Will a Claim For a Smoker be Denied if the Policy is For a Non-Smoker?
There is a wide selection of insurance policies in the insurance marketplace and they are made available to all types of people. Customers choose insurance policies according to their needs, to the kind of lifestyle or job that they have. Insurance companies also cater to people who have hazardous works, with bad health conditions or those that are inclined in dangerous hobbies. There are also insurance policies intended for smokers and non-smokers but each fall into different rate classifications. Smoker life insurances are more expensive than non-smoker life insurances. That’s why Insurance companies are very particular in identifying who falls under the smoker or non-smoker insurance category.
Some insurance companies consider someone a smoker only if he’s been smoking for the past five years. But other insurance companies can actually place you in a non-smoker category after straight six months of not using any sort of nicotine products. Occasional smokers can also fall under the non-smoker category provided that he will only consume twelve sticks in a year or less. Medical examinations are conducted during application of the insurance policy. They also evaluate an applicant’s medical family history, habits, hobbies and the type of job he is in. Urine or Saliva tests are commonly used to detect whether an applicant of non-smoker insurance is a nicotine user. There are a number of conditions provided by insurance companies for eligibility purposes.
Statistics show that the escalating mortality rate every year is associated with cigarette smoking. That’s also why there are many insurance companies existing nowadays that specializes in smoker insurance policy. There are many insurance companies who offer affordable rates but smoker insurance policies are significantly expensive than non-smoker insurance policies. This is obviously because smokers have greater risk for cancer and other illnesses which make them a potential target to costly medical bills in the future. This explains why there are cases where costumers who regularly smoke claim that they are non-smokers during the life insurance application, which is absolutely a very bad idea. Now if this happens, will a claim for a smoker be denied if the policy is for a non-smoker?
When a smoker lied and stated in the insurance application that he is non-smoker, the insurance company has all the legal right to deny a death claim. It is however the prerogative of the insurance company to either resort to reduction of benefits or rescission of the contract policy .Lying in the insurance application just to have a lower rate can tear off the financial protection of the beneficiaries which the insurance is intended for and can leave them empty-handed in the end.
Insurance companies have a contestability period of two years. When an insured person dies within the 2-year contestability period, the insurance company can by all means exercise its right to contest the validity of the insurance policy and the claim. In cases where a lying smoker dies within the contestability period and the cause of death cannot in any way be associated with smoking but medical records show that he’s a nicotine user, the insurance company can absolutely cancel the insurance policy. Absolute cancellation of the insurance policy includes the company’s right not to give refund to the beneficiaries for the premiums paid on the policy. Non-disclosure of health problems, smoking habit or other disqualifications can make a contract policy very contestable within the 2 years. However, after the two year contestability period, the insurance company loses the right to question or deny the policy and death claim even if they find out that the insured person lied during application.
In the insurance industry there is a database operated by a Group which keeps medical files and records of those whose insurance applications have been denied or death claims rescinded. If your application has been denied by one company due to dishonesty, there is no doubt that other insurance companies would know about it. So it would be best to purchase an insurance policy that suits you and make sure that everything is in place so that the beneficiaries can get the insurance coverage eventually without hassles.