Can smokers avail life insurance?


Yes, you can get a life insurance policy as easily as a non-smokers get.

Smoking is an individual’s choice and it should not be a responsibility of the life insurer to compensate if anything happens to you. Consumption of tobacco is dangerous to health. It has been proved that tobacco consumption is the readily preventable cause of death. The impact of excess consumption of tobacco is established. It confirms that you are more susceptible to acquiring cancer, especially of the lung. 

Joana Jast once said, “In a nutshell your health, wealth, happiness, fitness and success depends on your habits.”

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You can smoke and still live with the responsibilities of family, kids, loans, etc. Smoking can cause damage to your health ultimately leading to reducing the life span. It’s okay if you want to live with your habit, you still need to be cautious for your family. You must buy a life insurance policy and prevent your family from facing unexpected financial troubles.

Let us read in detail what is covered under insurance for smokers.

Can Smokers purchase life insurance?

Yes, smokers can purchase a life insurance policy.

Are you thinking that you can hide this essential information from the insurance company? If yes, then you are incorrect. Most life insurance claims are settled only after the verification of the claim documents. These documents would enclose the proximate cause of death of the life insured. If that cause is related to smoking, the insurance company can conveniently deny the claim.

So, smokers can get a life insurance policy but at a rate higher than a non-smoker individual.  The cost of life insurance policy for smokers is way higher than the non-smokers based age, health condition, etc.

Despite knowing the fact that you smoke and it directly impacts your life, you think of buying a life insurance policy.


Why life insurance for smokers?

These are the reasons why smokers should buy life insurance policies:

  1. High coverage at affordable premium: Smokers must buy a life insurance policy like term  insurance at affordable premium. The policy provides high life cover by paying a minimal price.
  2. Protects from loans, debts and liabilities: The life insurance policies like whole life insurance provides life cover till the term of your life. All the premiums should be paid to receive the benefit under the life insurance policy. In case of the untimely demise of life insurance policies like term insurance, the family will receive the sum assured as the death benefit. They can use the sum assured to pay-off the debts and the liabilities.
  3. Buy early, Save more: Despite you being a smoker, the premium will be less when you buy a life insurance policy being young. You can buy the policy, pay the premium higher than the non-smokers and remain covered throughout the policy duration.
  4. Add-on covers for smokers: Smokers can get more benefit of life insurance policy after they buy additional covers that are called as riders. These riders come at an additional cost. Considering the habit of consuming tobacco, buying critical illness additional cover, income on disability,  waiver of premium, and income loss would help you or the family from sudden losses.
  5. Tax Benefits: Saving money is the goal of everyone’s life. Buying a life insurance policy by paying a premium can also save you some income tax. In a year, the total premium paid for a life insurance policy is eligible for tax deduction under section 80C of Income Tax Act,1961.

If you are convinced that the reason for buying a life insurance policy is because you smoke, let us further read how smoking affects the premium.

How does smoking affect insurance and premiums?

Yes, smoking affects the insurance and premiums. 

The health risks are higher for the smokers which is why insurance companies charge a higher premium to cope with the probable risks associated with these individuals. Apart from charging a high premium, the insurance companies can outrightly deny the life insurance proposal that you requested. The insurance premium for smokers is 30%-40% higher than a non-smoker. 

If you understand the health hazards associated with a smoker, consider that buying a life insurance policy is a must for you. Next, let us read some suggested life insurance policies that a smoker can buy.

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Which insurance can be purchased by smokers?

Whether you are still a smoker or have quit smoking in the recent past, these are the insurance policies that you can purchase:

  1. Term Insurance Policy: Smoking can lead to several health hazards like heart ailments,stroke, cancer, etc.. This can  break down the financial strength of the family. Buying a term insurance policy will be of great benefit because it is a high life cover that is available at an affordable premium. You can get Rs.1 crore life cover at just Rs.480/- per month.
  2. Whole Life Insurance Policy: A whole life insurance policy provides protection to the life insured for the whole life, i.e. till the time alive. The policy remains in effect only if the premium is paid. In case of sudden death of the life insured, the nominee or the family gets the benefit of sum assured.
  3. Cancer Insurance: Smoking can lead to cancer. If you understand the concept, buying cancer insurance is relevant. The policy pays the sum assured as soon as the life insured is diagnosed with cancer. The amount payable can be in lump sum or in parts. The treatment of cancer can wipe out all your savings. The insurance compensation prevents the family from the financial crisis and helps you protect the savings. 


Just like non-smokers, individuals who smoke can get a life insurance policy. The insurance policy is to provide protection to the individuals. The only difference between the two will be the premium payment. When you buy life insurance for a smoker, you are in a way protecting the family from financial crisis. The insurance policy pays the sum  assured and the maturity amount to the nominee of the life insured. It enables them to handle crises especially when it is unexpected and sudden. For more information on life insurance, please read here.