"Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times." —Mark Twain
Mark Twain's quote might be humorous, be we know that many people have strong feelings about smoking—both for and against. The fact of the matter is that 18.2 percent of women smoke every single day, and 15.2 percent of men do the same. That's a significant percentage of the population. Whether you're trying to quit or see no reason to, we can help you get the life insurance coverage you need.
That's a great question! Our video has the answer:
When you fill out our life insurance quote form, it will ask you to select a description of your tobacco use:
Quit over a year ago? You'll get a lower life insurance rate.
Unless you quit smoking before we found out whether Kelly Clarkson or Justin Guarini won the first American Idol, you’ll have to go on record as a former tobacco user. Now, if you're a current user, you'll pay the highest price. Ideally, insurers want you to have quit at least one year ago.
It might not seem fair at first, but here's why they do that: they're evaluating risk. To the insurer, someone in perfect health is a low risk. They aren't likely to pass away soon, so the insurance company won't need to pay out soon.
However, if you smoke now or have smoked in the past few years, insurers are wary. They know there's a greater chance that, statistically, you'll be diagnosed with certain diseases, such as lung cancer. Did you know that cigarette smoking causes 90% of the country's lung cancer cases? Well, insurers know it—and they assume this means there's a chance you'll pass away sooner than someone who doesn't smoke.
The rate they offer you is based on how much risk they feel you represent. So even though you've never skydived or base jumped or even left the bathroom without washing your hands, the insurer thinks your smoking represents a big risk.
In a word, yes. Tobacco is tobacco.
However, some insurers do note the difference between cigarette smoking and cigar smoking. They understand that oftentimes, people who use pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, dip, snuff, and even nicotine products (patches and gum) use these tobacco products less often than a person who smokes cigarettes. If you use these tobacco products occasionally, do be honest when you're filling out your quote form—or give us a call and explain your situation so we can match you directly with the insurer who is most likely to look at your occasional tobacco use favorably.
Tobacco use isn't something you can hide from a medical exam.
Trust us—this is not a good idea. Besides, if it actually worked, wouldn't everybody do it?
When you apply for life insurance, the insurer will require a brief medical exam. (This does not apply to no-medical-exam policies, as you can probably tell by the name.) The medical examiner is going to be able to tell whether you smoke or not based on the analysis of your urine sample. If you smoke a pack a day and select "Never" for your tobacco use answer on your application, this will send up huge red flags when the results of your medical exam come back.
The good news is that if you are thinking of quitting, or have already quit, there's financial incentive to stick with it. The longer you and tobacco spend apart, the lower your rates on life insurance may be. If you quit a year ago, for example, on your two-year no-tobacco anniversary, it's possible you could re-apply for life insurance and get an even lower rate. (We can help you with this, of course!)
It takes an experienced agent or broker to get affordable life insurance for a smoker. We know, because we've done it!
We work with insurers who know the difference between regular and occasional smokers. We’ve also worked with insurers who are willing to look at a smoker’s overall health (Blood pressure? Weight? Cholesterol?) before assigning a rate. While other brokers might just toss your application to the first insurer on their list, we're going to take the time to figure out which insurer has the best chance of approving your application. We're not here to waste your time. We're here to get your family the coverage that will protect their future.
Here's one story that shows you what we can do:
If you’re ready to talk about applying for life insurance, give us a call at 1-800-823-4852 or click the orange button to get an instant quote.
The Economist: Puffed Out
Centers for Disease Control: Risk Factors for Lung Cancer