Skip to Main Content

Can I get life insurance as a smoker?

If you’re a smoker, you shouldn’t let that stop you from applying for life insurance. But you may wonder if it will be difficult to get insured. Let’s take an honest look at how both tobacco and marijuana users could get the life insurance they need.
April 17, 2024
3 min read
A man contemplating about his life insurance needs

Best life insurance for smokers

There are two main types of life insurance. One type is whole life insurance, which is designed to be permanent as long as you make your monthly payments.

The other is term life, which lasts only for a specific amount of time. You can usually get a policy that lasts from 5 to 30 years.

As a smoker, term life insurance could be a better option. It often costs less than whole life. And typically, you won't have to answer questions about your smoking habits.

However, be aware that some term life policies require a physical examination. The exam could show evidence of tobacco or marijuana use. So, you may want to select a no-exam life insurance policy.

No-exam life insurance for smokers can be a great option if you can afford it. Most no-exam policies are term life, but there are also no-exam whole life policies.


Life insurance rates for smokers are typically higher

Life insurance may be more expensive for smokers, but if the insurance application asks about your smoking, tell the truth. Giving false information might get you the insurance you want, but you may not be able to keep it if the insurer discovers you were lying about smoking on the insurance form.

Losing your insurance is troubling any time it happens, but it's worse if it occurs when you have failing health. The insurer may refuse to pay your loved ones the death benefit from your policy, creating a difficult financial situation for them.


How smokers could reduce their insurance costs

It’s usually ideal to buy the best insurance policy you can afford, even if you have to pay more as a smoker. The good news is that later on, you can see about lowering your costs.

First, set a goal to stop smoking. There are many programs that can help. Check with your employer to see if your company sponsors such a program, or you could search for health organizations in your region that offer support.

Once you’ve kicked your smoking habit, let your insurance company know—they may agree to reduce your monthly payments. You should be aware that before lowering the cost of your policy, the insurer may require you to take a physical examination. They will use the exam results to estimate how long it’s been since you last smoked. If you pass the exam, your insurance costs will likely drop.


Getting life insurance when legally using marijuana

For generations, marijuana users tried to hide their use from their insurance companies. But marijuana is now legal in many states. So, how does using it affect your chances of getting life insurance?

Your insurer will probably have you complete a questionnaire to learn how much marijuana you use and how often. Answer truthfully—you don’t want to give the insurance company a reason to cancel your policy.

Some people are still likely to claim they use marijuana less often than they do. So, the insurer may also require a physical examination. They may use the test to estimate your level of marijuana use.


Yes, life insurance and smoking can work together

Both tobacco and marijuana users can find good life insurance policies these days. However, it's necessary to remember a few things.

First, tell the truth during your examination. Being untrue might come back to hurt your family members during an already difficult time. But don’t wait until you’ve stopped smoking before buying life insurance. Consider getting a policy today, even though insurance coverage for a smoker may cost more. Then, develop a policy to quit smoking. Once you’ve stopped, your insurer may reduce your monthly insurance payments.

Everyone, including tobacco and marijuana users, could benefit from life insurance. It's coverage for your loved ones and it can help you reach your financial goals.

Got a minute?

Get a life insurance quote - it won't take long.
Get pricing