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Life Insurance for Smokers

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Reviewed By: Rob Pinner

Rob Pinner Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

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Fact Check By: Holly Mitchell

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Quick fact:  Life insurance costs more for smokers.  Here is how you can get cheap life insurance for smokers. This includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes, vaping, or even marijuana. Because life insurance is expensive if you smoke, this article is all about life insurance for smokers.

When you apply for life insurance coverage, there are dozens of different factors that the insurance company is going to look at. Life insurance companies will surely be testing for nicotine. 

They will also be looking at your overall health and lifestyle habits in order to establish your health rate class. Your health rate class will determine your final premium charged for life insurance.

Some of the biggest factors that are going to impact life insurance rates for smokers are your age, your overall health, and your tobacco usage.  Even smoking marijuana affects life insurance rates. 

Now that more and more states are legalizing the use of marijuana, we have many new customers that need guidance on which companies will offer the best life insurance for marijuana smokers. 

If you’re looking to get the most affordable life insurance coverage for you and your family, there are several things that you should know before applying.

Cigarette smoking can present obstacles to finding quality, affordable life insurance coverage.  At the same time, a tobacco habit creates an increased motivation to secure a life insurance policy to protect your family. Many want to know if life insurance rates for smokers are even affordable and if so, what alternatives should they consider.

Taking care of your family is your number one priority and you want to have peace of mind that, should anything happen to you, your family’s financial security will be assured.


The facts of cigarette smoking are not encouraging, but the prospect of finding affordable life insurance for smokers is much more reassuring. Smoking is only one of many risk factors considered by life insurance companies when deciding a client’s premium and by no means puts appropriate life insurance coverage out of reach of most smokers.

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  • Give us call at 1-800-712-8519!
  • Leave us a message on our contact page to get a custom quote!
  • Use our free term quoter on this page!


We know what companies are smoker friendly and give the best rates for smoker life insurance.  We also know which companies will overlook occasional cigarette smoking.

By shopping multiple life insurance companies, which is easily done at Ogletree Financial Services, finding cheap life insurance for smokers is the best solution to guaranteeing the future of your family’s financial security.

Every insurance company is different, which means all of them are going to view smokers differently. Every company has different medical underwriting, which means that you could receive drastically different rates for smokers’ life insurance.

Getting quotes from dozens of companies before you choose a policy is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest insurance rates.


Why Do Smokers Pay More For Life Insurance?


A landmark surgeon general report in 1964 exposed the health risks of cigarette smoking and established a continuing campaign to curb tobacco use and its adverse impact on health. This is roughly the span of my life and the public opinion regarding smoking has shifted dramatically during that time.

Fifty years and 31 surgeon general reports later, the “prevalence of current cigarette smoking among adults has declined from 42% in 1965 to 18% in 2012.”  This is encouraging, but still, the most recent report states that “cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.

This is nearly one in five deaths.” Certainly, these statistics motivate life insurance companies to take a hard look at life insurance rates for smokers.

The report goes on to say that “more than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States during its history.”

Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to die of stroke, respiratory disease, and heart disease, and “cigarette smoking has been causally linked to diseases of nearly all organs of the body.” These facts are mind-boggling and make clear the health risk of cigarette smoking inflicts upon U.S. citizens.

If you are worried about getting coverage, you can still get affordable life insurance with heart disease so don’t let this stop you from getting the coverage you deserve. We can help with finding affordable life insurance for smokers.

We have reached the point where everyone knows about the health risks of smoking and other tobacco use, yet 40 million Americans are still saddled with some form of tobacco dependence and thousands of teenagers smoke their first cigarette every day.

Life insurance companies are thus required to demand higher policy premiums from smokers and other tobacco users. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress, A Report of the Surgeon General, Executive Summary.

The fact is, smoking cigarettes increases your likelihood of dying. Ever since the initial surgeon general report in 1964, life insurance companies have adjusted their policy premiums for smokers life insurance.

The risk of paying the death benefit on a smoker life insurance policy, as opposed to a similar person who does not smoke cigarettes, is significantly higher.

