Life Insurance for Smokers vs Non Smokers

Joseph Meyer
Written by
Last update:

Table of Contents

  • Premature Death
  • Premature Death of a Family Member

Cost of Insurance

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Can You Get Life Insurance as a Smoker?

According to a recent study, only 25% of all smokers apply for life insurance. The rest either do not feel the need for it or are not informed about the benefits of life insurance.

If you smoke occasionally, or are the occasional non-social smoker, you probably don’t need to be alarmist about life insurance and may want to consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of life insurance for smokers.

If you are a daily smoker, you should talk to an independent professional about life insurance policy options.

Life insurance for smokers is generally more expensive than life insurance for non-smokers.

Life insurance for smokers is considered to be riskier than life insurance for non-smokers.

So would these policies hold up the other way around? Let us do the experiment and answer this question.

Life insurance for non-smokers is generally more expensive than life insurance for smokers.

Life insurance for non-smokers is considered to be less risky, or safer, than life insurance for smokers.

The only reason why would insurance companies charge more for life insurance for smokers is because smokers have a higher mortality rate. A life insurance policy is designed to act as a replacement source of income for beneficiaries, and some think that smokers need a bigger replacement source of income.

How Much Higher are Life Insurance Rates for Smokers?

As a smoker you aren’t just exposing yourself to the risk of a shorter life, but you are also at a higher risk for life-threatening medical conditions. To be sure, even if you aren’t already suffering from one of those life-threatening conditions, you’re more likely to develop such a condition in the future.

The reason for higher life insurance rates for smokers is the assumption that they are more likely to develop health problems, and therefore we can assume that they will apply for more claims thus increasing the risk of the policy.

How much higher are your premiums?

Different Level of Cover and Policy Types

To get an accurate quote compare life insurance policies on a like-for-like basis. For example, if you are comparing a level term policy for 10 years with a 25-year policy, the premiums will automatically look very different as the risk is likely to be significantly different. Also, you should not forget to compare the benefits as well since some policies only include critical illness cover.

Non Standard Rate

The non-standard rate is the higher premium that the insurance company charges for smokers. The percentage is dependent on how much of a risk you are for the company.

How much of a higher rate is also dependent on your age, your health and the whether the premiums are calculated based on the annual premiums or your weekly income.

Sample Life Insurance Quotes for Smokers

Because life insurance premiums correspond directly with life expectancy rates, smokers generally pay higher premiums than non-smokers. Smokers are more likely to die sooner because of complications related to smoking … and if that happens, the insurance company is left paying out a large death benefit (which was calculated based on the recipient’s projected lifespan). Obviously, that’s not the good kind of risk to take on. However, it’s easy to avoid such a risk if you quit smoking now.

Whether you smoke or not, you can still get life insurance, especially if you have a spouse or dependents who depend on your income for survival … but as you can imagine, it’s going to cost you more to insure a smoker versus someone who has never touched a cigarette.

Testing for Tobacco During the Life Insurance Application

The term “life insurance” may conjure different images in the minds of different people. For some, life insurance will likely be all about the money – the financial assistance to your loved ones after you pass away. For some others, life insurance may be about savings – the way to accumulate more funds for that future dream home or college fund. But for others, life insurance may also be about making the world a better place. If you are part of this final group, you might be contemplating if you should get a life insurance policy.

Well, unless you are an anti-life insurance agent, the only real reason not to get life insurance is because you don’t actually need it. But to determine whether you should have a policy or not, you will have to take a look at your life insurance quotes.

If you are currently going around to insurance agents and comparing quotes, you’re making a very smart move. When you do this, you will compare the different policies available and will be able to decide which one suits your needs the most. In addition to this, you’ll also compare premiums; the costs of each policy.

Cigars and Chewing Tobacco

According to the most recent statistics, approximately 15% of smoking-related deaths in the United States are linked to cigars and chewing tobacco.

While the above sounds scary enough for most, one of my good friends have been smoked cigars for over 25 years and he is currently the most healthy 65-year-old I know.

What’s the scoop?

According to studies, “cigar" smokers may be at a greater risk of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer compared to cigarette smokers. Chewing tobacco has also revealed similar fatal associations.

The word “cigar" is used to describe a hand-rolled tobacco product that is wrapped in tobacco or a tobacco leaf. There are two main types of cigar-smoke: “long" and “short" fill. Short fill cigars contain much more tobacco and deliver more nicotine than long fill cigars, which means that short fill cigars can be more addictive than long fill cigars.

Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes

Some e-cigarettes look a lot like traditional cigarettes, so if you’re a smoker and you’re thinking about switching to e-cigs to quit, you might want to think again. Life insurance quotes for smokers often differ depending on whether you smoke traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

A significant number of e-cigarette smokers do not think e-cigs are harmful to their health. E-cigarettes contain fewer harmful chemicals than traditional cigarettes, and their use is not associated with cancer. However, their long-term effects on human health are just beginning to be researched, and so far the evidence has not been conclusive. The preliminary findings show that e-cigarettes increase a person’s risk of lung inflammation, and some e-cigarettes contain traces of formaldehyde.

