Cheapest Life Insurance Companies & Quotes for Smokers in 2022

Life insurance costs more when you smoke. The average cost of life insurance for someone who smokes is $87.71 per month, which is four times more than the premiums a healthy nonsmoker might pay for the same coverage. Policy rates vary due to age, gender and overall health.

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Last Updated: 11/26/2022
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If you smoke, it can be difficult to find low-cost life insurance coverage. Life insurance companies view smokers to be risky to insure because they are prone to lung cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, impacting life expectancy. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on smoking and tobacco use, over 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.

While life insurance premiums tend to be higher-than-average for people who smoke, affordable options are available for coverage. MoneyGeek explored the best providers for people who smoke to make finding an affordable plan easier.

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Key Takeaways

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The average cost of life insurance for a smoker is $87.71 per month — that's four times more expensive than a healthy individual’s average life insurance premium, which is $24.82 per month.

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Several factors determine your rate. In addition to age and gender, the state where you live is also a factor affecting the cost of your life insurance.

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Life insurance rates can easily double or triple if you are a smoker. You can reduce the cost of your premiums by shopping around for lower coverage or signing up for insurance as early as possible.

Average Cost of Life Insurance for Smokers Vs. Nonsmokers

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Nonsmoker

Monthly Cost

$25
checkSign
Smoker

Monthly Cost

$88
Life insurance premiums for smokers are on average:$63 more

This is 252% more expensive.

Cheapest Life Insurance for Smokers by State

Smokers can get life insurance regardless of where they live. Life insurance rates don't vary significantly by state; however, average buyer characteristics, like age, height and weight, do. Because the cost of living can vary dramatically from state to state, the amount of necessary life insurance coverage also varies. MoneyGeek used characteristics of the average life insurance buyer in each state, along with the amount of coverage required based on that state's cost of living, to determine the average cost of life insurance in each state.

Based on average life insurance needs and buyer characteristics, the cost of coverage can vary from state to state. Smokers in New Mexico pay the lowest monthly premiums at $84.16. Smokers in New York pay the highest rates at $164.13 per month.

Cost Comparison Between States Where Life Insurance Is Cheapest & Most Expensive

newMexico
New Mexico

Average Rate for Smokers

$84
newYork
New York

Average Rate for Smokers

$164
Depending on life insurance needs and average buyer characteristics, which vary by location, life insurance can cost as much as:$80 more

This is 95% more expensive.

Among the best insurance companies in the U.S., Transamerica offers people who smoke the cheapest life insurance quotes in most states. Its policies are the most affordable in 24 states. MassMutual comes in second with the lowest premiums in 19 states, and State Farm comes in third with five states. Mutual of Omaha and Nationwide offer the cheapest rates in just one state each.

Cheapest Life Insurance Companies by State

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  • State
    Cheapest Company
    Monthly Rate
  • Alabama
    Mass Mutual
    $101.81
  • Alaska
    Transamerica
    $113.52
  • Arizona
    Transamerica
    $96.96
  • Arkansas
    Mass Mutual
    $95.23
  • California
    Transamerica
    $145.43
  • Colorado
    Transamerica
    $123.50
  • Connecticut
    Transamerica
    $145.13
  • Delaware
    State Farm
    $131.00
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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Transamerica
  • MoneyGeek Score: 80/100
  • J.D. Power Rating: 736.4
  • AM Best Rating: A

Transamerica offers the lowest rates for people who smoke in 24 states, making it the most affordable insurer for smokers in the country. In many cases, smokers can qualify for permanent and term coverage that doesn't require a medical exam. If you decide to quit smoking, this company also provides rate reconsideration after two years.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
MassMutual
  • MoneyGeek Score: 84.5/100
  • J.D. Power Rating: 758.1
  • AM Best Rating: A++

MassMutual is the second-most affordable life insurer for people who smoke, with the lowest rates of any provider in 19 states. This company is particularly beneficial for people who smoke cigars; while most life insurance companies only give cigar smokers competitive rates if they smoke 12 or fewer cigars a year, MassMutual allows policyholders to enjoy up to 24 cigars annually.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
State Farm
  • MoneyGeek Score: 97.4/100
  • J.D. Power Rating: 820.5
  • AM Best Rating: A++

While State Farm is the cheapest provider for smokers in just five states, this company tops MoneyGeek's list of best life insurance providers for smokers. While people who smoke pay higher-than-average rates with this company, they can still score reasonable premiums if they're otherwise in good health.

Cheapest Life Insurance for Smokers by Age

Life insurance premiums increase as you age. For example, a 30-year-old who smokes and opens a life insurance policy pays lower premiums than someone who opens a policy at 50. Thirty-year-old smokers pay around $87.71 per month on average, while 50-year-olds who smoke pay around $348.11 per month.

Average Cost of Life Insurance in Your 30s & 50s

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Smoker

30-Year-Old

$88
seniors
Smoker

50-Year-Old

$348
Life insurance premiums for older smokers are on average:$260 more

This is 295% more expensive.

Transamerica is consistently the cheapest company for people who smoke at any age group among the reviewed companies listed below.

