The statistics show that there are over 42 million smokers and tobacco users in the United States. If you are one of these people and you are considering applying for life insurance for smokers this article should point you in the right direction and answer a lot of your questions. We are going to compare smoker’s life insurance rates and find out just how to shop the life insurance market from one end to the other for the absolute lowest life insurance rates for people who smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes or chew tobacco. We will move slowly and take this one step at a time so you can see exactly what it takes to get the lowest possible rates.
In the past, the subject of purchasing life insurance for smokers was simple, everyone was lumped into the same category of tobacco users regardless of what form of tobacco you used. We now have much more involved underwriting procedures that will open the door to lower premiums for all forms of smokers and chewers.
Many of the trusted life insurance companies we use, place a lot of weight on what you actually smoke and how much you smoke. This concept leads to new and much lower rates for tobacco users straight across the board. Let’s take a look at how to find the lowest possible life insurance rates for smokers.
Here is a breakdown of how many people smoke today in relationship to years in the past.
According to the statistics of the government’s Center of Disease Control and Prevention the smoking percentage among adult Americans have sharply dropped throughout the years. This is mainly due to all the anti-smoking commercials we have seen on television and in other publications.
- 1965 – 43.6% smoked
- 1970 – 38.6% smoked
- 1985 – 31.3% smoked
- 1995 – 26.8% smoked
- 2010 – 19.9% smoked
- 2014 – 17.4% smoked
What does this mean to the life insurance industry and Term life insurance rates?
Life insurance rates for smokers have been going down throughout the years but still cost much more than non-smokers rates. There are several life insurance companies that offer lower rates for smokers than other companies. There are now different life insurance rate classifications of smokers based on what kind of tobacco products they use and how much they actually use them.
Here is a good example on how life insurance for tobacco user’s rates vary from on company to another. We will use annual rates for a 30-year-old male tobacco user (cigarette smoker) in good health with a 20-year Term life insurance plan design and a $500,000 face amount with a rate class of “Standard Tobacco”. This list will reflect the rates of 18 of the most competitive companies in the US.
- Minnesota Life – $1,070.00
- Transamerica – $1,080.00
- American National – $1,110.00
- AXA Equitable – $1,165.00
- AIG American General – $1,169.00
- Banner Life – $1,169.99
- Nationwide – $1,195.00
- Assurity Life – $1,205.00
- North American – $1,205.00
- Prudential – $1,265.00
- Symetra – $1,275.00
- MetLife – $1,309.00
- Protective Life – $1,317.00
- John Hancock – $1,325.50
- Lincoln National – $1,330.00
- Sagicor – $1,401.23
- Accordia Life – $1,445.00
- Principal Life – $1,555.00
Life insurance for smokers is readily available by all the trusted companies, but the premiums can vary quite a bit between the carriers. Keep in mind that this list can easily change if we simply modify the rate class, age, face amount or term period. This will still give you a very good idea how the rates vary from one company to another and who would usually have the lowest Term life insurance rates for smokers.
Also, keep in mind that life insurance companies can promote rate reductions to become more competitive on the life insurance market changing their position on this type of a premium quote comparison.
Receiving affordable life insurance rates for smokers should never be a problem if you are working with an experienced independent agent.
The Transamerica life insurance company has some of the best Term life insurance rates for smokers. We use Transamerica on a steady basis for cigarette smokers, cigar smokers and pipe smokers. Needless to say, if you have any health conditions, the premiums could go up to cover the added risk the companies take.
Medical conditions can have a major impact on your life insurance rates. We usually run a free medical pre-screen to make sure the company we advise our clients to use has no surprises later on in the underwriting process.
Can you receive “Preferred Plus” rates if you are a cigarette, pipe or cigar smoker?
The answer to this question is very simply, No. Preferred Plus rates are only for non-smokers. As a tobacco user, your best rate class will be “Preferred Tobacco”. Less than 10% of the non-smokers can qualify for Preferred Plus rates otherwise known as “Super Preferred” rates.
Can you receive non-smoker rates if you just chew tobacco and not smoke it?
Yes! If you use a smokeless tobacco product such as Snuff, Plug Tobacco or “Leaf” tobacco, you could qualify for non-smoker rates as long as you don’t actually smoke tobacco products. The Prudential life insurance company offers non-smokers rates for users of smokeless tobacco products among a few other of the major companies.
