Nicotine and Life Insurance Rates

Althought MMA fighters are most likely non-smokers, it's still important for them to get life insurance coverage.

Smokers pay higher rates than non-smokers when it comes to life insurance. That is a fact that few can argue. Did you know, however, that non-smokers who live with smokers might also be at risk for paying higher insurance rates? When a life insurance company requires a medical examination, they are looking for certain things in order to determine your risk of passing away. It may sound morbid, but it is true.

Determining Your Risk Factor

In order to assess your risk, the life insurance company may draw blood to check your cholesterol levels. They may also take a urine sample to check for nicotine presence and drug use. Your blood pressure, pulse, weight and height are also taken. All of this information helps determine your life insurance premium or rate.

Recent studies have shown that ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke or Second-Hand Smoke) is just as dangerous as actually smoking. You are breathing in the nicotine, tar and other carcinogens without actually having smoked a tobacco product. Medical studies determining the extent of second-hand smoke are ongoing, but some studies have tested non-smoker's urine to see how much nicotine in present. The answers were shocking. In some cases, people living or working with chain smokers were testing positive for nicotine use with rates equivalent of three cigarettes over eight hours.

Testing Positive for Nicotine as a Non-Smoker

In essence, non-smokers were testing positive for having enough nicotine in their urine stream to signify they'd smoked three cigarettes in the past eight hours. Though they are honestly non-smokers, they could, realistically, be charged smoker rates for insurance policies. The dangers of second-hand smoke have been proven and insurance companies know it.

Nicotine remains in the urine for up to three days. Even if you haven't been with a smoker since the past weekend, the nicotine can still show up in your urine. Look at the death of Dana Reeves, Christopher Reeves' wife (Superman); she died from lung cancer, yet she'd never smoked. Instead, it was second-hand smoke that led to her death. Because the insurance premiums for smokers can be three times those of non-smokers, this is something that must be considered when spending time with someone that smokes.

When you apply for life insurance, you are asked questions about if you smoke. Companies look closely at results from urine tests to determine rates. Even if you have been completely honest, a failed urine test can drive up your rates. A company will not deny your application, instead they simply offer you the higher rate and may not tell you why.

If you live with a smoker or work with them, be very careful when applying for life insurance. Limit your exposure before you take the health exam. The rates you are extended depend heavily on these tests.