Guide to Final Expense Insurance for Smokers

Written by Ross Quade

The average cost of a funeral in the United States is between $7,000 and $10,000. For many families, that’s a lot of money. Dealing with the loss of a loved one and then being handed a bill for several thousand dollars can be incredibly stressful. You can help your family avoid the financial strife associated with a funeral with final expense insurance. Many people think that they can’t get final expense insurance if they’re a smoker. The truth, however, is that you can. Here’s what to expect when it comes to final expense insurance as a smoker.

What is Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense insurance is a type of whole life insurance policy. Unlike traditional life insurance policies (term and whole life) this type of insurance policy is specifically designed to help your loved ones pay for your end of life expenses. Final expense insurance policies are typically much smaller than traditional life insurance policies, generally $50,000 or less. In most cases, the policy may be just your funeral and other related costs, such as the service, casket, burial, and headstone. The insurance could also be used for cremation if that’s what you prefer. You may also design your policy to also help your family pay for other end of life expenses such as hospital costs, and other outstanding debts you may leave behind.

How Do Insurance Providers Determine if You’re Considered a Smoker?

While final expense insurance doesn’t require a medical exam, you will still be asked a series of questions regarding your health. One of the problems that you will see will ask you if you have smoked cigarettes, in any volume, in the past 12 months. You won’t be asked about how many cigarettes you smoke each day. The amount doesn’t matter. This means that even if you have only smoked one cigarette in the past 12 months, you’re still considered a smoker and are subject to smoker rates.

Smoking Vs Other Tobacco Products

Every final expense insurance company defines tobacco use differently. Some will lump all tobacco products together. Some only care about cigarette usage. As a result, it is possible for individuals who use other types of tobacco products such as chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes (and even those who smoke cigars) may not be subject to smoker’s rates. This is because they’re not viewed to pose the same risk. Those who smoke are more likely to pass away earlier, thus making them riskier to insure.

How Much Can a Smoker Expect to Pay?

The actual cost of final expense insurance premiums depends upon several factors. Some of the biggest factors include your age and how much coverage you’re looking for. The average cost of final expense insurance is between $40 and $60 per month if you take out a policy for $5,000 to $10,000. This is the rate for non-smokers. The smoker’s rate varies from one company to the next. You can generally expect to pay anywhere from 30% to 50% more for a similar policy.

How Do I Get Final Expense Insurance as a Smoker?

The process for getting final expense insurance as a smoker is the same as getting final expense insurance as a non-smoker. Get rates from several different companies. This will allow you to compare the coverages and costs of different companies. When filling out information for quotes, make sure that you are honest. Lying about smoking can actually lead to an alteration of your policy or, worse, cancellation of the policy altogether. This is because lying about your smoking habit inaccurately reflects your actual risk to the insurance company. Buy earlier rather than later. The older you are, the higher your premiums will be. As a smoker, they’ll be significantly higher the older you are.

What if I Quit Smoking?

Quitting smoking can help to secure you better rates. It’ll also be significantly better for your health. You’ll have to be smoke free for at least 12 months, though in order to qualify for non-smoking rates. This doesn’t mean that you should delay getting coverage though. Many people say that they’ll quit smoking, and then they keep putting it off. The longer you wait, the more expensive your premiums will be. You can actually use getting an insurance policy now as an additional motivator to quit smoking.

Can I Get Lower Rates?

If you smoke now or are in the process of quitting, and apply for a final expense insurance policy, you’ll be subject to smoker’s rates. It is possible to secure a lower price, though. To get a non-smoker rate, you’ll have to quit smoking and be smoke-free for at least 12 months. Once you’ve been smoke-free for a year, you can talk to your insurance company about how to get your rate lowered. Before you apply for final expense insurance, it may be a good idea to find out exactly how you can get your rates reduced once you become smoke-free.

Final expense insurance is a smart financial move that allows you to help take care of your family, even after you’re gone. Just because you’re a smoker, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a policy. Shopping around will help you to get the best protection with the best rates possible.


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Ross Quade
Ross Quade has been a licensed insurance agent since 2008. State of Texas license #1702965. He has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from University of Minnesota and minored in Applied Economics. He has been quoted in several online publications including Huffington Post, Young Startups and various financial blogs. Ross frequently writes about issues related to the insurance and finance industry.

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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