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Smoker vs Non-smoker Life insurance Rates 2024

As a smoker, you will pay more for life insurance than a non-smoker, sometimes as much as double or even triple the premium price. Because you smoke you could develop a critical illness, for example, heart disease, cancer and stroke. These illnesses put you at a higher risk to the insurance company for potentially lodging a claim, thus your premiums will be more expensive to account for this risk.
Fact Checked

Updated: 24 May 2024

If you’re a smoker or have recently quit smoking and wondering how you can get more affordable life insurance rates, then comparing similar policies from top life insurance companies is a great place to start.

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Smokers can get affordable life insurance

On average, 23% of Australians are classified as smokers, even if they don’t actually smoke anything (i.e. nicotine gum or patches). But only 8% of smokers have life insurance. Surprising considering that smokers are three times more likely to die prematurely than non-smokers.

One possible reason for this might be the false assumption that smokers can’t get affordable life insurance.

While every insurance company is different, generally you can get life cover as a smoker and with a little research, you can find affordable life insurance from some of the leading companies in Australia.

How much more is life insurance if you are a smoker?

Smoking has a large impact on your life insurance rates because the insurer is taking on a bigger risk. To balance this risk, your policy will cost more. A 40-year-old non-smoking male taking out $1million worth of life cover can expect to pay as little as $42.19 per month, whereas a smoker’s premiums can increase by as much as 150% to $102.90 a month (as of January 2018).

Why smokers pay more for life insurance

Smoking increases your risk of developing various ailments and will thus lead to higher premium rates than those of a non-smoker, who might otherwise have exactly the same risk factors as you do. For example, if two reasonably healthy men of the same age and similar family histories both apply for a life insurance policy at the same company for the exact same level of cover and one is a smoker, then the non-smoker will get lower premiums.

Tobacco smoking is associated with an increased risk of: