Life Insurance for Smokers

Life insurance for smokers is a lot costlier than life insurance for non-smokers. Do not try to lie about your smoking or tobacco use on your life insurance application. If you are caught you could lose your benefits or your life insurance coverage entirely. Read more to see how smoking affects your life insurance rates as you age.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2020

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Quick Facts

  • Life insurance for smokers can be up to three times more expensive than life insurance for nonsmokers.
  • Lying about smoking on life insurance applications will not work; underwriters will test you for nicotine during the medical exam, and lying could void your policy.
  • Life insurance companies treat vapers, tobacco chewers, and marijuanna users the same as smokers.
  • You may be able to get nonsmoking rates after you have quit smoking for at least a year or more.

Smoking is not great for your overall health. As a result, smoking seriously affects your life insurance costs and could cost you up to three times as much as nonsmokers. Term life insurance for smokers is expensive because smoking is a risky activity that is proven to cause serious illness.

Whole life insurance for smokers is possible to get, but it will cost you. If you want to lower your life insurance costs, quitting smoking will go a long way. Still, life insurance for smokers is just as important as it is to nonsmokers.

You can find a policy that fits your needs without having to make lifestyle changes you are not comfortable with. However, you do not want to get caught lying about smoking on your life insurance application. Be honest with your insurance company and explore all your insurance options.

If you’re ready to start comparing affordable life insurance quotes for smokers, enter your ZIP code above. Not yet ready to buy life insurance for smokers? Find out now.

Does smoking void a life insurance policy?

Smoking will not void your life insurance policy if you are honest about it. If you lie about smoking, your life insurance policy can be voided.

If you manage to pass a medical exam without them detecting nicotine in your body (which is very unlikely) and receive a nonsmoker life insurance policy, your benefits could be delayed, reduced, or removed if they determine you lied.

During the first two years of your life insurance policy, your provider will be able to contest any benefit payments in the event of your passing. They will be allowed to go through all of your medical records and search for intentional omissions and lies. If they find out you lied, your beneficiaries may receive nothing.

How much more is life insurance for smokers?

Life insurance smoker rates can be a lot more expensive than for nonsmokers. As you age, these rates only get higher and higher. For example, life insurance for smokers over 40 is a lot more expensive than life insurance for smokers under 40.

We’ve included some tables that show the costs of term life insurance for smokers and nonsmokers and whole life insurance for smokers and nonsmokers. Take a look at how much your rates increase as a smoker, particularly as you age.

First, we’ll take a look at the average annual term life insurance rates.

Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates by Gender & Tobacco Use
Policyholder AgeAverage Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Male Non-SmokersAverage Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Male SmokersAverage Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Female Non-SmokersAverage Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Female Smokers
25$14.53$22.88$12.70$19.40
30$14.96$26.19$13.22$21.66
35$17.57$30.10$15.40$24.27
40$21.40$41.76$18.62$33.58
45$26.54$59.07$22.97$47.59
50$36.02$88.39$29.32$67.86
55$50.98$133.98$38.11$97.96
60$84.91$207.84$60.20$158.17
65$144.51$324.42$97.44$257.96
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Now, let’s compare those to the average annual rates for whole life insurance.

Average Monthly Whole Life Insurance Rates by Gender & Tobacco Use
Policyholder AgeAverage Monthly Whole Life Insurance Rates for Male Non-SmokersAverage Monthly Whole Life Insurance Rates for Male SmokersAverage Monthly Whole Life Insurance Rates for Female Non-SmokersAverage Monthly Whole Life Insurance Rates for Female Smokers
25$93.70$115.62$84.91$106.84
30$107.71$133.72$97.35$123.71
35$128.24$157.21$112.93$145.81
40$153.90$185.83$132.15$172.09
45$190.79$224.37$156.17$205.76
50$234.90$277.01$191.66$252.21
55$294.84$349.74$243.17$320.51
60$399.24$466.93$311.63$389.41
65$528.00$600.04$421.69$485.37
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Clearly, smoking is costly in more ways than one. Still, you can get life insurance and be an active smoker. You just have to be ready to pay more than your nonsmoking counterparts.

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Is there no-exam life insurance for smokers?

It is possible to get no medical exam life insurance. You will still be asked if you smoke or use tobacco products, and lying about it will still cost you if you are caught.

Is there occassional-smoker life insurance? There is no such thing as occasionally smoking in the insurance companies’ eyes. Either you smoke or you don’t. If you’ve had a cigarette in the last 12 months, you are likely to be labeled a smoker by the insurance company.

The best way to lower your rates is to quit smoking for at least a year or more. You can get life insurance with no medical exam, but you will still need to be honest about your health, lifestyle, and more.

Can smokers get life insurance?

Smokers can get great life insurance coverage; it will just cost them more. The important thing is to be completely honest with your insurer. You don’t want your coverage to be voided because you were dishonest on your application.

The older you are, the more expensive your smoking habit becomes on a health insurance application. You’ll likely need to be smoke free for at least a year or more before you can qualify for nonsmoker life insurance rates.

If you’re ready to start comparing life insurance rates for smokers today, enter your ZIP code below. Which life insurance company for smokers is best for you? Find out now.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/smoking-heart-disease

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