Does Smoking Impact the Cost of No Exam Life Insurance?
It’s no secret that smoking is detrimental to your health, but what is less well-known is how smoking can affect your life insurance premiums. When applying for traditional and no exam life insurance policies, one of the first questions you will be asked is whether you use tobacco products. If the answer is yes, you’ll be asked to detail how — do you smoke or chew tobacco? How often do you smoke, what do you smoke (cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes), and for how many years have you smoked?
The reason that applicants are required to provide all this information is simple: smoking is dangerous.
According to the CDC, the “overall mortality among both male and female smokers in the United States is about three times higher than that among similar people who never smoked.” This means that life insurance companies that issue policies to people who smoke are taking a greater risk. According to Sproutt, whenever there is a health risk, with regard to smoking or something else like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc., life insurance companies raise their rates.
However, just because you smoke doesn’t mean you can’t find good rates. The trick is knowing how to look. If you’re a smoker who is seeking good rates for life insurance, you can search for free quotes here.
How Much More Do Smokers Pay For Life Insurance?
If you’re a smoker and not convinced that you need to look for good rates on life insurance, think again. People who smoke are put in a different class altogether when it comes to rates, and they should expect to pay between 2-4 times more for life insurance than people who don’t smoke. The difference depends on age. People in their 30s tend to pay 2-3 times as much, while people in their 40s tend to pay 3-4 times as much.
But just because smokers are charged higher rates doesn’t mean they will always have to pay these premiums. If you quit smoking, you have the ability to qualify for non-smoker status and have your rates adjusted.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect your premiums to be lowered if you quit smoking for two weeks. Many life insurance companies require a non-smoking period of 12 months or more. If you’ve quit smoking for the time period required by your carrier, you will likely be asked to undergo another medical exam before the company agrees to change your status.
No Exam Life Insurance for People Who Smoke
As a type of life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam, you may think that your smoking status doesn’t impact the cost of no exam life insurance. In truth, it does and it doesn’t. There are different types of no exam life insurance, and use of tobacco is relevant to only one kind.
Simplified Issue (SI) is a type of no exam policy in which applicants are asked some questions about their health and approval is not guaranteed. This is the type of no exam life insurance that does care whether you smoke or not. In fact, many life insurance carriers have a smoking class for their no exam policies, which means that smokers can expect to pay more than non-smokers.
The good news is that approval is easier than traditional policies, so if someone who smokes has been turned down for a traditional policy, they have a better chance of getting approved for no exam life insurance.
The other type of no exam life insurance is Guaranteed Issue (GI), and as the name implies, approval is guaranteed. This means that your tobacco use is irrelevant, and you can get approved in a matter of days. The only downside with this type of insurance is that the premiums tend to be high regardless of whether you smoke or not, since the life insurance company does not collect any health info and has no way to assess its risk.
The Bottom Line
Smoking will make your life insurance premiums go up, whether it’s a traditional policy or a no exam life insurance policy. However, if you are in overall good health and know where to look, it’s possible to find a life insurance policy for smokers that won’t break the bank. Additionally, people who quit smoking can qualify for non-smoker rates after a certain period of time.
Now, there are two reasons to quit smoking: Your health and lower life insurance rates.