If you are among the 19 percent of Americans that smoke, you need to know how to find a life insurance policy that fits your needs. Many smokers underestimate their ability to find life insurance at affordable prices. Smokers may have to pay more for life insurance, but there are policies to fit almost every budget, every lifestyle and every stage of life – including smokers.
Life Insurance for Smokers
First, you need to understand that insurance companies differentiate between moderate and heavy tobacco usage and charge moderate users less. Smoker’s life insurance quotes will vary depending if you are a smoker that enjoys the occasional cigar or one who smokes a pack a day. Some companies may use a classification system of “standard” and “preferred” tobacco users. In this case, smokers who are otherwise healthy – with regard to their weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. – will fall into the preferred category.
If you have recently quit smoking, you may qualify for non-smoker rates; however, this is determined by the insurer’s guidelines, which establish the length of time a consumer must be tobacco-free. There are also policies available that offer graduated scales, with rates that decline as your tobacco-free lifestyle continues. In some cases, you may reach non-smoking rates within one year.
Life Insurance Medical Exams for Smokers
Accurate life insurance quotes for smokers will require a medical exam. A life insurance medical exam verifies the information provided by the applicant, such as weight, height, blood pressure, family medical history, etc. To determine if you are a smoker and your level of tobacco consumption, many insurance companies will administer a test that measures your body’s level of cotidine, a byproduct of nicotine, in your saliva or urine.
Tips for Smokers Seeking Life Insurance
As you begin to compare life insurance quotes, consider these tips:
1. Buy life insurance when you are young. Even if you are a smoker, your young age and youthful health status will reduce life insurance premiums.
2. Review your life insurance policy often. Review your life insurance policy a minimum of every three years. Rates fluctuate and circumstances change, dictating the amount of protection you may need.
3. Consider quitting. Remember, even if you buy your policy as a smoker, many companies reward healthy behavior. Make strides to quit and review your policy accordingly.