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Buying life insurance is a major financial decision. It takes your thought process from protecting yourself to protecting your family once you pass away. Most likely, unless you have a large whole life or universal life plan, you won’t ever see the benefits of purchasing your life policy. And the process is frustrating when you’re goal is finding a perfect plan.

If you are a smoker, you probably know that life insurance for smokers can be more difficult to get and is generally more expensive than insurance for non-smokers.

However, the difficulty in getting low-cost insurance for smokers has led to a wide market for insurers who offer low rates for these applicants.

These companies can get you insurance rates that are close to the rates offered by other companies to non-smokers. Working with us will give you many options to look over as we work with many of the top life insurance carriers such as Banner Life Insurance.

Why You Need Life Insurance

affordable life insurance for smokersBefore we talk about getting the lowest life insurance rates possible, you need to understand the importance of a life insurance plan. The goal of life insurance is to provide your family with the funds they need to get through the difficult time of losing a loved one.

The average funeral costs $10,000, which can be a difficult bill for a grieving family to cover. That doesn’t account for all the other expenses that you would leave behind, like a car payment, mortgage, or student loans. Even a simple insurance plan for your funeral gives you and your family peace of mind knowing they would be taken care of in case something tragic was to happen.

The funeral costs probably isn’t going to be the only expense that your loved ones are going to be left with. More than likely, your family is going to be left with a massive amount of debt from your mortgage, car payments, and much more. Your family may be responsible for all your expenses, and that adds an extra burden that could hinder them moving forward with life. Your goal in buying life insurance should be to make sure that your survivors don’t suffer financially.

Additionally, if your family relies on your paycheck, your life insurance will give them the money they need to replace that source of income. Your life insurance policy will help them get through the difficult time without having to sacrifice their standard of living.

How Much More Is Life Insurance For Smokers

Remember, premiums don’t go up just because your a smoker. That goes for chewing tobacco, too. I had a client in his younger 30’s who looked to be in good health.

I was floored when his medical came back and he was quoted as a tobacco user. Turns out I had no idea that he chewed (and he didn’t bother to tell me). If you use chewing tobacco, you could get the exact same rates as a traditional smoker, which can be twice as much as a someone else who doesn’t smoke would pay for the same plan.

In fact, the same goes if you use marijuana, in some cases.

There are some insurance companies who will give you better rates for using chewing tobacco, better than what other companies are going to give you. If you want to get the lowest insurance rates, it’s vital you find an insurance company that is going to view your tobacco usage more favorably.

Guess how much more premiums for smokers are compared to non-smokers?

Some are almost four times as much!

I ran term life quotes to show you can example of how different rates can be if you were a healthy tobacco user vs healthy NT. As you can see the difference is staggering. You’re leaving a lot of cash on the table by continuing to use tobacco.

Check these premiums of tobacco users vs. non-users:

  • 30 Year Old, Male Non-Smoker: $282
  • 30 Year Old, Male Smoker: $735
  • Percent Difference: 2.606 times as expensive for the smoker
  • 30 Year Old, Female Non-Smoker: $200
  • 30 Year Old, Female Smoker: $527.50
  • Percent Difference: 2.638 times as expensive for the smoker
  • 40 Year Old, Male Non-Smoker: $375
  • 40 Year Old, Male Smoker: $1434
  • Percent Difference: 3.824 times as expensive for the smoker (this is the highest difference)
  • 40 Year Old, Female Non-Smoker: $300
  • 40 Year Old, Female Smoker: $977
  • Percent Difference: 3.256 times as expensive for the smoker


These are for 20 year term at $275,000 for a 50 year old.

  • 50 Year Old, Male Non-Smoker: $230
  • 50 Year Old, Male Smoker: $852
  • Percent Difference: 3.704 times as expensive for the smoker
  • 50 Year Old, Female Non-Smoker: $200
  • 50 Year Old, Female Smoker: $690
  • Percent Difference: 3.450 times as expensive for the smoker

Shopping Around For Insurance

The best insurance plan for smokers is to take a hard look at various companies who offer life insurance specifically tailored to smokers to find ones who offer reasonable rates. You should apply to several companies to see which one offers the best rate. For smokers, the difference between the prices offered by various insurance companies can be enormous.

You can save more than 20 percent on life insurance for smokers by shopping around and finding a company that specializes in low rates for smokers.

What Qualifies As Smoking?

We know that cigarettes and chewing tobacco qualify you as a tobacco user, but what about cigars or electronic cigarettes? Will you get smokers rates if you have an occasional cigar? Most companies won’t give you a full “smokers” rating if you smoke electronic cigarettes. If you smoke only occasionally smoke cigars, avoid smoking them several weeks before your health exam. A lot of the smokers rating vary company by company, be honest with the insurance agent.

Just like each company has different policies and medical underwriting, they all have different definitions of “smoking” and what it going to fall under that. Each companies view tobacco usage differently, which can have a drastic impact on your life insurance application.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need To Buy?

Getting the right amount of life insurance protection is a delicate balance between not buying too much and getting enough coverage.

Always tally up your debts and final expenses that would have to be taken care of once you pass away. Add up all of your mortgage payment, car payments, and other monthly payments that could add up over time. You need to make sure you have enough coverage so the benefit provides your family a way to pay those off.

Another use of buying a larger face value is to provide for income lost once you pass away. Most of the time you want to multiply your salary or annual income by a certain number. Some suggest ten, but four or five would be fine as well. This gives your family some extra cash and allows them time to replicate the income you would’ve produced. After you add up these numbers, you’ll see how much life insurance you need to purchase.

Lowering Your Insurance Rate

If you want the best possible rate, the best plan of action is to shop around, take the best offer you can find and then to stop smoking. If you can quit for a year, you can get a policy that is priced as low as any other non-smoker policy. If you have other health issues, such as diabetes, your rate may be higher, but a healthy person who has been smoke-free for a year can expect extremely low rates from most insurance companies. Your rate can be about half of what you paid before under your smokers’ policy.

Once you have decided on your course of action, you can look into life insurance for cigar smokers if you regularly smoke cigars or the best non-tobacco life insurance rates after quitting smoking if you want to choose that path. Each will give you a different rate scale, and each will have different life insurance companies that specialize in rates for those applicants.

Finding a healthy diet and exercise routine can also contribute to lower premiums. This change has a domino effect and could possibly lowers your blood pressure numbers and other numbers taken during the medical exam. Overall, living a healthy lifestyle is key to getting a preferred rating from the insurance carrier.

Another way that you can lower your insurance premiums is to get regular exercise. Getting enough exercise can also help you lower rates and is going to translate into a better rating from the insurance company. Hitting the gym could save you hundreds on your life insurance plan.

The best way to get the lowest insurance rates is by working with an independent insurance advisor. Being independent allows us to contract with multiple carriers so we can provide our clients with many quotes in hopes of finding the plan that fits your budget, your health, and the amount of insurance protection you wish to purchase. We can save you time, and money!

Because every insurance company is different, they all have different medical underwriting, you could receive drastically different rates from two companies. It’s vital that you get the most affordable policy to fit your needs.

Putting off the decision to purchase life insurance can cost you. Don’t let lingering questions be the excuse.  So call us today if we can help get an application started or answer any concerns you have.