As you are looking for information about life insurance for smokers, we have mixed news for you.
For you, the good news is that you are lucky that you can get life insurance if you are a smoker. But the not-so-good news is that the cost will be a lot higher than that of a non-smoker’s.
When you come to know to what extent the costs go up, your socks will instantly get knocked off.
Read Tom and Tad’s Stories
Let’s read what two Minnesota siblings discovered when they went online to get insurance quotes for themselves.
Tomas and Tad were born as twins on the same calendar day, 1 January, 1992, have the same height which is 5.6 feet, and both weigh 180 lbs. They have no health or other issues that might affect underwriting. Right after their marriage at different times of the same year, 2016, they felt they needed life insurance policies. And they visited two different sites to check the life insurance costs they would have to pay.
They consulted each other on every issue that mattered. They decided to go for a 20 year term life insurance policy that would cover $500,000.
Tomas visited quotacy.com, an online brokerage agency, and put in the information as a non-smoker. The lowest quote for Tomas came from Haven Life and the highest was from Prudential. The lowest quote was $19.75 while the highest was $30.63.
On the other hand…
Tad, who is a regular smoker, had his lowest quote from AIG while the highest came from Protective. AIG offered the policy for $66.52 while Protecitve’s quote was $107.93.
A comparison of the quotes they received is shown below:
|CARRIER NAME||Tomas’s Quotes (Non-smoker) Monthly||Tad’s Quotes (Smoker)||Difference in Raise by Percentage|
|UNITED OF OMAHA||$21.22||$92.09||433.98%|
They decided to check other life insurance quotes providers and visited term4sale. Let’s see what they found there. With a view not to making it boring for you, we only show you how the same carrier that gave Tomas the lowest and highest quotes raised their rates several times when it came to Tad.
|Company Name||Tomas (Non-Smoker)||Tad (Smoker)||Difference in Raise by %|
Tad was a bit happy that he had cheaper life insurance rate from term4sale. Assurity Life Insurance Co.’s quote was $56.55, less than the other provider’s. Still he could not compromise with the reality that he had to pay 286.33% more than Tomas.
Clearly, life insurance for smokers and non-smokers has a broad silver-lining.
Why Smoking Raises Your Cost
Why is life insurance for smokers so costly?
Let’s find the answer.
When you seek life insurance, for smoker or not, the insurer closely sees into the extent of risks you may be posing. The major criteria that determine your life insurance rates are your age, health, history and habit. When you are a smoker, the insurer stands sharp on guard. They are not very friendly when it comes to life insurance for smokers.
Insurers know providing insurance to smoker can boomerang their interest.
Because they know:
Smoking is responsible for 480,000 deaths in the USA every year.
It is the sole contributor of 20% deaths.
Everyday 1300 people die in the USA due to smoking-related diseases.
Smoking is responsible for the following conditions each of which is anti-insurance:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
And, above all…
Smokers die 10 years earlier than the non-smokers.
As a matter of course, though insurers provide life insurance for smokers, they leverage high rates on the buyers.
(Statistics source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Which Activities Are Considered Smoking?
Because you do not smoke traditionally, you may consider yourself as a non-smoker. But life insurance companies may have a different view of you. They consider a wide range of activities as smoking. They are:
Nicotine substitutes like patches and gums
Marijuana more than 2 times a month
Cigars no more than a fixed number per week or month. (Typically two a month with most companies)
What If I Am an Occasional Smoker?
Even if you are an occasional smoker, you will be considered a smoker. Typically, smoking more than 2 cigarettes a year can be a cause for high cost for you.
What If I Quit Smoking?
If you have quit smoking, you are certainly going to benefit. For the full benefit for life insurance for past smokers to come to you, you should have given up the habit at least 60 months (5 years) before applying for insurance. You will get the best rate for the non-smokers then. On the other hand, if you have quit the habit for more than 24 months (2 years), you will get the second-best rate like a non-smoker.
Will They Know I Smoke?
You might wonder how the insurer will know if you smoke. Well, there are two ways they will know the truth by. One, from your declaration in the application for insurance. Two, from the paramedic test that they will have you undergo. However, if you go for life insurance without medical test, it is only from your declaration that they will know about your habit.
You may feel tempted to lie to the insurer. But that is no good idea. The rates of life insurance for smokers are compensated for in the premiums. That means the insurers charge you for the risks they have on you. If you die of any conditions caused by your nicotine habit, they are to pay the death benefit to the beneficiaries. But lying will undermine the interest of your beloved ones.
A Warning for You
Some people who purchase life insurance through medical tests find for ways to hide the nicotine. Depending on your habit, you can hide nicotine from the paramedic by abstaining from smoking for 4 days to 2 weeks. But this again is no good idea. If you happen to develop a condition that smoking may have caused, there are going to be troubles for the beneficiaries.
What Are Tests Given?
Life insurers take every possible step to ensure they are insuring a healthy person with prospects of good longevity. You are to go through any or all of the possible tests to determine the presence or absence of nicotine in you. So, they are going to:
Test your blood
And/Or, your urine
How Shall I Buy Insurance?
Seeking life insurance for smokers is not a tough job if you have had no health issues already. But it is painful and even may be impossible for you if you have health issues. When you have no health issues, your cost will still be steeping high. But good news is there are many friendly companies for the seekers of life insurance for smokers. So, shopping around can be a good approach for you.
Seeking professional help is helpful when you don’t know how to shop.