Smokers present a high risk for life insurance providers. You can still get life insurance as a smoker, but you should expect to pay a lot more for coverage.
The CDC estimates that 34 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, and every day about 200 adults pick up a daily smoking habit. So if you’re a smoker looking for a life insurance policy, you’re definitely not alone. However, if you want a life insurance policy at a lower rate, you’ll probably have to quit smoking and stay smoke-free for a year.
Let’s take a look at which types of tobacco life insurance companies look for, how long tobacco stays in your system and what you should consider when applying for a life insurance policy as a smoker.
Types of tobacco that life insurance companies care about
To get life insurance, nicotine tests are common. But life insurance companies don’t just test for nicotine. Cotinine is an alkaloid found in the body after nicotine is metabolized, so it’s an indicator for nicotine use. So if you’re wondering about a cotinine test, life insurance providers will probably look for it.
Life insurance companies care about all types of tobacco use, including:
Life insurance underwriting classifies applicants as being either a tobacco risk or non-tobacco risk. Smokers who use cigarettes regularly are considered high risk to insure, so you’ll definitely be classified as a tobacco risk if you apply for life insurance as a cigarette smoker.
If you only