Both drinking and smoking have been proven to cause detrimental effects on health. The age-old adage,”Too much of everything is bad”, holds true for smokers and alcoholics alike. But can such people buy health or life insurance?

This article delves deeper into the truth. It is a gospel truth that people with excessive drinking and smoking may be under immense health hazards, but that doesn’t take away their right to buy insurance.

Life insurance can be purchased by paying an extra premium, for health insurance, the company usually determines the eligibility of a person based on their consumption or medical test reports.

Smoking too much can lead to health issues such as respiratory and heart diseases, while regular consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of liver cirrhosis and pancreatitis. And to get covered against ailments caused due to lifestyle habits providing mental peace to the policyholders.

Nowadays, health insurance companies reward policyholders for leading a good lifestyle. They set lesser amounts as premiums for people who are healthy and lead a better lifestyle. Following such rules motivated people to leave unhealthy habits. Although the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the insurance regulatory body, has not specified any reward policy, some insurance companies offer the perks of leading a healthy life.

Benefits of health and life insurance

Smoking and drinking are lifestyle habits that can cause severe impacts in the long term. Let’s discuss the benefits of health and life insurance for policyholders involved in these lifestyle habits.

Life insurance

An avid drinker or smoker certainly knows about the repercussions of her habits. By paying some extra premium, a policyholder with lifestyle habits is securing the future of their loved ones. Life insurance provides a policyholder with financial security and protection and a guaranteed death benefit.

Health Insurance

Health insurance lets policyholders receive the best medical care without burning a hole in their pocket. Health insurance plans can take care of any unexpected medical emergencies or critical illnesses. Thus, policyholders with lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking alcohol have mental peace in case they face any kind of health issues in the future.

How can they avail health and life insurance?

Yes, an avid drinker or smoker can certainly avail both health and life insurance. The policyholder will have to pay higher premium rates to invest in life insurance. On the other hand, for health insurance, the companies decide whether to accept or reject a policy based on their consumption and medical tests report of liquor and cigarettes.

Things to know before investing in a health policy

Know your premium

Drinking or smoking regularly can cause health hazards such as liver problems, heart disease, bronchitis, lung cancer and many more. The liabilities of the insurance companies are exposed to are the root cause behind demanding higher premiums from people who consume alcohol or smoke.

Moreover, insurance companies will not charge any extra premium until your medical reports show any effects of these habits on your health. Speaking to the insurance agent is essential before investing in a health insurance policy to get clarity regarding premium rates.

Understand the policy

Some insurance companies exclude smoking and drinking from the policy coverage. Hence, one must read the policy carefully and understand all it includes and excludes before buying the policy.


It is time to bust the myth that alcoholics and smokers are not eligible to buy health and life insurance. While anyone can avail life insurance, habitual drinkers or smokers attract a higher insurance premium as they pose more liability to the insurance company. To mitigate the health risks, policyholders opting for either health or life insurance must implement changes in their habits to lead a risk-free life.


How India likes its alcohol

First Published: Jan 17, 2023, 07:57 AM IST

By badas

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