Costs of Life Insurance For Smokers (Men and Women)

According to the American Red Cross, 480,000 smokers in America die every year from causes related to their smoking.

Why Are Life Insurance Costs Higher For Smokers?

Smokers are much more likely to have a heart attack or have a cardiac event than non-smokers.

male smoker enjoying a cigaretteInsurance companies know these statistics, so, because the likelihood of death is increased, the life insurance costs are higher for smokers or tobacco users.

Research has shown that almost 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer are caused by cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke. For this reason, smokers looking for life insurance should expect to pay rates that are three times higher than a non-smoker. Smoking can also exacerbate other types of cancers like breast cancer and bladder cancer.

Do Men Pay More For Life Insurance?

Rates are also higher for men than they are for women. Male smokers are going to pay more for their life insurance coverage than female smokers, but if you take time to compare prices and options from different companies, you still can find a life insurance policy that is somewhat affordable.

Get Your Average Smoker Life Insurance Rates!

Take a look at these sample of rates for a male forty-year-old smoker who is otherwise healthy.
A $1 million term life policy for twenty years would cost on average:

  • American General - $424 per month
  • Genworth Life - $387 per month
  • Liberty Life - $310 per month
  • Transamerica Occidental - $418 per month
  • West Coast Life - $475 per month

Obviously the rates are very high.

Meanwhile, a similarly aged woman with the same health history would pay:

  • American General - $311 per month
  • Genworth Life - $280 per month
  • Liberty Life - $215 per month
  • Transamerica Occidental - $305 per month
  • West Coast Life - $310 per month

What Kind Of Questions Will I Be Asked?

You'll need to answer some health and lifestyle questions that may end up raising or lowering your life insurance rates. For example, your family history of illness, medications you are taking, details of your job, your hobbies - skydiving, scuba diving, bull riding, piloting planes, rock climbing, can all negatively impact your life insurance rates.

Having been arrested for DUI or reckless driving also counts against you - life insurance companies don't like to insure alcoholics.

Will I Need A Medical Exam?

Yes, you may need to take a medical exam.

Any life insurance company is going to need to know your latest cholesterol values, your blood pressure reading, your weight and height, your liver function values, etc. So, you'll need to have a blood test done also. They can also detect if you smoke, so, don't lie on your application.

Get Your Customized Smoker Life Insurance Rates!


For someone born in 1980, the life insurance rates are going to be much lower. Purchasing life insurance when you are younger helps keep the costs low. For someone who is currently 28 years old, rates range from $87.50 per month to $200 per month. You quickly see that the earlier you purchase a life insurance policy, the lower your rates will be.

Life insurance is a necessity, especially if you have a spouse or children that rely on your income. Should anything happen to you, a life insurance policy ensures that their standard of living will not drastically change. Death is hard, but facing the emotional stress of losing a loved one on top of losing a home due to lack of income is a tragedy.

Here's a video explaining why life insurance for a smoker costs so much: