Life Insurance for Smokers (Discounts & Rates)

Life insurance for smokers is typically more expensive than life insurance for nonsmokers. In some cases, smoking alone can raise your rate as much as 343%. The many negative health effects associated with smoking are what cause smokers' life insurance rates to be so expensive. Consider quitting smoking or opting for a no medical exam policy to save.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 3, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Life insurance for smokers is typically more expensive than average
  • Decades of research has linked smoking to several forms of cancer as well as other health problems
  • The frequency and amount you smoke will determine your rate

If you’re a lifelong smoker or even someone who only occasionally engages in smoking, you’re probably already aware of the negative health effects of smoking. As a result, you may be wondering if insurance providers offer life insurance for smokers.

Life insurance is an important thing to have and, fortunately, insurance providers do offer life insurance for those who smoke. However, you’re going to be charged much higher rates than nonsmokers.

Keep reading to learn why life insurance rates for smokers are so expensive and how you can save by finding the lowest rates.

Before jumping into this review on life insurance for smokers, enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool above to find affordable life insurance for smokers in your area.

Why are smokers’ life insurance rates so expensive?

If you’re a smoker and you’ve been looking for life insurance, you’ve probably been shocked by the high price of smokers’ life insurance rates.

Although a life insurance company for smokers takes into account age, health, and family medical history when determining your rate, smoking alone can raise a term life insurance rate 164% to 343% higher than a nonsmoker’s rate.

Why is this? Well, decades of research show that smoking causes cancer and increases your risk of stroke and brain damage as well as a host of other health problems.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in the United States.

The risks become even greater as you age, so life insurance for smokers over 40 will come with an even heftier price tag than for smokers under 40.

Because of these increased health risks, it’s no wonder life insurance companies charge smokers so much more for life insurance. They simply present a much greater risk to the company than nonsmokers.

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How can I save on life insurance for smokers?

So how can you save on smokers’ life insurance rates? Well, the first and simplest way to save is to quit smoking altogether. You’ll have to wait at least 12 to 24 months after quitting to qualify for the best life insurance rates.

Traditional life insurance policies will require you to take a medical exam in order to determine your health levels and rate. Your life insurance application will ask about your history of smoking. Be honest when you answer that question. If they find nicotine in your blood levels, they’ll know you’re a smoker, even if you insist you don’t smoke.

However, with no-exam life insurance for smokers, you won’t have to take a medical exam, which means any negative health effects caused by smoking won’t be known by your provider.

Keep in mind it’s never a good idea to lie about cigarette smoking, or any other health condition, to a life insurance company. If they find out you could be denied coverage or worse—your insurance company could refuse to pay out to your beneficiaries.

Even no-exam life insurance for smokers will require a brief health questionnaire asking if you smoke. Always tell the truth to get accurate life insurance quotes for smokers. While non-smoker rates are cheaper, comparison shopping will allow you to find the most affordable life insurance rates for your situation.

The best way to save is to compare quotes from multiple life insurance companies to find the most competitive rates.  Enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool below to buy life insurance for smokers from providers near you.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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