Does smoking cause higher home insurance premiums?

January 30th, 2018  |  Home Insurance

Aside from the actual cost of cigarettes themselves, smoking can cost you in more ways than one. There are several factors that can cause your home insurance premiums to rise, and being a smoker is one of them. Let’s take a look at how smoking can affect your home insurance premiums, and what to do about it if you are a smoker.

Increased risk

Your insurer wants to assume the least amount of risk associated with your policy as possible. The higher risk you pose, the higher the chances that you will file a claim, which in turn costs your insurance provider money. So, if you are considered “high-risk” in the eyes of your insurer you will have to pay more for coverage to help offset the difference.

When determining your level of risk, and subsequently your premium costs, your insurer will look at a number of factors. When calculating home insurance, one of those factors happens to be whether or not you are a smoker. Those who smoke are seen as higher risk, due increased chance of fire damage in the homes of those that smoke.

Discount for non-smokers

Often, instead of straight up penalizing those who smoke, insurers will reward those who don’t. If you are a non-smoker your insurance provider may offer you a discount on your home insurance policy. The discount can vary from provider to provider, but still results in lower premiums for those who do not smoke over those who do. 

Be honest with your insurer

While being a smoker may cause your premium costs to rise, it is important that you are truthful with your insurer and disclose the information.  Being less than truthful with your insurer, or lying on your application, can have negative repercussions for you down the road. For example if you fail to inform your insurer that you smoke, and your home suffers fire damage, any claim you put forth for the damages may be denied. In addition, you can lose your current coverage and find many roadblocks when applying in the future. So while it may cost you slightly more on your policy to be honest, it can save you money and headaches in the long run.

Save in other ways

If you are a smoker, and the reality of the situation is that you will not quit, then there may be other ways that you can lower your home insurance premiums.

One way to save on costs is to come right out and ask your broker if there are any other discounts that you are eligible for. Sometimes your provider may not disclose all the discounts that are available to you, so it best to ask them. Some of these discounts can reward you if you opt to pay annually, sign up for their mobile app, and a number of other.

Because discounts can differ from provider to provider, another good way to save on your premiums is to compare home insurance costs online. By shopping around you can see what coverage options there are, and if there are any better deals out there available to you.

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