Help Desk FAQ

Life insurance

 

I am a smoker, so I will have to pay more for life insurance. Isn’t this discriminatory?

Insurance actuaries—experts who predict the risk of death, illness, fire or theft—look at your age, health, occupation, hobbies, habits (smoking and alcohol consumption, for example) and even your credit report in setting your premiums. Nonsmokers pay far less for life insurance. (Some insurers won't give former smokers the nonsmoker's rate until they've abstained for one to five years.) Many companies charge women less since they have a longer life expectancy.

People who represent the greatest risk to the company, because of illness or dangerous hobbies or habits, for example, pay the most for insurance—if they are even able to get it. When purchasing insurance, you will have to fill out an application and may have to undergo a medical exam. Answer all questions truthfully; insurers double check your answers against your medical and credit records.

 

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