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Life Insurance for Smokers

"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.

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How does an insurer decide what to charge me?

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: 

  • Cigarette broken in two pieces, showing the tobacco inside.
    Quit over a year ago? You'll get a lower life insurance rate.
  • Current User
  • Within the Past Year
  • Over 1 Year Ago
  • Over 2 Years Ago
  • Over 3 Years Ago
  • Over 5 Years Ago
  • Over 10 Years Ago

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.

What if I smoke cigars once in a while? Does that count?

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.

If they're going to charge me more, can't I just say I don't smoke?

Woman holding a cigarette.
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!)

Aren't all brokers the same? How can Trusted Quote help me get insured?

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:

  • A 61-year-old state employee smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day. We found a company with an A+ rating that determined occasional smokers present no greater risk than non-smokers. We were able to get this client a "preferred non-smoker" life insurance policy for $750,000.

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.

Click Here for Life Insurance Quotes!

The Economist: Puffed Out
Centers for Disease Control: Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

About Trusted Quote

For over 40 years, our company has helped half a million American families protect their future with life insurance. We provide fast, free quotes for life, disability, long-term care insurance, and more.

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Need immediate assistance? Call 1-800-823-4852 from 8am to 5pm PST Monday through Friday.

Copyright 2002-Present Pinney Wholesale Insurance Services - All Rights Reserved 2266 Lava Ridge Court, Roseville, CA 95661

*Comparison of each carrier’s best published rates for a
10-year level term policy, 30-year-old non-smoking female

^Represents 10-year level term life insurance rates for 40-year-old female,
in good health, no tobacco, residing in Ohio.

R. Jan Pinney CLU, ChFC is a licensed life insurance agent in all states and the District of Columbia. The following agent license numbers are provided for R. Jan Pinney as required by state law: CA agent #0440057, LA agent #291116, MA agent #1674866, MN agent #20270113, UT agent #58330, agent R. Jan Pinney, DBA Pinney Insurance Services. Commercial use by others is prohibited by law. This site provides term quotes. Each rate is a quote based on information provided by the carrier. No portion of Trusted Quote may be copied, published, faxed, mailed or distributed in any manner for any purpose without prior written authorization of the owner.

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