Everyone knows it, right? Smokers pay more money for their life insurance. Does it really make that much of a difference? Of course it does. The likelihood of dying makes life insurance a pretty bad risk – and that likelihood is pretty high. According to the CDC, Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Those are pretty bad odds for an insurance company, thus the increased cost of life insurance. We’ll get to that in a bit, though.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Using tobacco is the largest cause of preventable premature death in the world – while the use of cigarettes has dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 16.8% in 2014), there are plenty of other ways to take in tobacco, and all are more dangerous than NOT taking in tobacco.
Quitting smoking has many benefits but can be hard. Research shows that using support groups and counseling can greatly improve your chances of quitting – and surprisingly that going cold turkey actually increases the “stickiness” of the quit. Most smokers quit several times for varying lengths of time before they actually cease all use, but according to healthcommunities.com, cold turkey seems to be the most successful method,
“ In a 2007 study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, researchers interviewed more than 8,000 adult smokers from four countries attempting to quit the cigarette habit. Participants were contacted at three separate intervals to see how their quitting methods had worked out. The researchers then compared success rates of smokers who were trying the cold turkey approach with those who were employing other methods.
The study found that 68.5 percent of the smokers made an attempt to quit using the cold turkey method, and of those, 22 percent succeeded after the second contact with researchers and 27 percent succeeded after the third contact. Among people using the cut down method, in which a person smokes successively fewer cigarettes before abstaining completely, only 12 percent and 16 percent, respectively, were successful.”
We human beings are snowflakes though, and cold turkey may not work for you – so try one of the many other cessation methods out there because it will do more than lower your life insurance rates; it will save you money, time, and give you many more years with your families.
So what does this have to do with Life Insurance? A smoker can pay substantially more premium for their policy than a non-smoker. Here is an example: a 40 year old male who is healthy and does not smoke can qualify for the best ratings Life Insurance companies have to offer. A 40 year old smoker can only qualify for a higher smokers rate. For example a $100,000 20 year term policy for the non-smoker is around $130.00 annually. However a 40 year old male smoker will pay around $271.00 annually for the same policy. That’s more than double the premium for the smoker. Over 20 years this adds up to $2,820.00 in additional premium that the smoker will have to pay for the same coverage. The bottom line is it pays not to smoke.
Here are some resources to help you stop smoking.