The life insurance companies have eased up on the use of smokeless tobacco. Keep in mind that there is always a threat of mouth and throat cancer with the non-smoking family of products. Chewing tobacco can still create health problems and the life insurance are well aware of this.
On today’s standards, Cigar smokers can receive non-smoker rates with several of the companies. This can drastically reduce your premiums.
Usually as a rule of thumb, people that smoke cigars do not inhale as much smoke as cigarette smokers and usually smoke much less. This concept also holds true for pipe smokers also. Cigarette smokers can usually smoke more and more as the years go by as a simple form of habit. Stress and overall nervous tension can contribute to the increase of smoking.
Here are some of the negative effects of cigarette smoking on the human body.
Learning more about the negative health effects created by smoking will help you understand why the life insurance companies charge more for their life insurance rates for smokers. Just take a look at what smoking actually does to the human body.
Cigarette smoking is the number one leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Smoking cigarettes have caused more deaths in the United States than everything on this list combined:
- Alcohol Use
- Illegal Drug Usage
- Motor Vehicle Accident Deaths
- HIV Virus
- Firearm Related Accidents
Smoking cigarettes causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is almost one in every five deaths reported each year. One out of every five deaths caused by smoking is an incredible statistic.
Increased health risks such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses and strokes are caused by smoking:
- The rate for coronary heart disease is multiplied by up to (4 times).
- Stokes are multiplied from as much as (2 to 5 times) higher.
- Men and women developing lung cancer up to (30 times) higher.
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease.
- Smoking can easily cause strokes and coronary heart disease, which is one of the most common causes of death in the US.
- Tobacco users who smoke less than five cigarettes a day can have the beginning signs of cardiovascular disease.
- Smoking can permanently damage blood vessels and arteries and also make them thicken up and grow narrower. This constriction can increase your heart rate and can cause your blood pressure to increase to a very dangerous level.
- A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks the steady flow of blood to your brain or when a blood vessel or capillary in or around your brain ruptures.
Use our consumer life insurance quoting engine to see who has the lowest life insurance rates for smokers.
Quoting life insurance rates with multiple companies can be done in less than a minute. In past years, you could actually take hours to review the rates of several life insurance companies. An agent would have to manually look up the rates for each company in a life insurance rate book and then use a calculator to calculate the premium based on the face amount.
Those days are now long gone and now everything is automated by using computer software and life insurance quote engines.
Universal life insurance rates are also effected by the tobacco use.
Universal life insurance is an excellent permanent form of life insurance that can be purchased to insure you for the rest of your life just as with Whole life insurance commonly used in the past but with a fraction of the cost. Whole life insurance for all practical purposes is obsolete because of its very high premium cost factor. It is no longer a cost effective life insurance product.
I smoke right now, should I quite first and then apply for life insurance as a non-tobacco user?
That is not necessary due to the fact that you can purchase your life and protect your dependents right away and then apply for non-smoker rates in one year from now. Your company can actually eliminate the smoker rating. I never recommend telling someone to wait a year or more because their health history could change in the interim period and then applying for life insurance could become a problem not to mention they would be applying at an older age which would increase the rates.
A person’s health can change overnight. When this happens the individuals task of purchasing life insurance will make an immediate change. Life insurance at this point in time may become too expensive or a person can apply and be declined eliminating their opportunity to purchase their much-needed life insurance.
I gave up smoking one year ago, and never smoked since, what will happen if I apply today?
There are several excellent companies that will place you in their “Standard Non-Tobacco” rate class because you quit smoking cigarettes for one full year. One of our favorite companies which is Banner Life will place you in their Standard Plus rate class which is one notch up from the “Standard” rate class. It is very possible a few other companies such as Protective Life and Prudential plus a few others may do the same. You may also qualify for a “Preferred Non-Tobacco rate from two other companies such as the Nationwide insurance company and Minnesota Life.
If I quit smoking cigarettes 2 years ago, what would happen if I applied now?
Two years of not smoking will further open up more options with more companies that would consider you as a “Standard Plus” rate class. Companies such as Voya, MetLife and American National will now be able to offer you their rates also. The longer you are away from tobacco products the better.
What about a total of 3 years away from cigarettes, is this any better?
Yes, this is better yet which will now open the doors to the “Preferred Plus” rate class which will save you even more money. The is the very best rate class any applicant can have regardless if they ever smoked or not. Keep in mind that your overall health and all other prerequisites will have to be right on the money.