Also, insurance companies generally receive lower earnings on premiums from smokers, as they are typically living shorter lives which drives up life insurance rates for smokers as a result

This means that the premiums for smokers must be higher, as insurance companies anticipate less revenue to cover more claims, as compared to non-smokers.

In addition to cigarette smokers (and former smokers), those who enjoy cigars, chew tobacco, smoke any type of electronic cigarette, use nicotine patches or gum, or smoke marijuana can expect higher life insurance premiums than if they didn’t have these habits. 

Life insurance do test for nicotine, but do life insurance companies test for drugs? If you do smoke marijuana, most companies will still insure you.  We even have one favorite carrier that will insure you as a non-smoker regardless of how much marijuana you smoke.  Make sure you do your research before applying.  We can help you choose the life insurance company that is marijuana friendly.

  • Give us call at 1-800-712-8519!
  • Leave us a message on our contact page to get a custom quote!
  • Use our free term quoter

Former smokers who now only occasionally smoke a cigarette can count on being classified as a smoker with most companies.  We know one that will give an occasional smoker a break. 

Even if you smoke less than half a pack a year, in a weak moment at a bar or in times of stress, most insurance companies see you as a risk to continue to smoke and suffer the consequences of your habit. Many of these “part-time smokers” do not even consider themselves to be smokers, but rest assured that most insurance companies (and your lungs, I’ll bet) do.

As I said, despite the barriers smoking or other tobacco habits place before you, reaching your life insurance goals is not as daunting a task as it may seem. Inquiring with several insurers can be a waste of time, we know which companies to use for the best smoker life insurance rates.

When calculating your premium, insurance companies consider your age, weight, gender, alcohol use, occupation, current health status, and health history in addition to any tobacco habit.

Different insurance companies calculate their policy premiums differently based on these and other risk factors.


What about smoking Marijuana?


Unfortunately, life insurance companies do not make a distinction between people who smoke tobacco and those who smoke marijuana, especially in today’s marijuana market where most product has additives that are considered dangerous to your lungs.

Even in states where recreational use of marijuana has been legalized, life insurance for marijuana smokers is rated just like life insurance for smokers.

Since the data about the long-term effects of using marijuana is still under debate, insurance companies remain concerned about offering standard rates for life insurance for marijuana smokers. In fact, some of the very conservative insurers may still decline a policy of the applicant admits to using marijuana frequently because of the increase in risk.

We believe that in years to come and the data debates have been settled, life insurance for marijuana smokers will become more affordable.

Getting The Most Affordable Life Insurance

Just because you’re a smoker, doesn’t mean that your life insurance policy has to break your bank every month. There are several ways that you can find the best life insurance rates for smokers.

The first thing that you should do is improve your health through a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Both of these are going to help you lose those extra pounds, lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and much more. All of these health benefits are going to translate into lower insurance rates and more money in your pockets.

The next thing that you should do is consider quitting smoking.  As a matter of fact, if you stop smoking for 1 year you can classify as a non-smoker with most companies.  Even switching to healthier options, like e-cigarettes or vaping can help you lower your rate with some companies.  If you’ve been thinking about quitting smoking, saving a couple of thousands of dollars per year should give you the motivation that you need.

One little-known way of getting lower premiums is to slow down on your way to work. During the application process, the insurance company is going to pull a lot of different records, including your driving records from the DMV. If you want to save money, slowing down on your way to work can help you pose less of a risk. The more speeding tickets or accidents you have on your records, the higher risk you are to the insurance company.

The best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest rates is to work with an independent insurance agent, like ours. Unlike traditional agents, we represent dozens of insurance companies. We can bring all of the lowest insurance rates straight to you.

Guaranteed Life Insurance

If you’ve been declined for life insurance because of your smoking or health, don’t assume you can’t get insurance protection. There are several options you can choose from if you’ve been rejected for protection.

One option is to buy a guaranteed issue insurance plan. These plans will accept you, regardless of your health or any pre-existing conditions.  If you purchase a guaranteed issue plan, all you have to do is give them your name, age, the amount of coverage you want, and answer about three health questions. It’s as simple as that. If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest way to get life insurance, guaranteed life insurance is the best way to do it.

