Many people don’t disclose their smoking habits… but they should.
By answering this question incorrectly, you are jeopardizing your policy. Do you really want to put yourself or your family in a position where a policy may not pay out since you decided not to be truthful at time of application? Deliberately stating that you do not smoke on an application can be viewed as fraud as you are lying on an application to obtain a better rate. Insurance companies are aware of this intentional misrepresentation and are putting measures in place to help combat it. For example, Manulife has analytic tools that helps identify applicants who are more likely to smoke – even if they say they don’t – based on factors such as occupation and geographical location.
Some advisors may be willing to turn a blind-eye to your smoking status and tell you the worse that can happen is that they will just reduce the amount of your coverage if you got caught. While that is one consequence, the other implication is that your claim could be denied all together. My advice has always been to tell the truth on the application – nothing good comes from getting caught trying to beat the system.
Majority of carriers will consider you as a non-smoker after having no nicotine products for one year. At this time, you can request the insurer to change your existing policy from smoker rates to non-smoker rates. I would recommend that you also let your physician know the last day you used a nicotine product and have it noted on your medical record. You will still need to be insurable to make the switch to a non-smoker as medical underwriting is required. If you were really sick and no longer insurable – you would be grateful to have the coverage, even as a smoker since you will not be worried about getting “caught” at time of claim.
HOW I HELP
There is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to insurance and ultimately it should be you who decides which coverage is best for you, your family and your business. It’s my job to help you clearly understand what your options are so you can make an easy and informed decision when it comes to buying insurance.
Being an insurance broker with strong relationships at most of the major insurance carriers, I am confident that you are in great hands when I am on your side. I can help you navigate the market to ensure that you obtain the best possible coverage and price for your situation.
I am always happy to provide a free, no-obligation insurance consultation or second opinion. Feel free to reach out!
By Jeff Romansky
CHS, CPCA Principal, SecurePlan Insurance Solutions
Jeff started his insurance career in 2006 by helping hundreds of insurance advisors grow their business by providing them with comprehensive advice, consultation and training. After nine successful years, he decided to take his knowledge and start his own practice to ensure his clients are getting the best advice. His office is based in Grimsby, ON and he serves clients throughout Southwestern Ontario and the GTA.