Smoking is bad for your health. This is a fact that everyone knows thanks to plenty of scientific research that links cigarette usage to serious illnesses such as heart disease, emphysema, stroke and cancer. But lighting up can cost you much more than just your health. In fact, it costs you money—and lots of it.
In addition to the price of buying packs of cigarettes, smokers can expect to pay significantly higher insurance rates. Let’s take a look at the three types of insurance that smoking is known to affect.
- Health insurance: Even though the ACA mandates that insurers can no longer charge any one person more based on their health, smoking is an exception. Because smoking is a self-inflicted habit that is known to cause illness, smokers can pay up to 20 percent more for health insurance than non-smokers since they typically file a disproportionate number of claims due to the need for more medical treatment.
- Life insurance: Low-risk individuals in good health pay the lowest life insurance rates because they generally live long lives, during which they can continue to pay their insurers. However, smokers are expected to live shorter lives, which can double or even triple their rates so their insurers can collect a comparable dollar amount during a shorter period of time.
- Home insurance: Smokers are much more likely to experience a home fire than a non-smoker, often due to cigarette butts that haven’t been fully extinguished. That increased risk can translate to an increased home insurance rate as well.
Luckily, many insurance providers will reconsider your eligibility for lower insurance rates after two tobacco-free years. That means that quitting is not only great for your overall health, but it can also save you quite a deal of money over the rest of your lifetime.