The problem with these guaranteed acceptance plans is they are more expensive than a traditional policy. Without the medical exam or the health questions, the insurance company is taking a higher risk. They offset the risk by charging drastically higher premiums.

Another problem with this plan is you’re going to be limited on how much coverage you can buy. Most companies will restrict your guaranteed coverage at $25,000. For the vast majority of households, this will not be nearly enough insurance. Not having enough coverage is one of the worst mistakes you can make for your family.

One of the advantages of guaranteed issue policies is how quickly you can be approved for coverage. If you want to get life insurance as quickly as possible, these plans are going to be the best choice for you. This way, you can get life insurance in a matter of minutes. Compared to a traditional plan, you could wait up to two months to get life insurance.

Getting Started Is Easy!

  • Give us call at 1-800-712-8519!
  • Leave us a message on our contact page asking for cheap life insurance for smokers.
  • Use the free term quoter on the left side of this page!

Ogletree Financial Services represents many established, reputable insurance providers. This allows you to study policy options from several highly-regarded insurers in one place, and regardless of your individual life circumstances, this facilitates the process of creating the ideal life insurance plan for you and your family.

Don’t just listen to the advice you hear on TV or the Radio from big names such as Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman on Life Insurance, we are here to personally help you and get what is best for your needs and financial situation. Getting started is easy when you’re looking for the cheapest life insurance for smokers.

Call us at 1-800-712-8519 or use the term quoter on this page to get your free quote. You want peace of mind for your family’s financial future and we can help.

If you have any questions about getting cheap life insurance for smokers or any of the options for life insurance coverage, please contact one of our agents today. We would be happy to answer those questions and ensure that you’re getting the most affordable term life insurance for smokers using our years of experience helping smokers get the best plan at an affordable rate.

You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, which means that you shouldn’t wait any longer to get the insurance protection that your family deserves. We know that getting the best life insurance policy can be a long and difficult process, especially if you’re a smoker, but our agents are here to help make the process as quick and simple as possible.

If you’ve ever been declined for life insurance or you’ve received expensive monthly premium quotes, don’t assume that you can’t get life insurance. We can give you several options for a plan that’s going to fit your budget and your needs.

Don’t let your smoking or your health prevent you from getting the insurance protection your family deserves. If you have any questions about life insurance or the options available to you, please contact one of our agents today. We would love to answer those questions and connect you with the best possible plan. We have years of experience working with all types of clients across the country and we have been very successful in finding affordable and even cheap life insurance for smokers.

Frequently asked Questions

How much more do smokers pay for life insurance?

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Smokers pay substantially more for life insurance. For example, a 30-year old healthy male non-smoker would pay about $19 per month for a $500,000 20-year term policy whereas a 30-year old healthy smoker would pay about $63 per month for the same policy.

Why do smokers have to pay so much more for life insurance?

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A landmark surgeon general report in 1964 exposed the health risks of cigarette smoking. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to die of stroke, respiratory disease and heart disease, and “cigarette smoking has been causally linked to diseases of nearly all organs of the body.

Are some life insurers more “smoker friendly” than others?

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The best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest rates is to work with an independent insurance agent, like ours. Unlike traditional agents, we represent dozens of insurance companies. We can bring all of the lowest insurance rates straight to you.

If I quite smoking, how long should I wait to apply for life insurance?

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If you don’t currently have live insurance, you shouldn’t wait at all. If you have life insurance and are quitting tobacco use, you should wait about 13 months before applying for replacement coverage.

Would it be cheaper buying no exam life insurance for smokers?

If you are thinking about hiding your tobacco use, we don’t recommend that. Even when you don’t have a life insurance exam, the insurance policy has an incontestability period when they are allowed to investigate the application and then possibly deny a claim.

Is term life insurance for smokers the best way to go?

If the lowest monthly premium is your focus, yes buying a term life insurance policy will have much lower premiums the whole life or universal life insurance.

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