Campaigns such as “World No Tobacco Day” go a long way in increasing awareness among the public, especially the youth, against the ill effects of using tobacco, says Srinivas Balasubramanian, Head of Products, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
In an interview with MintGenie, Balasubramanian said that in the life insurance context, individuals with a predisposition for health-related conditions should opt for additional critical illness coverage in their policy.
Q. What’s the ideal policy for people with a high risk of morbidity due to smoking?
Life insurance offers financial protection to the families of policyholders in case of an eventuality, such as death or critical illness. Whether one smokes or not, life insurance is a critical component of one’s overall financial plan, hence everyone needs to have adequate life insurance coverage. One’s insurance policy should ideally provide additional cover, specifically providing cover for those eventualities for which one may have a higher predisposition.
For example, if a person has a higher predisposition for a certain health condition, it is advisable that he or she opts for insurance that provides coverage for that particular condition, even though insurers may charge a higher premium.
In the life insurance context, individuals with a predisposition for health-related conditions should opt for additional critical illness coverage in their life insurance policy.
At the time of policy purchase, customers are required to disclose all requested information, especially lifestyle habits including smoking, individual and family health history, etc. This will ensure that in the event of a claim, the insurer is able to process the claim smoothly.
Q. Do life insurance companies hesitate to agree to a high claim insurance application by smokers owing to the increased risk of diseases or untimely death among them?
Owing to the higher predisposition of smokers to certain health conditions, insurers could possibly ask for more details or ask for more medical tests to be done at the time of the policy being purchased. In some instances, insurers may charge a higher premium to smokers depending on the extent of tobacco consumption. However, insurers don’t outright reject policies for smokers.