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Term Life Insurance Plan for Smokers vs Non-Smokers

Smoking need not deter a person from availing term plans as they cover both smokers and non-smokers in India, with variable premiums. To Know more, Visit Now

  • Mar 10, 2021

One of the biggest myths in finance and insurance is that smoker cannot avail the benefits of life insurance. Contrary to this popular belief,life insurance.

companies offer life insurance to smokers with a different set of terms and conditions than non-smokers. While smoking can be injurious to your health, it can also make you churn out extra money to buy a term life insurance. Let us see how:

How Insurers Define Smokers?

According to life insurance providers, a smoker is an individual who consumes tobacco or nicotine in any form. The said individual might consume tobacco/nicotine in the form of cigarette, gutka, bidi, pan masala, etc.

life insurance providers have different ways to ask an individual whether or not he smokes. Some of the most common questions posed by them are:

  • Do you consume any nicotine/tobacco product?
  • When was the last time you did smoking?
  • How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?
  • How frequently do you smoke?

It is also common for insurance companies to ask for your past medical records as a routine part for life insurance applications.

How Insurers Categorise Smokers and Non-Smokers?

Insurance companies categorise policy buyers into the below four categories:

  • Non-smoker: Does not smoke at all
  • Preferred Smoker: Smokes and is healthy and fit
  • Typical Smoker: Smokes and has minor health issues
  • Table-rate Smoker: Smokes and has visible health issues due to the smoking

Both smokers, as well as non-smokers, are eligible for term life insurance. However, smokers’ classification into different categories enables insurance companies to decide the premium amount for various individuals depending upon their smoking habit. Generally, the premium amount paid by smokers is higher than non-smokers.

Why Smokers Pay Higher Premium Charge Than Non-Smokers

Smoking can lead to chronic ailments such as lung cancer, heart diseases and bronchitis. Thus, smokers are at a higher risk of being infected by such diseases and have a lower life expectancy ratio as compared to non-smokers. The risk of life is a key deciding factor while calculating the premium of term insurance. Because of lower life expectancy, smokers pay a higher premium charge than non-smokers.

Smoker vs Non-Smoker: Which Term Plan to Choose?

If you are a chain smoker with a heavy smoking habit, it would be advisable for you to choose a term life insurance plan which offers a large sum assured at a nominal premium charge such as Kotak e-Term Plan which would be an economical way to provide an adequate level of financial protection to your family in case of your unfortunate demise tomorrow.

If you are a complete non-smoker, we are glad you chose to keep yourself healthy. Nevertheless, it is never a bad idea to secure the life of yours and your loved ones with a term life insurance plan. Even though we would keep ourselves away from harmful habits of smoking and maintain the best diet, we are bound to fall in the health complication trap someday. Hence, it would be best to stay prepared for tomorrow’s uncertainties with a reliable term life insurance from Kotak life insurance.


Whether a smoker or not, we would advise you always to be honest with your insurer while purchasing a term life insurance plan. It would enable your term insurance provider to find the best term policy with the ideal premium charges for you based on your smoking habits and health conditions.

Kotak e-Term

Download Brochure


  • Life Cover till 85 years for Life & Life Secure Option
  • 3 Payout Options
  • Special Rates for Women
  • Option to exit the policy with premium refund at the age of 60*
  • Special Rates for Non-Tobacco Users
  • Free Medical Check Up every 5th year**

Ref. No. KLI/22-23/E-BB/2435


- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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