Tobacco users sometimes have a difficult time finding affordable life insurance coverage. The cost of life insurance can be more than 5 times higher for smokers than it is for nonsmokers. The problem can be compounded when smokers are also in bad health, especially from smoking-related diseases such as high blood pressure or emphysema.
Term life insurance is much more affordable for smokers than whole life insurance is, but even term coverage can be expensive. Luckily there are ways for smokers to get a good deal on life insurance, and it starts with comparing multiple providers to find the most affordable option to fit their needs.
Least Expensive Companies
A search (in 2019) for the cheapest companies generally shows Cincinnati Life to issue the least expensive policies for smokers, in general. Take a look at the list of lowest premium companies for a hypothetical 48 year old male.
In order of price, this search found the best companies to use for smokers to be:
- Cincinnati Life
- Banner Life
- Pacific Life
- Centurian Life
Banner Life and Pacific Life also are usually among the least expensive options for a smoker policy besides Cincinnati Life. This hypothetical quote is for $100,000 of death benefit. At $591 for an annual premium, the cheapest policy is a pretty good deal. This is less than $50 per month. You can see how prices can rise quickly, with Prudential clocking in at $763 per year. Keep in mind that this is just a general guide and that prices can change all the time. That being said, these companies consistently perform best. This also illustrates why it is so important to compare prices from different companies.
Life Ant Will Find You The Best Deal
Life Ant is here to help smokers get the best deal on life insurance that they possibly can. The rates that companies charge can vary widely because every company treats smokers slightly differently with regards to how they classify them for health rating purposes.
Because we specialize in looking at each case individually and helping you get the best coverage for your needs, Life Ant can find the company that will give you the best deal. Some companies give almost every smoker the same price, while other companies will give smokers who also happen to be in good health much better rates.
A lot of companies have a quick screening process to give you an idea of what they will charge and how they will classify you in terms of health rating before you go through the full application process. By answering a few short questions, smokers will get a much better idea of which company can provide them with the lowest rates on insurance. Read on for other ways to save on insurance if you are a smoker, or look for yourself using our quote system. You can compare rates for yourself, and we can help provide you advice, free of charge.
Term Life Coverage Is Most Affordable
Because the price for insurance coverage is so much higher for smokers, we recommend that price-conscious buyers who are also smokers looking to buy term life insurance policies first. Whole life insurance is much more expensive than term insurance is, and a whole life policy with a “smoker” health rating can result in a policy with what we would call a burdensome cost in some cases. The value of whole life as an investment and retirement savings tool tends to diminish when the cost of insurance is very high for someone. In other words, if you are a smoker, a whole life policy is generally not a very good investment option like it can be for someone who is in good health and doesn’t smoke. In the case of smokers, it is rarely worth using whole life insurance as an investment unless there is a personal financial need which can only be satisfied with a whole life insurance policy such as during trust planning or estate planning.
It doesn’t hurt to investigate whole life insurance as a possible option, but many smokers will find this to be an expensive alternative to term life insurance. If we had to give a general recommendation, it is definitely to gravitate towards a term policy which is only as long as you need the coverage.
You Don’t Need To Smoke To Pay Smoker Rates
A person need not use tobacco through smoking it to be assigned a “smoker” rating. Any tobacco (or marijuana) use by a prospective insured person will normally translate to a “smoker” health rating assignment. Even the occasional cigar smoke will trigger this. A vaping habit can also sometimes cause a smoker health rating to be assigned. Note that some companies may use their traditional health rating system for tobacco users though, but they add the “smoker” rating to whatever health rating assignment they make. This can benefit light tobacco users who are in otherwise good health.
The rates for smokers are much higher than for nonsmokers, so if you can stop smoking before you apply for life insurance you will significantly lower your rates. Some companies require that you have not used tobacco for 1 or more years before they will remove a smoker rating, but the sooner you stop the better off you will be.
Purchase Policy When You are Young Or Get Shorter Term For Lowest Price
The reason smokers pay more is evident. Smoking shortens life expectancy directly. Smoking is also associated with a number of other health ailments, and considerably poorer overall health. Statistically speaking, life insurance companies also view people who smoke as less likely to make other healthy life choices. Added up it means that over a large sample size, the life insurance company expects that there is a much higher chance that a smoker can have a death claim at a younger age. However, the risk that a smoker will pass away is much higher later in life, especially after about age 60.
To get the lowest life insurance rates possible, smokers are usually wise to look at term life insurance policies which will expire by age 60. This means that if you are a 49-year-old male smoker, for instance, a 10-year term life insurance policy will usually be much less expensive than a 20-year term policy. If you are a younger smoker, it may not impact your rates as harshly to buy insurance for a longer-term.
We advise that smokers get insurance coverage at as young an age as possible. This also guarantees that you will be insurable for as long as you wish if the term policy is convertible. If this is the case, no matter what changes in health may occur you will always have the option to have insurance coverage if you make all your payments to the insurance company.
There is not Necessarily a “Best Company”
If you are lead to believe by an insurance agent that one company is better than another for smokers, you may miss out on a good deal. Every company prices their products differently, and the lowest-priced company for you will depend on your age, sex, your health condition apart from your tobacco usage, and the current rates being offered by the life insurance company (which do change). No matter what you are told, you will be best served to look at a lot of companies and basing your decision on the information you get from the quotes.
What you will want to be aware of before you purchase is the internal policy regarding removing your smoker rating, if you stop smoking and quit tobacco.
Quick Smoking to Get Better Rates-Reconsideration
Most major life insurance companies have a wonderful feature to help you save money, and it provides an incentive for smokers to quit. If a smoker is able to cease smoking for at least 2 years, the company will reconsider its health rating. In most cases after quitting for 2 years, the company will take the “smoker” rating off of the policy and will assign the person the health rating that they would otherwise receive in underwriting for a non-smoker.
Life insurance rates for smokers can be substantially higher, as much as 3 to 5 times the cost of a nonsmoker. This means that smokers can sometimes save 80% on their annual policy cost by quitting in the future. This is a nice option that encourages smokers who are planning on quitting to still pursue insurance coverage if they need it, and save people who are able to quit a lot of money as well. If you currently smoke and need health insurance coverage, don’t let the current high cost discourage you, especially if you are planning on quitting in the near future. You want to guarantee yourself coverage, and you may only have to pay higher premiums for a short amount of time if you are able to stop smoking. Life Ant recommends companies that allow smokers to get a health reconsideration within 2 years of quitting.
As always the cheapest way for a smoker to get life insurance is to stop smoking, buy life insurance that allows a reconsideration after purchase, and reap lower rates after the required period of time has elapsed.