk of a costly claim on a home insurance policy. This is because smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of home fires. Accidents can happen with cigarettes, including falling asleep with a lit cigarette or not completely putting out a cigarette. When and if this happens and a fire occurs, the home insurer could be required to pay to rebuild or replace the property – and to replace its contents.

Home insurers are well aware of the higher risks of a fire damage claim from people who smoke. And since fire can be so destructive and the whole house often has to be rebuilt – either from the fire itself or from smoke damage – insurers not only anticipate more claims from smokers, but also have reason to suspect that these claims will likely be more expensive.

Since home insurers believe they are more likely to have to pay a costly claim when someone smokes, the insurer will charge significantly more for similar coverage obtained by smokers compared to non-smokers. And that’s just one of the many ways smoking can hurt people’s finances. But unlike things like buying a pack of cigarettes, the costs of additional insurance premiums aren’t immediately obvious.

For anyone who still smokes, quitting is a good idea if it is possible to do so. Otherwise, continuing the habit could lead to higher insurance costs and other problems.

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