Cheapest Life Insurance Companies for 30-Year-Old Smokers

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  • Company
    Monthly Rate
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $62.57
  • 2.
    Mass Mutual
    $75.27
  • 3.
    State Farm
    $77.64
  • 4.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $87.30
  • 5.
    AAA
    $88.00
  • 6.
    Progressive
    $91.36
  • 7.
    Prudential
    $101.88
  • 8.
    Nationwide
    $117.69
Cheapest Life Insurance Companies for 40-Year-Old Smokers

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  • Company
    Monthly Rate
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $117.82
  • 2.
    State Farm
    $130.72
  • 3.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $131.16
  • 4.
    Mass Mutual
    $141.60
  • 5.
    Progressive
    $142.90
  • 6.
    Nationwide
    $145.69
  • 7.
    AAA
    $152.68
  • 8.
    Prudential
    $185.18
Cheapest Life Insurance Companies for 50-Year-Old Smokers

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  • Company
    Monthly Rate
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $270.69
  • 2.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $310.04
  • 3.
    State Farm
    $317.99
  • 4.
    Mass Mutual
    $331.05
  • 5.
    Nationwide
    $354.38
  • 6.
    AAA
    $368.94
  • 7.
    Prudential
    $400.98
  • 8.
    Progressive
    $430.87

Cheapest Life Insurance for Smokers by Gender

Male smokers pay higher life insurance rates than female smokers. The average cost of life insurance for a 40-year-old woman is $128.96 per year. The average cost of life insurance for a 40-year-old man is $157.98 per year, which is 30.93% higher than average female smoker premiums.

According to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, men tend to use all forms of tobacco products at a higher volume than women.

Average Cost of Life Insurance for Male Vs. Female Smokers

female
Female Smoker

40-Year-Old

$129
male
Male Smoker

40-Year-Old

$158
Life insurance premiums for smokers are on average:$29 more

This is 22% more expensive.

The following table shows the companies ranked from the lowest to the highest rates for male smokers. Transamerica offers the cheapest premiums with a monthly rate of $69.23, while Prudential is the most expensive, with a monthly rate of $163.19.

Cheapest Life Insurance Companies for Male Smokers

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  • Company
    Monthly Rate
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $69.23
  • 2.
    Mass Mutual
    $83.53
  • 3.
    State Farm
    $85.69
  • 4.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $91.81
  • 5.
    AAA
    $98.12
  • 6.
    Prudential
    $101.88
  • 7.
    Progressive
    $102.23
  • 8.
    Nationwide
    $163.19

The following table shows the companies ranked from the lowest to the highest rates for female smokers. Transamerica offers the cheapest premiums with a monthly rate of $55.90, while Prudential is the most expensive, with a monthly rate of $101.88.

Cheapest Life Insurance Companies for Female Smokers

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  • Company
    Monthly Rate
  • 1.
    Transamerica
    $55.90
  • 2.
    Mass Mutual
    $67.00
  • 3.
    State Farm
    $69.59
  • 4.
    Nationwide
    $72.19
  • 5.
    AAA
    $77.88
  • 6.
    Progressive
    $80.48
  • 7.
    Mutual of Omaha
    $82.78
  • 8.
    Prudential
    $101.88

How Smokers Can Get Cheaper Life Insurance

The rates from the above companies are already pretty cheap. Still, you can potentially find even lower premiums by shopping around for life insurance options such as paying a lump sum for coverage or buying as soon as possible.

1

Pay annually instead of monthly.

You can save a significant amount when you choose to pay your premiums annually instead of monthly.

2

Buy as soon as possible.

Your age can also affect the cost of your life insurance, so signing up as early as possible helps lower the cost of an expensive premium due to your smoking history.

3

Consider cheap term life insurance for smokers.

You can opt to get a term life insurance policy that covers you for a specific period lasting around 10–20 years and only provides the most basic protection. You can customize your premiums and death benefit based on your needs and profile if you opt for universal life insurance.

4

Quit smoking.

The best way to lower your rates permanently is to quit smoking altogether. Some life insurance providers allow you to retake the nicotine test after a year and re-negotiate your rates. You can also switch between providers, which could give you a standard rate when you are smoke-free for more than 12 months.

Even if you smoke, getting life insurance shouldn’t break the bank. You can find affordable life insurance if you shop around, buy strategically or make lifestyle changes to lower the cost. For example, paying in a lump sum automatically gives you a discount. Purchasing a policy before you need it and as early as possible is another way to save on your premiums long term.

By shopping around, you are not only protecting yourself against fraud from possible life insurance scammers, but you are also ensuring that you’re buying the best life insurance for your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

MoneyGeek answers the most frequently asked questions about getting life insurance for smokers.

Methodology

To obtain cost data for term life insurance policies, MoneyGeek collected quotes from 13 companies across all 50 states from ages 30–70. To gather data for smokers specifically, MoneyGeek used a sample profile of a 30-year-old individual in excellent health who uses tobacco regularly. The baseline life insurance policy used in each analysis, unless otherwise specified, was one with $500k coverage and a 20-year term length.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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