If you’re a smoker, your risk of health conditions, like lung cancer and heart disease, is believed greater than for someone who doesn’t smoke. In addition, you’ll likely have to pay more for a life insurance policy. The good news is, you can still find life insurance at reasonable rates and help protect your loved ones financially in the event you pass away. Here’s what you should know about life insurance for smokers and tobacco users.
Yes, you can still qualify for many life insurance plans if you smoke. But you should expect higher premiums than a non-smoker. This is because smoking is considered a health risk that can reduce your life expectancy, and life insurance companies reserve higher rates for those that aren’t expected to live as long. It’s important to note that if you have a smoking-related disease, an insurer may choose to deny your request for a policy.1
When you fill out a life insurance policy application, you’ll be asked whether you smoke. Depending on the provider and policy, you might also have to undergo a medical exam. During the exam, a health care professional will likely take a sample of blood, saliva, and urine to determine if there is nicotine in your body and whether you smoke.
While it might be tempting to state you don’t smoke or refuse the sample test, doing so can do more harm than good. If an insurance company finds out that you lied on your application and are a smoker, they may deny you coverage altogether.2
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Many people might picture smokers as those who smoke cigarettes. However, there are various other types of products that may classify you as a smoker, tobacco user, or nicotine user by a life insurance policy. These may include the following:
There are several life insurance options that may be available to you as a smoker, including:
Term life insurance is a type of plan that offers coverage for a set period of time, typically between 10 and 30 years. Your premiums may remain the same over the entire term, depending on the type of policy you have. If you pass away while the plan is still active, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit.
Whole life insurance is a permanent policy, meaning it provides coverage for your entire life. Typically, this policy comes with a death benefit and cash value component that lets you earn money in a tax-deferred account. You can often use the cash value while you’re still alive.
Final expense life insurance is a permanent policy that is designed to cover the expenses that often arise in the final stage of life. It can be used by beneficiaries to pay for out-of-pocket medical bills, legal and accounting costs, and funeral and burial expenses.
Guaranteed-issue life insurance is another type of whole life insurance that lets you skip health-related questions when you fill out an application, as well as a medical exam. This policy usually comes with a waiting period before benefits kick in.
Life insurance premiums for smokers are higher than normal rates. In fact, they can be worth double or triple non-smoker rates. Here’s a closer look at how much life insurance costs for smokers vs. non-smokers. These rates are based on a 20-year term life insurance policy:3
Life expectancy and life insurance rates go hand in hand. A shorter life expectancy typically leads to more expensive premiums and vice versa. If you’re a smoker, your risk of health conditions that reduce your life expectancy is considered higher than it would be if you didn’t smoke. For this reason, you will pay more for a life insurance policy.
Even if you smoke, you can still get approved for a life insurance policy and help financially protect loved ones in the event of your passing. Aflac offers life insurance for smokers without medical exams. It’s easy to find information about our policy options, and our rates are reasonable. We recommend chatting with an agent to get a better understanding of your options.
Explore your life insurance options.
1 Forbes - Life Insurance for Smokers. Updated August 16, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/life-insurance/smokers/. Accessed April 1, 2023.
2 Bankrate - Life Insurance for Smokers. Updated January 1, 2023. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/life-insurance/life-insurance-for-smokers/. Accessed April 1, 2023.
3 Policygenius - The Cheapest Life Insurance Companies and Quotes for Smokers. Updated March 30, 2023. https://www.policygenius.com/life-insurance/smokers/. Accessed April 1, 2023.
Life – 68000 Series - In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC1368100, ICC1368200, ICC1368300, ICC1368400. In Delaware, Policies A68100-A68400. In New York, NY68100-NY68400. Term/Whole Life – B60000 Series – In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC18B60C10, ICC18B60100, ICC18B60200, ICC18B60300, & ICC18B60400. Group Whole Life - Q60000 Series - In Arkansas, Policy Q60100CAR. In Delaware, Policy Q60200M. In Idaho Policy Q60100CID. In Oklahoma, Policy Q60100COK. In Oregon, Policy Q60100COR. In Texas, Policy Q60100CTX. Group Term Life Q60000 Series - In Delaware, Policies Q60200C. In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Policies ICC18Q60200C, ICC18Q60300C, ICC18Q60400C.
The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent.
Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New York, coverage underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
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