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No Smoking Sign
photo credit: Mykl Roventine

Life insurance rates for those that smoke cigarettes, depending on the company and any additional risk factors, can run anywhere from two to four times higher than a comparable non smoker.

What particularly drives underwriters crazy are those brilliant specimens out there who still smoke after having had a heart attack or having been diagnosed with COPD. These folks would be lucky if they got offered higher rates but the truth is that they are more likely looking at a decline with a capital D for Dumb.

I know I attack this subject like it’s a no brainer easy thing just to quit smoking, but recent studies seem to indicate that it is actually getting harder and harder to quit. For those who could just get a grip and do it, they’ve most likely already done that. For those who are truly addicted, it’s a rough road.

So, what happens if you can successfully quit smoking? What can you do to get lower life insurance rates? The first step is 12 months nicotine free. That means no smoking, no nicotine gum and no nicotine patch. Once you have reached that threshold, if you’re in good health you should be able to get as good as preferred non smoker rates just by applying and doing a new exam (Yes, they will test for nicotine).

If your health isn’t all that great, all the more reason to apply for a new policy. Remember that underwriters don’t see the logic of having health problems and smoking. Conversely they like and reward the fact that someone has successfully removed nicotine from their life in an effort to improve their health.

Bottom line. There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking and while it’s not always an easy thing to accomplish, it’s always worth the effort.