Jeff is a well-known speaker and expert in life insurance and financial planning. He has been featured and quoted in Nerdwallet, Bloomberg, Forbes, U.S. News & Money, USA Today, and other leading finance websites. He is a licensed life insurance agent and has helped over 3000 people secure life insurance. He is licensed in all 50 states & DC. Jeff has spoken at top insurance conferen...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 30, 2021

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

The Facts of Life

  • Life insurance rates for smokers are usually twice as high as the rates for non-smokers.
  • Insurers who do not require a medical exam will ask if you have smoked within the past two years.
  • On top of smoker status, your age, weight, and medical history can all play a part in premium determination.

Can someone who smokes get life insurance? Yes, but rates for no medical exam life insurance for people who smoke are typically more than double those of non-smokers. Before you buy life insurance, search for the lowest life insurance rates online and compare as many companies as possible.

You need to learn how to buy life insurance for smokers. We’re here to help. Get a start by typing your ZIP code into our free tool above to find life insurance quotes for smokers in your area.

Is a medical exam required?

Here’s the thing, when you’re getting life insurance you are almost certainly going to need to get a medical exam. A no physical exam life insurance company is almost an anachronism. You will also usually need to inform the insurer that you use tobacco products. You’ll have to use the quoter on the side and make sure to check the “yes” box to smoking and you’ll get quotes from the top-rated carriers on the next screen.

In terms of life insurance with no exams, no questions, options are very limited. Currently, there’s 1 life insurance company that DOES NOT require a medical exam that rates smokers the same as non-smokers. The catch is, they only go up to $150,000 of coverage.

If you’re in the market for life insurance under $150,000 of coverage, shoot us a message or fill out the form on the right and we’ll get in touch with you.

The reason we don’t disclose this company is to keep our competitive edge as most life insurance agencies don’t have access to this product.

Beyond this product, it’s all about finding the best life insurance policy you can qualify for without taking a medical exam.  You just need to compare the market so call an independent life insurance agent and let them know your health and lifestyle information.

Let’s take a look at a video that explains why an individual may need a life insurance policy without taking a medical exam.

Because smoking is linked to causing approximately half a million deaths each year, it is really important that you do ensure that you have some form of life insurance coverage in place.

Let’s take a look at a table showing term life insurance rates for a non-smoker. Then we’ll look at a table for a smoker and compare.

Term Life Insurance Non-Smoker

Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Non-Smokers
Age
$100,000/10-year Average Monthly Rates
$100,000/20-year Average Monthly Rates
$100,000/30-year Average Monthly Rates
Non-Smoker
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
25$8.27$7.57$10.03$9.06$13.29$12.41
30$8.27$7.57$10.12$9.24$14.08$12.94
35$8.27$7.57$10.12$9.42$15.31$13.11
40$9.86$9.15$12.50$11.18$19.45$15.84
45$13.38$12.50$17.95$14.96$28.51$21.91
50$17.78$15.40$27.19$20.50$48.58$32.12
55$22.53$18.83$38.37$28.60$83.60$57.99
60$37.14$25.61$68.64$46.11NANA
65$59.93$37.93$113.61$72.07NANA
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Now let’s look at the table for smoker term life rates.

Average Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates for Smokers
Age
$100,000/10-Year Average Monthly Rates
$100,000/20-Year Average Monthly Rates
$100,000/30-Year Average Monthly Rates
Smoker
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
25$18.57$15.93$22.53$17.78$35.02$28.95
30$19.80$16.28$24.46$19.62$39.86$33.35
35$21.47$16.90$27.28$22.09$49.02$39.86
40$26.93$22.79$38.90$30.27$69.78$57.99
45$36.26$31.68$55.53$42.06$111.67$85.27
50$52.98$41.89$84.13$60.54$153.65$115.54
55$78.23$56.58$126.54$88.70NANA
60$113.87$84.04$195.80$131.21NANA
65$173.36$117.83$299.64$209.97NANA
Get Your Rates Quote Now
Compare RatesStart Now →

As you can see, term life premiums for a smoker can be over twice as much as the rates for a non-smoker. But don’t let the cost of coverage deter you from protecting your family. Some coverage is better than no coverage.

