Need another reason to quit? You can lower home insurance costs

Young adult does home finances on laptop in kitchen.

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Quitting smoking can affect home insurance costs more than many people realize.


Key points

  • Homeowners insurance companies charge premiums for coverage.
  • Many factors affect how much insurance costs.
  • This includes if an owner is a smoker.

Homeowners generally need insurance coverage to protect their home and the property they own within their home.

However, premiums for home insurance policies can run into the thousands. As a result, it’s a good idea for property owners to explore all of their coverage options with the goal of finding comprehensive home insurance protection at an affordable price.

There are many factors that go into determining how expensive home insurance premiums end up being. Perhaps surprisingly, cigarette smoking is one of those factors. Any property owner who currently smokes may want to quit if they can, so you can help lower your insurance rates, as well as take advantage of the other benefits that come with quitting for good.

How much does smoking increase home insurance costs?

Smokers generally pay more for coverage with any homeowners insurance company. But the exact amount of additional costs imposed on them because of their habit will vary depending on many factors, including the insurer they choose, since not all insurers impose the same penalty for smoking.

In general, though, most experts suggest that smokers’ home insurance coverage premiums are about 20% higher than the amount a non-smoker would pay for the same policy on the same type of home .

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Why does smoking affect insurance premiums?

Smokers wondering why their insurance costs would be affected by their habits just need to understand one simple fact. Homeowners insurance companies try to assess the risk of a claim being made on the policy and set higher premiums when the risk is higher and lower premiums when the risk is lower.

And smoking increases the risk of an expensive claim being made on a home insurance policy. That’s because cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of home fires. Cigarette accidents can happen, such as falling asleep with a lit cigarette or not putting out a cigarette completely. When and if this happens and a fire occurs, the home insurer may be required to pay to rebuild or replace the property, and to replace its contents.

Homeowners insurers are well aware of the increased chance that people who smoke will file a fire damage claim. And because fire can be so destructive and the entire home often needs to be rebuilt, either from the fire itself or from smoke damage, insurers not only anticipate more claims from smokers, they also have reason to suspect that those claims are likely to be more expensive.

Since home insurers believe they are more likely to have to pay an expensive claim when someone smokes, the insurer will charge much more for similar coverage obtained by smokers than non-smokers. And this is just one of the many ways that smoking can negatively affect a person’s finances. But unlike things like buying a pack of cigarettes, the costs of additional insurance premiums aren’t immediately apparent.

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For anyone who still smokes, quitting is a good idea if possible. Otherwise, continuing the habit could lead to higher insurance costs, as well as other problems.

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