Are You a Smoker? You Can Still Get Life Insurance

If you smoke, you might think that affordable life insurance is not within the realm of possibility. However, 21% of the U.S. population, about 45 million people, smoke. Needless to say, there is a considerable demand for affordable coverage for smokers. Though smokers do pay higher premiums than those who don’t, it’s not impossible to find a quality policy that fits your budget if you do. Because premiums are calculated in drastically different ways from insurer to insurer, comparison shopping is key to finding an affordable policy. In this post, we’ll give you more information about how smoking affects your options and give you tips on how to save on your policy if you use cigarettes.

Providers will categorize you according to your tobacco usage. Many companies distinguish between heavy and moderate tobacco users and charge moderate users lower premiums. Other insurers will use the categories “standard” and “preferred” with regard to tobacco users. To get preferred rates with these companies, you have to be a smoker in otherwise good health, meaning no blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, etc. issues. If you use cigarettes and do have health problems, you will likely fall into the “standard” category, which means higher premiums.

The Benefits of Quitting

If you quit and stay quit for at least a year, you will probably be able to qualify for better rates with your insurer. The longer you stay tobacco-free, the less you will pay for your premiums. Usually, insurers will drop your rates again at three years of being quit and then again at five years. Make sure you let your insurer know if you’ve quit smoking.

Finding Affordable Protection

Here are some helpful tips on how to find affordable coverage tips if you use cigarettes:

  1. Get it while you’re young. The younger you are when you buy protection, the less it will cost you. Ideally, you want to lock in low rates while you are still young and healthy.
  2. Choose the right policy term. If you buy term protection, make sure you purchase the appropriate length of policy. The older you are, the shorter your policy’s term should be.
  3. Ask about price breaks. Some insurers will offer you a price break if you get $250,000 of coverage instead of $225,00, for example. Ask your agent about these discounts.
  4. Select the right amount of coverage. Don’t over-buy when it comes to a plan. You should select an amount that is 6-10 times your annual income.
  5. Review your policy frequently. Review your policy at least every few years to determine if you can get lower rates and if you need more or less coverage.

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