Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan
1800 266 2256
Smokers vs non-smoker's Life Insurance

Smokers vs Non-Smokers Life Insurance

How smoking affects life insurance rates and what non-smokers can do to save on premiums.

Smokers vs non-smoker's Life Insurance

Home / Life Insurance / Term Insurance / Smokers vs non-smoker's Life Insurance

Smoking is a habit that has become increasingly prevalent in our society, despite the well-documented health risks associated with it. Not only does smoking affect our health, but it can also have a significant impact on our finances, particularly when it comes to life insurance. As a smoker, you may find yourself paying higher premiums than a non-smoker due to the higher health risks associated with smoking. However, understanding the impact of smoking on life insurance premiums in India can help you make informed decisions about your coverage and ensure that you are getting the best possible rates. In this article, we will explore the impact of smoking on life insurance premiums in India.

Life Insurance policy and smoking - an overview
Jump Tag Icon

Insurance companies define a Smoker as someone who uses tobacco products in the last 12 months. Tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco are included in this category. Smokers are considered high-risk individuals by insurance companies, which means they have a higher likelihood of dying prematurely than non-smokers.

Almost a quarter of all preventable deaths occur due to smoking. It increases the risk of several serious health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses. Smokers have a higher risk of premature death due to these health complications, which makes them a higher risk for insurance companies.

As a result of tobacco use, Smokers may be charged higher premiums for Life Insurance policies than non-smokers. In India, premium differences can be significant, with smokers often paying up to 50% more than non-smokers. 

For example, a 40-year-old smoker might pay around ₹5,000 per month for a ₹50 lakh policy, while a non-smoker of the same age might spend around ₹3,500 per month for the same coverage. This difference in premiums can add up over time, resulting in a substantial cost difference between policies.

Key differences in smokers vs non-smoker's life insurance
Jump Tag Icon

When it comes to life insurance in India, there are several key differences between smokers and non-smokers. Let's take a closer look at some of the most significant factors.

Jump Tag Icon

Smokers typically have to pay higher premiums than non-smokers because of the greater health risks linked with smoking. This is one of the most noticeable distinctions between smokers and non-smokers. Insurance providers regard smoking as a major risk factor since smokers are more prone to develop severe health issues such as lung cancer, respiratory illnesses, and heart disease.

Medical examinations
Jump Tag Icon

Another key difference between smokers and non-smokers is the medical examinations required. Non-smokers may be able to skip medical exams, or undergo simpler tests, while smokers will typically need to undergo more comprehensive medical exams. This is because insurance companies need to assess the health risks associated with smoking, and determine the appropriate premium rates.

Underwriting criteria
Jump Tag Icon

The Medical underwriting in life insurance is different for smokers and non-smokers. Insurance companies will typically look at a range of factors when underwriting a policy, including age, health status, family medical history, and lifestyle habits. For smokers, smoking habits will be a significant factor, and may impact the overall underwriting decision.

How does smoking affect your life insurance premiums
Jump Tag Icon

Now that we have looked at the key differences between smokers and non-smoker's life insurance premiums in India, let's explore some of the ways that smoking can impact your premiums.

1. Higher premiums

Smokers are generally charged higher premiums than non-smokers. This is because smoking is considered a significant health risk, and smokers are more likely to develop serious health conditions. The exact premium rates will depend on a range of factors, including the insurer, the policy type, and the individual's smoking habits.

2. Reduced coverage

In some cases, smokers may be offered reduced coverage or may be denied coverage altogether. This is particularly true for smokers who have already developed health conditions related to smoking, such as lung cancer or emphysema. Insurance companies may view these individuals as high-risk, and may be unwilling to provide coverage.

3. Limited policy options

Smokers may also have limited policy options compared to non-smokers. For example, some insurance companies may only offer term life insurance policies to smokers, rather than Whole Life Insurance or Universal Life Insurance. This is because term life insurance policies are typically less expensive than other policy types, and may be more affordable for smokers.

Things to remember about smoker's life insurance
Jump Tag Icon

Along with life insurance coverage at a higher premium, a smoker's policy may have additional.benefits. For example smoking cessation programs or access to health resources to help individuals quit smoking. Here are some things to remember about a smoker's life insurance.

Things to remember about non-smoker's life insurance
Jump Tag Icon

Insurance companies consider Smokers low-risk individuals. They have a lower likelihood of dying prematurely than Smokers, which means they pay cheaper premiums for life insurance policies. Here are things to remember about non-smoker’s life insurance.

Factors that affect life insurance premiums
Jump Tag Icon

In addition to smoking status, several other factors affect Life Insurance premiums. Age, gender, health, occupation, and hobbies can all impact Life Insurance costs. Let’s take a look at each of them individually

Frequently Asked Questions
Jump Tag Icon

Here are the answers to the given set of questions related to the smokers vs non-smoker's life insurance


How are smoker and non-smoker life insurance policies different?

Smoker's Life Insurance policies are designed for individuals who smoke tobacco products regularly. They have higher premiums due to increased health risks associated with smoking. Non-smoker's Life Insurance policies are designed for individuals who do not consume tobacco products and have lower premiums due to the decreased health risks associated with not smoking.

Can smokers get non-smoker's life insurance rates if they quit smoking?

Yes, smokers may obtain non-smoker's life insurance rates if they quit smoking and remain tobacco-free for a certain amount of time. The specific amount of time varies between insurance providers.

How does a non-smoker qualify for non-smoker life insurance rates?

Individuals must not use tobacco products to qualify for non-smoking Life Insurance rates. This includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and electronic cigarettes.

Can non-smokers still get smoker life insurance rates if they have a smoking history?

Insurance providers typically require individuals to undergo a medical exam to verify their smoking status. So, if a person has stopped smoking for a long time, the insurer may profile them as a non-smoker.

What is a medical exam for life insurance?

A medical exam for life insurance is a physical exam conducted by a medical professional to assess an individual's health status. The exam typically includes measurements of blood pressure, height, weight, and a blood test to check for health problems.

Is it necessary to disclose smoking habits when applying for life insurance?

Yes, smoking habits must be disclosed when applying for life insurance. Failure to disclose smoking habits can result in the cancellation of the policy or denial of the claim in the event of the insured's death.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.