Tobacco Use, Your Health and Life Insurance


Life insurance is the perfect excuse to stop smoking and get in shape. We’re all trying in our busy lives to eat right, stay in shape and maintain our weight. Life insurance is an inspiration for this. When you apply for life insurance they will actually rate your health.

The term “standard” generally means that you’re in the right height and weight class and you’re not on major medications. For some carriers they will offer multiple versions of a “preferred” rating. Sometimes calling it preferred non tobacco, or preferred best non tobacco. With each higher rating there is usually a percentage of savings associated with the rating. In most cases if you apply standard, and you are eligible for a preferred rating, they will automatically make the offer at the best rating.

So for the smokers out there, not only are they not doing their bodies any favors, they’re also paying more for their life insurance. Typically in most situations if you’re a smoker, or more specifically a tobacco user, your costs will be approximately double that of a non-tobacco user. This is logical because with smoking, there’s a greater chance that the insured will statistically live a shorter life span, thus causing the carrier to have to pay the death benefit sooner, therefore charging more for the policy to get the premiums they need.

One question that always seems to come up is cigarettes versus cigars versus chewing tobacco. Most carriers don’t make the distinction between the three. When it comes to tobacco, tobacco is nicotine in any form. There has been a shift in the industry to allow an occasional “celebratory” cigar, which could still allow you to get a non-tobacco instead of a tobacco rating.

When you’re thinking about what would happen to your family if they should lose you, there’s no better time to get your health back on track, drop the cigarettes and think of how much money you would save by paying half for your life insurance. Then think about where you would take your family on a trip with all that money! 

About the author: Mark Yurkovic has been in the life insurance business for over 12 years, and holds CLTC, LUTCF, and CES designations. He enjoys building remote control boats, and playing instruments including the piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Mark would love to discuss life insurance options and work towards finding the best policy fit for your family. You can contact Mark at 1-800-651-1953 or