Because of this, there’s a chance that e-cigarettes will be subject to the same regulations as other tobacco products. If this happens, you may have trouble getting life insurance or you may have to pay more for your coverage.


Smoking marijuana may result in serious damage to the lungs, like other forms of smoking. In fact, smoking can cause signs of chronic bronchitis within as little as three weeks. Long-term use of marijuana may cause the tumors of the lungs, kidneys, and head/neck. Marijuana smoke is also associated with an increased incidence of cancer of the lungs and other respiratory tract cancers. Marijuana is also shown to increase the risk of heart attack.

With non-smoked marijuana, there is not much likelihood of inhaling tar-like products. Edible marijuana, on the other hand, varies in result, depending on the ingredients. It can extend to a mellow 4/20 experience, or can lead to a very high high more akin to that of marijuana smoke.

Life insurance for Smokers:

Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States (US), followed by obesity, alcohol, physical inactivity, and the combination of poor diet and not enough physical activity. Smoking is the second-leading cause of preventable death in the US. Even former smokers have a higher risk of death than nonsmokers. Life insurance for Smokers, therefore, is not freely available. The higher premiums after a smoking cessation program is completed are usually meant to lower the mortality of the insurance company.

Life insurance for Non-Smokers:

Life Insurance as a Smoker – a Case Study

Life insurance for smokers vs non smokers is a case study where most people get lumped into the smoker’s category. The thought process is that if you are a smoker, you are automatically a high-risk case that requires careful scrutiny to ensure that you get a fair term policy that will cover your death benefits.

An interesting thing that we discovered when we did our own due diligence on this topic is that a smoker in the 35 to 44 age range ( well covered by term life insurance) may actually be a better bet than a non-smoker in the same age range.

Researchers took into account the number of people who die every year from excessive alcohol consumption. They found that the non-smokers category had the highest risk of dying from excessive alcohol consumption (understandable if we consider the number of health professionals leading a healthy lifestyle that happens to consume alcohol).

This lead their research to conclude that smokers should not be automatically categorized as higher risk.

Having said that, there is no hard and fast rule about this. As with any other questions related to life insurance and death benefits, it’s always better to find out for yourself.

Quitting Smoking Helps

Smoking is one of the most hazardous activities you can engage in. It is dangerous to your health and can take a huge toll on your life. Cigarette smoking is linked to many health risk factors including cancer, heart disease and multiple organ failure.

One of the most common reasons for concern is that many people smoke well into their middle age and senior years. Unfortunately, smoking-related medical issues start to crop up as people age, which can be a severe drain on any tight budget.

There are insurance policies that can protect you and your family against the potential monetary perils of smoking. These are different for a smoker and a non-smoker. No doubt that you will be wondering about life insurance for smokers if you are still a smoker.

Life insurance for smokers is designed to cover medical costs. If you are a smoker, you can even get a life insurance policy that covers smoking-related illnesses, which are likely to be more expensive. These policies are not designed to cover any other types of life or death circumstances, which are likely to be less expensive anyway.

Life insurance for smokers allows people to plan for future medical expenses. If you or your family members have a dependency on drugs or medical services, life insurance for smokers can cover the whole cost. It may also pay out earlier if your spouse is left with young children.

Great Companies for Smokers Life Insurance

If you’re a smoker, you might feel like you’re at a disadvantage when you’re trying to find life insurance. Many people believe that insurance companies will charge smokers more for life insurance than non-smokers.

While most insurance companies won’t deny you coverage, they do charge smokers different rates depending on the company. Life insurance rates can be substantially higher for smokers. This is because life insurance rates are based on your risk of dying. However, you can find many companies that don’t charge smokers any more than non-smokers.

Before you start shopping for life insurance, you’ll need to find out two things:

  • Where you stand with your health, and
  • What life insurance companies are smart to work with

As an active smoker, you probably know that your premiums are going to cost more because you’re at a higher risk of dying. But you’d be surprised how many insurance companies don’t take your health into consideration, and simply price your coverage by the number of years of coverage you want instead. Before you start shopping for life insurance, take a fun, quick and easy health quiz, and get a personalized report to find out if you could qualify for special rates.

Get Life Insurance

Everyone knows smoking is bad for their health. But did you know that it can also cost you big when it comes to buying life insurance? Even if you don’t smoke cigarettes, but you do smoke marijuana, you still may be considered a smoker. Life insurance companies may not consider smoking tobacco to be as bad as smoking marijuana. Marijuana use is more difficult to judge. It’s more common to inhale marijuana, and that can increase the amount of tar that gets into your lungs.

Your life insurance policy is set up so that your family receives enough money to live on after you die. This means that you may have to pay higher premiums if your lifestyle is risky or you’ve been unhealthy, especially if you are a smoker. A young or healthy non-smoker who may have to pay a higher premium because of their life choices can still get a decent life insurance policy if they can afford it. But a smoker in the same situation may be priced out of the market and end up buying an insufficient policy.

About the Author

John is an avid blogger and writes on a variety of topics. He has worked in insurance for the last several years and provides insights on Insurance for people looking for the best company for their insurance.

You Might Also Enjoy

  • Top 5 Places to Get Your Bike Repaired
  • 16 Health Benefits of Breakfast