Smoker Life Insurance Strategies

Are you waiting until you quit smoking to buy life insurance? You know that smoking causes health risks, so even if you have to pay more, you should be sure to protect your family now by purchasing smoker life insurance.

Who is Considered a Smoker?

Everyone knows that a person who smokes a pack a day of cigarettes is considered a smoker by life insurance companies.  But you may not know that all insurance companies consider you a smoker if you:

  •  smoke cigarettes occasionally
  •  smoked cigarettes at any time during the last year
  •  smoke cigars regularly

In addition, some companies will consider you a smoker if you:

  • have just a few cigars a year
  • use smokeless tobacco
  • wear a nicotine patch or use nicotine gum

Should I Tell the Truth?

Even though it is tempting lie about smoking on your life insurance application, in this case the lie is not only morally wrong, it can be dangerous.  Insurance policies have a 2-year contestability period, which means that if you were to die in the next two years, the company may contest your claim, and refuse to pay if they find out you were a smoker.  That could happen even if you died from an auto accident, or something else unrelated to smoking.

Can an Insurance Company Tell I’m a Smoker?

Yes, all life insurance companies require a blood test for nicotine use.  If you lie and the company sees you have nicotine in your blood, they may not confront you, but they will offer you smoker life insurance rates, not non-smoker.

What About A Company that Doesn’t Require a Blood Test?

Life insurance companies that don’t do a medical exam and tests usually cost more than those who require you to pass an exam.  Moreover, you will still need to tell them whether you are a smoker, pay smoker life insurance rates and face the same contestability clause.   So it just isn’t worth it to try to get around the fact that smoking does affect your health and your life insurance rates.

Is it Possible to Get Good Smoker Life Insurance Rates?

Absolutely.  Insurance companies know that smoker life insurance is important, and they adjust their policy pricing for smokers.  However, many companies have differences in how they calculate who is a smoker, and in how they calculate rates.  Only an independent insurance agent who is familiar with all of the available policies can help you get the best smoker life insurance for your situation.

What Makes a Difference in Smoker Life Insurance rates?

Here are some things which may help you get a better rate:

  • trying to quit smoking
  • using smokeless tobacco rather than cigarettes
  • smoking cigars only occasionally
  • smoking cigars rather than cigarettes
  • using a nicotine patch or gum rather than smoking

What if I do Quit?

Once you are a non-smoker for 1 year, you can get non-smoker rates with some companies.  Other companies want you to be smoke free for 2 years.  The amount of time you are smoke free makes a difference in the best rate you can qualify for.  Even if you get a smokers life insurance policy and quit later, many companies will re-consider your rates once you have stopped smoking for one year.

The Bottom Line – How Can I Get the Best Rates?

The only way to get the best rates for smokers life insurance policies is to let an experienced independent life insurance agent shop for you at several companies.  Independent agents can examine your particular health history and smoking and determine which company is most likely to give you insurance at the best possible rate.

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