A big gripe consumers tend to have with insurance companies are their life insurance rates for smokers. Advertisements they see are almost entirely for their non-smoking counterparts, and tend to be shown at minimal, “as low as” types of premiums. Unfortunately, smokers pay more per thousand, period.
However, they aren’t easy to find and are rarely published because these same companies don’t want to scare you off. But you have the right now know exactly how much you should be paying for your life insurance before you apply, and we’re here to deliver it to you.
Easy To Read, Sample Life Insurance Rates For Smokers
Many places will tell you to expect to pay two to three times non-smoker rates, but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, it can be way less, or way more. There are too many factors to consider to begin to bubble everyone into this mantra. For this reason, we’re going to show you lots of life insurance rates for tobacco users of all ages and amounts.
We still need to take a few things into consideration before we start. These assumptions are a generally fit person with no major concerns which negatively affect rates, like poor driving record, serious health risks, or involvement in hazardous or dangerous occupations and activities.
We are also assuming the person is truly a smoker. Therefore, folks who vape or smoke cigars on rare occasions won’t necessarily fit this mold as they can be rated as high as Standard Plus by some carriers. In other words, the rates published below would actually be too high.
Let’s first look at some raw numbers for 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year level term policies in the most commonly purchased amounts. Ages are represented on the left, with face amounts (death benefit amounts) across the top.
Life Insurance Rates For Smokers – 10 Year Level Term
The shortest duration of the level term products on the market, there is a good amount of competition among insurance carriers here and this helps to provide tobacco users with one of the cheapest term products on the market. Coupled with lower risk to the insurer for a shorter level guarantee and dead simple product design, and you’ve got an ultra affordable level term choice for the masses.
Here are some sample rates one could expect:
10 Year Level Term Life Insurance Rates
15 Year Level Term Life Rates For Smokers
The 15 year level term policies let you pay one, consistent premium for a full 15 year period so you don’t have to worry about increases in rates. However, when the term ends, prices shoot up drastically on an annual basis, especially in the 16th year. These durations are specifically used for matching mortgages, business loans, or even someone looking to insure the remaining years of work up to retirement. The 10 and 20 year term products are much more popular.
We’ve broken down what you might pay for this particular type of policy, and you’ll see the rates by age increase quite quickly, especially ages 50 and higher. Note: rates are unavailable for applicants 80 and older, as they’ll need to use a different product, found at the bottom of this article.
15 Year Level Term Life Insurance Rates
20 Year Level Term Life Insurance Premiums For Smokers
Largely the most widely used duration across all age groups, the 20 year term helps consumers to budget a single payment for up to 240 months. A common use for this duration is to cover parents with newborn dependents, as death while a child is still a minor can have great consequences without life insurance. All top companies carry this duration, and rates tend to stay low because of the large amount of competition.
One thing which is different for this duration, when compared to non-smokers, is the 70 year old age group. Non-smoking insureds in the 70 year age brackets have policies available for all death benefit amounts, where smokers do not. Because smokers have a life expectancy 7-10 years less, this product is not as widely available for older demographics.
20 Year Level Term Life Insurance Rates
25 Year Level Term Life Insurance Quotes For Smokers
These 25 year term policies are the least popular product when looking at the full suite of term durations. They simply don’t match many needs or their time periods of liability. Consumers are drawn towards the 20 year choice because of the drop in price, or if they need something truly long term, opt for the 30 year or permanent solutions. We recommend only choosing this kind if you truly have a 25 year obligation
Even the available selection from carriers is less, as they know this is not a common choice among savvy buyers. For this reason, the costs tend to be higher per thousand by quite a large margin when viewed against other durations. There are also no options for those 70 and older, even at low death benefit amounts.
25 Year Level Term Life Insurance Rates
30 Year Level Term Life Insurance Prices For Smokers
As young people are seeking stability financially, one area they seek long term security is through life insurance. Millennials choose 30 years choices quite often, as the extra years of level premium are almost a no-brainer as they start their careers and families. In addition, the 30 year mortgage is perfectly suited to match this category, and protecting their first homes is always top of mind.
The only consideration most consumers don’t think about is the value of the payout, should it occur so far into the future; inflation will deflate it’s buying power, making it significantly less valued. Those who purchase short duration term policies are more likely to evaluate their change in death benefit need, whereas those who buy long duration terms do not. Of course, because of the extremely long period of guarantees, older age groups will be able to access this term length.
30 Year Level Term Life Insurance Rates
Sample Permanent Coverage Rates For Smokers
In some respects, limiting your life insurance coverage to a certain period of time is a wise choice, but in others, you need something truly life long. Permanent insurance is necessary for basic burial costs, creating legacies, and, for those with large estates, tax and financial planning for future generations. Young folks don’t need these policies nearly as much as the elderly, but may be used in certain situations.
We don’t often see whole life used the way it was in past decades as products like universal life have made it somewhat obsolete for the masses; whole life is good for a small percentage of Americans. Universal life is cheaper per thousand, still provides a death benefit no matter how long you live (or specify), and has just about as many guarantees.
Here’s a look at permanent life insurance rates for smokers at each age group, using universal life to age 121:
There are other ways to accomplish this same principle, by using single premium life insurance policies, for example, where the insured can leverage dollars they have now for an immediately increased death benefit. We advise talking to a financial professional before considering anything permanent.
As a smoker, you will pay more, just like if you were a man compared to a woman. Because of the statistical probability of a shorter life span, there is no way around it. The best way to save money and get the most affordable life insurance rates as a smoker is to use an independent agent who can navigate the tens of companies who are best tailored to your situation.
In addition, always specify what type of tobacco you use, as there are situations where one type of tobacco is underwritten very differently than the next.
All rates quoted on this page are for a very healthy male who does not use tobacco. Monthly premiums are subject to individual underwriting and approval.