The local news station occasionally consults with me when they are working on an insurance related story.  I’m always happy to help, but the reporter’s question a few days ago really stumped me!  He asked why homeowners insurance companies might offer a credit for being a non-smoker, and how much the credit might be.  Talk about a loaded question!

I work for an independent insurance agency that represents several large insurance companies.  None of them offer such a discount!  The first thing that came to mind was that leaving a cigarette burning is equivalent to lighting a candle only to forget you’ve done it.  You walk away, get busy, get distracted, and your house burns down!  So if companies offer a credit for being a non-smoker, I thought, why don’t they offer a credit for someone who doesn’t burn candles?!  Hey, I don’t make the rules…but I do question them!

I guess if companies surcharge clients for having a woodburning stove or fireplace, it only makes sense that there should be some sort of credit for people that don’t smoke in the first place.  And, insurance companies are moving more in the direction of charging rates based on each individual’s risk factors.  Check with your agent to make sure you’re being charged correctly for your personal exposures!