Free Life Insurance Comparison

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What Factors Are Taken Into Account?

Most life insurance companies who don’t require a medical exam are going to ask if you’ve smoked in the last 2 years. Some companies may even ask in the last year.

That means if you’ve had one cigarette in the last 12 months, you’re classified as a smoker. We get a lot of people that tell us they quit a few months ago, but you’re still classified as a smoker in a life insurance company’s eyes.

Chewing tobacco, dip and vaping are considered smoking criteria with all the no-exam life insurance carriers at the moment.

There are companies like Prudential who won’t classify you as a smoker if you use any of those smokeless tobacco products, but you’ll have to take the medical exam to qualify. You also have to wonder about them having been in business for 145 years yet lack a Better Business Bureau accreditation. 

Beyond smoking, a life insurance company will look at your health and lifestyle. Because every person’s lifestyle is different, even if you’re a smoker, the criteria the insurance underwriters will use can vary widely and make a big difference to the amount of premiums paid.

There are many factors to be taken into account and sometimes the questions the underwriting company can ask are not specific enough to an individual’s needs and may only allow for a yes or no answer, however, some insurance providers do allow lower rates for people who only smoke occasionally.

Your age, weight, and medical history can all play an important part in determining the level of premiums to be paid, so be sure that you give as much information as possible.

Don’t Wait To Get Life Insurance Coverage

Make sure that you have adequate life insurance coverage now, don’t wait until you have quit smoking in the belief that you will be paying lower premiums.

If you have a family and dependents get your life insurance sorted out immediately as you need to ensure that they would be financially secure if anything were to happen to you.

The good news is that if you are able to quit smoking after taking out the policy, you can then contact the insurance provider and ask to have the premiums reduced.

Your general state of health is also an important factor when applying for life insurance as a smoker, it stands to reason that if you are generally in good physical condition and fit and healthy, even though you smoke you will get offered better premiums than a person who is overweight, unfit and possibly has diabetes or other blood-related health problems.

Diabetics and seniors, in particular, tend to pay a higher premium as they are at a high risk of early death.

Make Sure That You Are Truthful

When you apply for life insurance as a smoker it is essential that the answers you provide are truthful.

If you were to subsequently die from any smoking-related disease or illness your insurer will check your policy to see what you have declared.

If you have lied to avoid any medical exams or to get a reduced premium, your beneficiaries could be denied payout.

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Shop Around

Take the time to shop around and find the best rates and policies to suit your personal circumstances as the type of life insurance and also the amount of life insurance you require, will also affect the amount of premiums paid.

Because there is a definite market for life insurance cover for smokers, many companies will be competing for your business and may well offer other options as well, so use that to your advantage to get the best possible quote and deal to suit your needs.

When thinking about buying life insurance, it is also sometimes a good idea to phone a few insurers and talk to an agent to better be able to compare and discuss the deals on offer.

They will also be able to advise you and discuss a plan that best suits you, also they will be able to help you with your application and according to your particular financial position, will advise you on the best way of purchasing it so that the premium you pay each month is affordable.

Adequate life insurance is something everyone should have regardless of whether or not they are a smoker or non-smoker.

If a person has dependents, they need to ensure that those dependents would be financially provided for in the event of their untimely demise.

Deciding to ensure that your loved ones would be financially cared for if you die, should be a decision that is a priority and not put off for the future, as if it is left, it could well be too late and your loved ones would have to pay off any debts and could also face a future having to struggle to earn enough money to live.

Type your ZIP code into our free and helpful tool below to find affordable life insurance for smokers in your area. Which life insurance company for smokers is for you? Find out now.