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Ask the Life Insurance Expert

Will a life insurance company pay the benefit if a policyholder has been paying nonsmokers premium and is a smoker and dies of lung cancer after the two year probation period?

If the insured hid his smoking at the time of the application, then yes, it’s possible that the life insurer could deny the claim because there was misrepresentation (meaning fraud) on the application.

Occasionally someone will start a bad habit after his life insurance policy is in force. If someone started smoking after the policy was issued, the insurer should not deny the claim.

That two-year period is called the contestability period.

Here’s more on hiding smoking from life insurance companies.

Last updated: May. 15, 2013