I’ve explained in plenty of detail how life insurance rates are effected by smoking. In general, a person who smokes will pay 2-3 times more than a non smoker in comparable health. There is just no question that underwriters believe that there is a significant mortality risk connected to smoking.

But, what about when you quit? We hear all the time that from a medical standpoint, once you quit the negative impacts begin to reverse themselves fairly quickly.  I thought I would give a quick overview of how a dozen or so insurance companies view the subject. In question will be what different company’s stances are when you have been nicotine free for a year, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years.

American General – Standard after 1 year, standard plus after 2 years, preferred after 3 years and preferred plus after 5 years.

Banner – Standard plus after 1 year, Preferrred after 2 years and Preferred Plus after 3 years.

The picture is already painted. When you quit smoking it makes a huge difference what company you go to.

Genworth – Standard after 1 year, Select after 2 years, Preferred after 3 years and preferred best after 5 years.

Indianapolis Life – Preferred after 1 year, preferred plus after 4 years.

John Hancock – Preferred after 2 years and preferred plus after 5 years.

Mass Mutual – You can get their best rate after just 1 year as a non smoker. Unfortunately their rates make up for their attempt at compassion.

Liberty Life – Preferred plus after 1 year and their rates are competitive unlike Mass Mutual.

West Coast Life – Preferred rates after 1 year and preferred plus after 5 years.

Your focus and that of your independent agent, once you have met the 12 month nicotine free threshhold should be seeking out the best possible rate and locking it in. Keep in mind that once that non tobacco rate is locked in, even if you insanely go back to smoking, they can’t change anything. Even though you are a smoker again, your rates will remain tobacco free.

Bottom line. Quit smoking! It’s bad for you. It’s bad for people around you. It’s bad for your health and your life insurance rates.