When you apply for life insurance coverage, the insurance company is going to look at dozens of different factors to determine how much they are going to charge you for insurance protection. One of the biggest determining factors in how much you’ll pay in premiums is if you smoke or use chewing tobacco.
If you’re a smoker, you’re going to be at much higher risk for severe health complications, like lung cancer or heart attack. That means that you’re going to be a greater risk to the insurance company, and they are going to offset that additional risk by charging you higher monthly premiums.
Every year, we get dozens and dozens of questions about the insurance company’s medical exam and how they are going to detect the tobacco and how much tobacco you can use and be listed as a non-smoker. It’s important that you’re getting the most affordable rates possible.
At LifeinsuranceForSmokers.com, we know that shopping for insurance coverage as a smoker can be a challenging experience, but that’s why we are here to help. It’s our mission ensure that you’re getting the best life insurance plan at the lowest affordable rates.
Medical Exam and Smoking
When you apply for life insurance coverage, the company is going to determine if you smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco. When you take the medical exam, the insurance company is going to require a urine sample to look for any traces of tobacco in your body. If they find any amount of tobacco or related chemicals in your body, they are going to assume that you’re a smoker, which is going to translate in much higher premiums.
If you’re trying to decide if you’ll be listed as a smoker, then there are several different factors that you’ll need to consider. There are several ways that the insurance company is going to look for tobacco, but in most cases, it’s going to be the urine sample.
The urine test is going to be the easiest and cheapest test for the insurance company to use, but they are also the least sensitive. In most cases, the insurance company will tell you that you’ll need to be smoke free for at least 10 – 12 months to ensure that all of the tobacco chemicals are flushed out of your body, but what if you only smoke occasionally, or you’ve had the first cigarette in a long time, how is that going to impact your life insurance rates?
In most cases, a single cigarette won’t take too long to get out of your system, which means that more than likely, one cigarette won’t come up on your medical exam. The nicotine itself will only be in your body around 12 – 24 hours, and after that, they won’t show up in the tests. With the medical exam, the company will also look for cotinine, which is a nicotine metabolite. Cotinine (which is the chemical that shows up in the health tests), will stay in your body for around 2 to 6 days.
Every person is different, which means that each person is going to metabolize nicotine and cotinine different. Some people are going to flush it out of their system more quickly than others are going to. Additionally, your lifestyle will play a role in how long those chemicals stay in your body.
If you exercise and drink a lot of water, then it’s going to help your body flush out those chemicals more quickly. If you’re going to be taking a medical exam, then you’ll want to do everything that you can do ensure that you’re not given smoker’s rates. If you’ve only had one cigarette recently, and you’re not a consistent smoker, then you should wait at least one week before you apply for life insurance and take the medical exam.
One of the most common questions that we get in regards to smoking and life insurance medical exams deal with cigars. If you’re a cigar smoker, you need to be careful that those cigars don’t cause you to get much higher premiums. With cigars, the rating is going to depend greatly on the company that you choose and how often you smoke them.
If you only smoke cigars for celebrations, then there is a good chance that you can still secure non-smoker’s rates. Most insurance companies define celebratory smokers as only smoking one cigar a month. If you want to be safe, don’t smoke a cigar several weeks before the exam, but you should still inform the agent that you smoke the occasional cigar.
Getting Affordable Life Insurance As A Smoker
Regardless if you’re listed as a smoker or not, there are several ways that you can ensure that you’re getting the most affordable life insurance plan available. Every family deserves to have the coverage that they need, and the price shouldn’t prevent you from getting it. Making a few simple changes could save you thousands and thousands of dollars on your insurance coverage.
The first thing that you should do is improve your overall health.
As we mentioned, before the insurance company gives you life insurance, you’ll have to take a medical exam. Not only are they going to look for any tobacco, but they are also going to determine your overall health. If you want to save money, you need to get better results, and you can do this by making healthier meal options and hitting the gym. Both diet and exercise are going to help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and lower your cholesterol. All of these are going to translate into better insurance rates.
The next thing that you should do is slow down on your way to work. The insurance company is going to pull your driving records when they are reviewing your application. If you have any tickets or accidents in the last year, then you’ll be considered “high-risk,” and that means higher premiums. Lay off the gas pedal and take a little longer to get to work, your wallet will thank you.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest premiums, as a smoker or not, is to work with one of our independent insurance brokers. We work with some of the highest rated insurance companies across the nation, which means we can bring all of the best premiums and plans directly to you. Don’t waste your precious time calling agents and being stuck on hold. Let us send you personalized quotes directly to you. We can save you both time and money on your life insurance.
If you have any questions about life insurance as a smoker, please contact one of our experienced agents today. We would be happy to answer those questions and connect you with the best available plan.