Normally about 10% of all applicants can be placed in the “Preferred Plus” rate class. This is why working with an independent agent or broker is so important because each company is a little different from one another and an agent needs a wide choice of companies to choose from.
If you have quit smoking 5 years ago or more, all companies will offer you the very best rates you can possibly qualify for.
What is the current status with cigar smokers, who will offer us the best rates?
Many of the life insurance companies today would place a cigarette, pipe and cigar smokers into the same tobacco user rate class such as “Preferred Tobacco” or “Standard Tobacco” rate classes. This would mean at least double the premium or more which be very expensive. AIG, American General and Voya are leading the way with a possible “Preferred Plus” rating for cigar and pipe users especially if they do not get excessive with the amount of cigar or pipe smoking they actually use.
Will any of the companies allow unlimited use of cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco products?
At this point in time the Prudential insurance company will allow the unlimited use of cigars, pipes, snuff and chewing tobacco and still provide you with Non-Tobacco rates. This is a great program on Prudential’s part because your premiums would be much lower the other life insurance company’s rates which would not allow you to be unlimited in the degree of how much you smoke or chew.
To be “unlimited” with the other companies would mean a tobacco class straight across the board. This would cost much more. Keep the Prudential Life Insurance Company in mind if you smoke cigars, pipes or chew tobacco.
What if I go to a social event like a wedding or the golf course and smoke a cigar or two?
This is called celebratory smoking and there is a couple of excellent carriers that will permit a minimal number of cigars to be smoked and still be able to maintain a non-smoker rate. These companies are MetLife and Cincinnati Life. MetLife will allow up to four cigars per year and Cincinnati will allow up the 12 cigars in total per year.
I sometimes smoke Marijuana without any type of a medical prescription. Can I still purchase life insurance?
Yes, you sure can, you can be approved for life insurance if you smoke marijuana, even without a medical prescription from your family doctor.
What rate class would I fall into as a Marijuana user? All the life insurance companies vary on how they rate Marijuana smokers. If you smoked marijuana in the past 3 years, you will not qualify for their preferred non-tobacco ratings. Some of the companies will offer a standard non-tobacco rated for the periodic Marijuana social smokers.
If you only smoke Marijuana once or twice a year, you can qualify for standard non-smoker rates. Make sure to read our blog post titled finding the lowest life insurance rates for Marijuana users for more information on life insurance for Marijuana users.
If I use Electronic Cigarettes, can I receive non-tobacco rates?
If you are using e-cigarettes, there are some life insurance companies that will give you a better rating than being thrown into a tobacco class along with cigarette smokers and everyone else regardless of how much or little you use the products. I would advise you to read our blog post for finding the lowest rates for E-Cigarette users. You will find some in depth information on this subject.
Important Tip! Life insurance rates are regulated by law.
The most important concept about purchasing life insurance is that all rates are regulated by law. This means if you apply for a specific life insurance policy, no one can sell the same exact policy for more or less than another. Each state has a Department of Insurance that regulates all life insurance rates so the industry does not turn into a form of a used car lot for selling life insurance for your protection.
If life insurance rates are regulated, how can I make sure I am receiving the best Term life insurance quotes?
The answer to this question is very simple. All life insurance companies have rates that vary from one carrier to another. All life insurance companies underwrite their applications differently. To get the very lowest rates you can qualify for, your agent must use the most appropriate company for your specific age, health history and lifestyle just to name a few of the criteria involved. The most applicable company for your specific information will offer you the lowest rates because they would be your best fit as a life insurance carrier.
We pre-screen our potential applicant’s information regarding health, height, weight, and so on to choose the correct company capable to give us the lowest life insurance rates and have. There is no such thing as sales prices or money back discounts like when you purchase a car or a television set.
We use the most complete line of competitive companies available to make sure we can secure the lowest rates possible for our clients. That is simply our job as qualified and ethical insurance agents.
If you are looking to apply for life insurance for cigarette, cigar, pipe smokers or tobacco chewers we can help you find the lowest rates.
Thank you for vising our website and reading this article on finding the lowest rates for tobacco users. I hope it has answered a lot of your questions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any life insurance questions or want to know more about purchasing life insurance for smokers. We are always here to help you. Take care and stay healthy!
Use our quote form to your right, or call us toll free at 800-897-5699 for a life insurance quote over the phone.
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