Smoking & Health Insurance Premiums
Apr 1, 2021

Impact of Smoking on Health Insurance Premiums

The movies have always glamorised smoking, but it is reel life and not real life. Many people report their first drag back in college paved the way for them to become a chronic smoker. Not only does it adversely affect your health, these vices often end up being heavy on your pocket. First by financing them and later while availing insurance covers.   Smoking and health insurance plans aren’t the best of friends. But it is often assumed that smokers cannot avail health insurance in India. Only severe cases of smoking are valid grounds for an insurance company to reject an application. These rules have been laid down by the regulatory body, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)   But this habit of smoking comes at a cost, a monetary price that you need to pay in the form of increased premiums.  

What are the health hazards of smoking?

Nicotine, when consumed in any form, be it smoking or otherwise has an impact on your respiratory function. This not only leads to problems while breathing but also leads to more severe issues like oral cancer, lung cancer, coronary heart disease, arthritis (weakening of the bones), increased risk of cataract and decreased fertility. Further, the females can experience complications regarding stillbirth, premature delivery, ectopic pregnancy and even sudden infant death syndrome.  

What is the impact of smoking habits on your health insurance premium?

Individuals who prefer to smoke are at a greater risk of the health ailments listed above. Thus, these individuals are at the brink of any health complications related to smoking. A higher health insurance premium is charged for such people. It is a way the insurers offset their risk while extending coverage to these individuals. The insurance companies have observed a more number of claims filed by smokers as compared to their non-smoker counterparts.   These higher premiums are not charged at a flat rate. The level of smoking determines his/her premium. Here a chronic smoker bears the highest impact of their vice and is required to pay the highest as compared to others.   Many insurance companies require a person to undergo medical tests to determine the premium to be charged. While sometimes, there is no differential pricing, some other insurers charge a higher rate in case the consumption level is above a particular threshold. Evaluate your premiums online instantly using our health insurance premium calculator.  

Is there a mandatory disclosure requirement when it comes to smoking?

While buying your health insurance plan, the insurer will enquire about smoking habits. Your declaration to the insurer will determine how much premium will be loaded considering your habits. But knowing the fact about a rise in your premiums will tempt you to withhold this piece of information.   Be aware that any misrepresentation can amount to fraud and rejection of your claims too. In case your health condition is seen to deteriorate due to smoking for which your insurer was not intimated, an investigation can be ordered and can end you in a legal soup.   Now that you know that smoking will be heavy on your pocket, it is best advisable to quit it. Although that shouldn’t deter you from buying a health insurance policy to ensure any allied illness is covered under your insurance plan.  

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