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Smoking and Life Insurance - Term Life Insurance is Possibly your Best Option

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By: Kade Phillips, contributing writer at

How Smoking Can Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums
Smokers generally pay higher life insurance premiums than non-smokers. The reason is soberingly simple: the mortality rate for habitual smokers is higher than for those who don't smoke. Because the likelihood of dying from smoking-related causes is so prevalent, life insurance companies charge higher rates to compensate them for the additional risk of extending a policy. However, most providers will assess each case individually, and some companies also differentiate by the amount of tobacco consumed - obviously charging moderate users less than heavy users. In this article, we'll explore how smoking can impact your life insurance rates. We'll describe how providers often classify policyholders based upon how recently they've smoked, and finally, we'll discuss affordable life insurance options for smokers.

When You Quit Smoking Matters
Because smoking can have such a significant impact on a policyholder's health, insurance companies use an assortment of classifications for smokers. These classifications are based upon the amount of time that has elapsed since the policyholder last smoked. If a person has not smoked for 5 years or longer, that person is classified as a "preferred plus" policyholder. For those who have avoided smoking for at least 3 years, they're awarded a "preferred" status. Finally, if a policyholder has not smoked for at least 12 months, he is given a "standard" designation.

Life insurance companies use these classifications because policyholders who have stayed away from cigarettes for a longer period of time are less likely to die from smoking-related illnesses. "Preferred plus" policyholders are rewarded with lower premiums than those who are classified as "preferred." People who have a "standard" status (i.e. having not smoked for at least 12 months) will typically have to pay higher premiums than the other 2 groups. This, of course, assumes that other factors such as blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels remain equal.

Can You Lie To Your Life Insurance Company?
Millions of smokers are tempted to lie about their habit to their life insurance company. Some do so in the hopes of avoiding having to pay higher rates. However, it's risky and usually ineffective. While providers will start by asking potential policyholders whether they smoke, they can also require a physical exam. They may even request recent medical records. Lying on an application is easy; trying to cover up traces of nicotine in a urine sample is far more difficult.

Be honest about your smoking habit. Life insurance companies consider smoking a serious issue, and they're highly motivated to conduct due diligence to validate your claims.

Affordable Life Insurance For Smokers
While life insurance premiums can be substantial for smokers, there are affordable options. First, if you have quit smoking, ask your provider to reevaluate the status of your policy each year. They may be able to lower your rates based upon the amount of time that has elapsed since you last smoked. Second, consider term life insurance. You'll still need to submit to a physical exam, but the premiums on a term life policy are usually lower than those on a whole life policy.

The Realities Of Smoking And Life Insurance
The costs of smoking expand much further than the price of a pack of cigarettes. The premiums you can expect to pay on your life insurance policy will be higher than the premiums for a non-smoking policy. That being said, it's important to understand how your life insurance provider regards smokers. By being aware of the various classifications used, you may able to lower your premiums. Having your policy status updated after each year can help you graduate to a "preferred plus" classification. In the end, having life insurance is critical. Don't let your smoking habit prevent you from securing a policy.

Customized Term Life Insurance coverage is available to fit your exact needs, because you can tailor the coverage with regard to the exact amount of coverage that you require and can afford, and you designate the beneficiary or beneficiaries that are appropriate to your circumstances.

You can get and compare term life insurance quotes instantly online today through You can round out your financial plan and feel great knowing that your loved ones are protected - even in the unexpected and unfortunate event of your own demise.

Take a few minutes to compare your life insurance options. Get Term Life Insurance Quotes for free at Kanetix.

Disclaimer - The above description/explanation is intended as a guideline only, and is not to be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance products, or to provide legal or financial advice of any kind. Also, Kanetix Ltd. does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed.

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