Would My Life Insurance Claim Be Denied If I Smoke And Have A Non-Smoking Policy?


life insurance policyAlthough your mother may disagree, telling a little white lie now and then isn’t so bad. But what about when you’re filling out an application for life insurance? Are you allowed to lie then?

If you are a smoker and have considered getting life insurance before, you will probably know how much more expensive it is for smokers, compared to non-smokers.

Always check with your life insurance provider when making any changes to your policy. You can use the calculator below to get a rough idea before you call.


However, saying you’re a non-smoker just to get cheaper premiums is not a good idea. Your claim could be denied if you are found out, and you could be placed on an insurance register, naming you as a liar and making it very difficult to get insured in the future.

Within Two Years Of Applying

In the United States, insurance companies have a contestability period of two years. The Contestability Clause in your policy allows them to investigate – or contest – the circumstances of your claim if you die within two years of taking out the policy.

If your insurance provider investigates and finds out that you lied – or held back the truth – on your application, they have the legal right to reduce or deny the claim. If the policy is cancelled absolutely by the insurer, premiums do not have to be returned to the insured party’s family, and no payout will be given.

After Two Years

However, after the two year contestability period is up, the insurance company loses the right to question or deny the claim – even if they find out that the insured party lied during application.

Are You A Smoker?

When you are applying for life insurance, you will be asked a number of questions. When it comes to your smoking habits, different insurers will have different definitions of what it is to be a smoker.

Some insurers will consider you a smoker if you gave up less than a year ago, while others will only consider you a smoker if you have smoked for the past five years. If you are using nicotine patches or gum, this is still classed as nicotine ingestion, and therefore, you will usually be considered a smoker.

If you are an occasional smoker, you may be classed as a non-smoker (usually less than 12 cigarettes in a year). If you are unsure about your ‘status’ as a smoker, be sure to ask the insurer for more information.

Tests can be carried out by the insurance provider to determine whether you are a smoker. If they find nicotine in your system, they will know you were fibbing.

Dishonesty Can Be Traced!

It’s been said that in the US, the insurance industry has access to a database of denied insurance applications and claims. If your name is on that list for lying on your application, it could make getting insurance very difficult in the future.

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