Whole Life Insurance For Smokers 

Protecting your family with life insurance is one of the most important acts of love you could do. But Getting whole life can seem complicated, and picking the right one if you are a smoker can be a nightmare. 

TIP: Whole Life prices don’t change as much as term prices for smokers!

Costs can vary significantly between companies, and most agents do not know which company to use.

This guide is here to help you understand and pick the best whole life insurance for a smoker

Why Whole Life Insurance? 

Whole Life insurance is the most conservative and simple way of getting permanent life insurance. You will get a life insurance with strong guarantees in cash value and death benefit. Also, your premiums remain level for life.

In addition, you get a “savings” component called cash value. This cash value grows every year, and it has great tax advantages. To get a better understanding of whole life insurance read our article: Whole Life Insurance For Dummies 

If you do want a permanent life insurance with strong benefits, then you should definitely consider whole life.

Can Smokers Get Whole Life Insurance?

Can Smokers Get Whole Life Insurance?

Are You A Smoker? 

The fact that you smoke will affect your price in any life insurance policy. As a matter of fact anything that affects your health negatively can affect your ability to get life insurance.

Life insurance companies consider someone a smoker if they do any of the following:

  • cigarettes
  • pipe
  • snuff
  • chew
  • smokeless tobacco
  • electronic cigarettes
  • Hookah/ Hookah Tobacco
  • smoking cessation aids
  • non-nicotine smoking cessation aids

So pretty much any product that contains tobacco will give you a smoker rating.

How Do They Know If I Smoke?

You may be wondering how they know if you smoke or not. First, the insurance company pull medical history, and if they find out you smoke then you get a smoker rating.

Also, the insurance company will request a urine test. In this urine test is how they verify to make sure you are not a smoker. 

Smoker vs Non Smoker Costs

Now we want to give you ideas in terms of pricing, and how much it affects you to be a smoker.

So let’s start with an example for $250k for a Male:

  • Smoker will pay for a 20 year term $53.63/mo
  • Non Smoker sill pay for $25.95/mo

As you can see a smoker pays around 2 times the rates of a non-smoker in a Term Insurance.

However, when we look at permanent insurance the rates are not double.

Give an example for $250k for a Male:

  • Smoker will pay for a Whole Life: $369.61/mo
  • Non Smoker will pay for a Whole Life: $267.54/mo

Whole life is more expensive, but it isn’t as drastic as Term. The increase is only 38% not 100% more expensive like term. 

What Happens If I Stop Smoking?

The great news is that if you stop smoking, most companies will modify your rating. There is a period of time you need to stop smoking before you can get a non-smoker rating.

Most companies will require at least 1 year of not smoking before you can change your rating. 

Non All Smokers Are The Same

Not all smokers get the same rating. You can have great health but you are a smoker, in that case you will be consider a “Preferred Smoker”. This means your rates are better than if you smoke and you have other health issues.

Most companies offer the following health rates:

  • Smoker
  • Preferred Smoker or Select Smoker

Each company has a different way of determining who qualifies for what rating, so ask our experts for the best company for you. 


Cigars Are Not That Bad For Life Insurance

Cigar Smokers

Cigars are not that bad for life insurance. If you are a social cigar smoker, then most companies will not treat you like a smoker. Please ask your agents for the details of how the company you are applying treats cigar smoker.

There are many companies that will treat you like a smoker, so make sure you are aware before you apply. 

Marijuana Smokers

Marijuana smokers will be treated still as smokers. Most companies will not decline you. Marijuana most of the time is not consider drug use, but the insurance company will give you smoker ratings. 

Cost Of A Whole Life Insurance For Smokers

We prepared a reference of cost, cash value and death benefit of many different companies. Please know that is meant as a guide and you should always get quotes for your individual situation.

In the following table we have included company names. We included company names because we want to have transparency and help you see that there is a significant difference between companies.

If you like any of these policies feel free to request a quote an one of our agents will reach out.

Age 45 Male Smoker Good Health
Name Premium Cash @ 65 Benefit @ 65
Nationwide $424 $102,418 $250,000
Minnesota Life $465 $121,270 $312,268
Penn Mutual $512 $147,439 $338,434
MassMutual $521 $137,128 $343,729
Ohio National $618 $147,129 $342,344
Assurity $687 NA $250,000
Foresters $690 $154,670 $359,723

Age 35 Male Smoker Good Health
Name Premium Cash @ 65 Benefit @ 65
Nationwide $279 $122,048 $250,000
Minnesota Life $314 $166,798 $361,159
MassMutual $322 $184,154 $395,796
Penn Mutual $335 $214,699 $415,741
Ohio National $370 $194,317 $383,556
Foresters $404 $206,955 $413,205
Assurity $433 NA $250,000

I smoke.. Show me my rates

What Are Other Alternatives?

Ok so whole life insurance may be too expensive for you, don’t worry there are other permanent life insurance options for you.

Guaranteed Universal Life Policies

A guaranteed universal life policy (GUL) can be a great alternative to whole life insurance. They work if you do not want to access cash value, but you still want permanent insurance.

It’s an affordable way of getting permanent insurance.

Guaranteed Uniersal Life 250k Male Smoker
Age Premium Death Benefit
35 $179.67 $250,000
30 $223.03 $250,000
45 $269.98 $250,000


Term Insurance

Maybe the best route is to pick a term insurance. If you want cash value growth and you are a smoker, then maybe whole life is not the best option.

You can also consider a return of premium term insurance. In this policy, after the term is over you get all of your money back.

Here is a sample of a Male 250k smoker 20 year term and a return of premium term:

Term 20 Premium Death Benefit
Normal $45.50 $250,000
Return Of Premium $213.99 $250,000

As you can see it is very affordable to get a term insurance policy. Also, in the previous example you the return of premium option is significantly more expensive, but you know that you will get all the money back if nothing happens. 

Should I Wait Until I Stop Smoking?

You definitely shouldn’t wait. The point of getting life insurance is to protect your loved ones from the unexpected. The unexpected can hit at any point in time.

And your health can also change at any point in time. 

Final Word

Now you understand what it means to get a whole life insurance for a smoker. Also, you can see prices and we listed alternatives so you can make a good decision.

Cheapest Whole Life For Smokers

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