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How to answer Smoker/Non-Smoker question in Term Life Insurance?

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19 Sep, 2020 by  Jeet

I've been advising my brother for his term life purchase. We're confused as to how we choose the "Smoking" scenario. He's smoked for the last 9 yrs (32year old). He's quit since the last 1.5 yrs, almost fully. Might be smoking a stick here or there in a month or two. How should we DECLARE THIS AND how should we CHOOSE BETWEEN SMOKER/NON SMOKER?

Is there a way that the Insurer too can ascertain his smoking status, so as to help end this conundrum (Looking at ICICI, Max)

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Term Life Insurance

3 Answer

19 Sep, 2020
Founder, Beshak

Hello Jeet,

If you look carefully, most insurers will ask you clearly how many years you have been smoking. You need to carefully check if there is an information icon or note next to the question.

For instance HDFC Life checks if you have smoked for the last 3 years, in this case the answer to the question in your brother's case will be YES.

In case of ICICI Prudential, the question is whether you have smoked in the last 12 months.

For all your shortlisted insurance companies, you need to check this question and respond accordingly.

How do Insurance companies find out whether you smoke or not?

Insurers conduct a nicotine test to find out if you are a smoker. Note, though they conduct this test, it does not dissolve you from your responsibility of making true and correct declarations - hence you must ensure you read the question carefully and answer it correctly.

Hope this helps :)


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27 May, 2021

Dear Reader ,

The clause for smoker non smoker is the crucial one and matters insurance companies from risk prespective and reinsurance per se.

As a policyholder it is advisable to disclose being a smoker, because as a part of medical tests at the time of procuring the policy it is clearly evident whether someone is smoker or not leading to rejection of policy issuance or after issuance of policy company may reject the claim stating non disclosure of condition, but the caveat of section will remain intact that no Insurer shall repudiate a life insurance Policy on the ground of Fraud, if the Insured / beneficiary can prove that the misstatement was true to the best of his knowledge and there was no deliberate intention to suppress the fact or that such mis-statement of or suppression of material fact are within the knowledge.

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17 Feb, 2022
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It is advisable to declare positively if one is tobacco user, as cancellation of claim at the time of need on the ground of miss declaration / hiding of fact will definitely going to prove costly then saving a few buck at the time of taking policy. Secondly chances / probability of rejection of policy at medical stage is higher in case the fact of smoker arise during initial issuance period .

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