I’ve often written about the fact that smoking generally increases life insurance rates by at least 100%, all else being equal. The average is really closer to 150% to 200%. Some companies are substantially higher than that.

Life insurance underwriters don’t mince opinions about the impact that smoking has on your life expectancy. They know it increases your chances of heart disease and cancer. In a post recently I talked about prostate cancer and smoking. Even though smoking doesn’t increase your chances of getting prostate cancer, it increase dramatically the chances that the cancer will kill you.

My nephew forwarded this article from The Motley Fool recently. Titled, What Smoking Cost Me, it is written by a man who found out how seriously life insurance companies take the issue of smoking.

While most of the article is a very good lesson on the life insurance rate hazards of smoking, I take exception to the fact that this guy’s agent couldn’t find a company that would forgive his one cigarette in the past year. I understand that many companies will take that stance, but not being able to find him a company that would forgive his indiscretion…..I think a good independent agent could have done it. And then the guy chooses to give up the fight and leave his family unprotected. Double bad points for the agent.

Bottom line. Smoking has a huge impact on life insurance rates, as it should. In my experience most smokers deal with that by underinsuring themselves. So, it impact’s your health, your budget, and your family’s future.