If I am Using Nicotine Patches what effect does this have on my Life Insurance?
These days many people are using nicotine patches in an attempt to give up smoking, with the intention of improving their health. But what does this mean for a life insurance application, are insurance premiums any less for people who use patches?
Insurance providers do not differentiate between nicotine based products when they are making decisions on a life insurance application, so if you are using nicotine patches you are likely to be treated in the same way as a smoker. The reason for this is that no matter what the method used to get the nicotine into your body, it still has a negative impact on your health. This in turn increases the risk of having to pay out for the insurance provider.
What will the Insurance Companies be Looking for?
You may wonder how an insurance provider would know if you have nicotine in your body. The answer is that they check. When you apply for life insurance, and state that you do not use nicotine, you will often be asked to attend a medical to confirm the accuracy of the information. For that reason it is always the best idea to be honest on the application, you can find out more here.
At a medical, samples of your blood and urine will be taken to look for traces of cotinine which is an identifier of nicotine in the body. If a trace of cotinine is found this will affect your life insurance, especially if you have not disclosed nicotine use on your application. This could result in your application being turned down.
It’s Best to be Honest on your Application.
If you tell an insurance provider that you are using nicotine patches you will usually be subject to the same premiums as any other user of nicotine; it is the use that is the important factor not the method or frequency. For instance, a heavy smoker will be treated the same way as an occasional smoker. That is of course if everything else to do with the applicant is the same, smoking is not the only factor that defines a life insurance decision.
It may seem tempting not to declare that you are using nicotine patches when you make your application for life insurance. Even if you are lucky, and no trace of cotinine shows up at a medical, there is a significant chance that the truth will be discovered, if not before, then if you die and a payment is due. At this point if there is any of the medical evidence provided that suggests any connection to nicotine the insurers may refuse to pay out.
It is a good idea to attempt to quit smoking with nicotine patches for health reasons but you will still be subject to the same life insurance premiums used for smokers. If the patches work, and you end up coming off nicotine altogether, this may change so you need to keep your insurance provider updated.