Can Smokers Buy Term Insurance?

Smoking can have a detrimental effect on your overall health. Consumption of tobacco is one of the top reasons for death not only in India but all over the world. Smoking can not only cause excessive damage to the lungs but can also lead to increased chances of an untimely death. It has an adverse effect on your financial condition and can also complicate your chances of buying a term plan. 

Meaning of Smokers in Term Insurance

The first thing to check is whether you fall under the category of smokers when you buy a term plan online. For any insurance company, smokers refer to people who are consuming tobacco. This means that smoking is not limited to just cigarettes, bidis, or cigars. Even if you consume khaini, gutka, or even if you use nicotine gums and patches, you will fall under the category of a smoker. 

Even if you smoke occasionally, you will still be termed a smoker under the term policy. Insurers usually ask people whether they have smoked in the last 6 to 12 months. But, a complete health check is necessary to determine your medical condition and assessment of risk. 

Is There a Term Life Insurance for Smokers? 

The answer is yes. You can buy term insurance for smokers, but you will have to pay a higher amount of premium than people who do not smoke. Also, the age of maturity of the plan and the tenure of the policy might be shorter than that offered to people who do not smoke. Moreover, they might not be eligible for any discounts that are being offered to people who do not smoke. 

The reason is that smokers have a higher chance of developing life-threatening illnesses like lung cancer. Also, they have a chance of early demise which means more risk for the insurer. Even if the premium that you pay for buying a term plan online is higher, it is dependent on the risks associated with you and your life expectancy.  Therefore, it is cheap life insurance for smokers. For example, you can check out Tata AIA life insurance plans that offer affordable premiums and a high sum assured to smokers. 

It is strongly advisable to reveal any habits of smoking to your insurer as it will be caught in the medical test that they conduct. If you lie and you are caught, you will be denied a term plan, and you might not be able to buy a life insurance policy ever again. 

What Happens if You Quit Smoking After Buying Term Plan for Smokers? 

If you have spent a large amount of your time not smoking, then you might be able to appeal to your insurance provider to revise the term insurance premium rates applicable to you. But, if you still smoke occasionally, you will still be termed a smoker. 

If you want to be recognised as a non-smoker, then you must keep away from any nicotine-related substances for about 4 to 6 months. To provide proof of being a non-smoker, you can get a medical certificate from one of the licensed practitioners or, as your insurance company suggests. 


People often tend to quote stress as a reason for smoking. But, this habit not only has an effect on your physical health but also affects your mental health. The temporary relief from stress can come at a significantly higher expense to you. And the cost does not just include the lakhs spent on buying cigarettes annually in India. It can really push your premium a lot higher than your non-smoker counterparts. Not just this, smoking can lead to a shorter span of life and also pushes you toward fatal illnesses. You can avoid all this by letting go of this habit. If you smoke, quitting definitely truly pays and not just in terms of money but in terms of a better life in general.