Life is full of decision-making and planning for the future. How far into your future do you have planned?
The average funeral costs between $8,000 – $12,000 after everything is said and done.
The best burial insurance policies can help offset these costs for anyone who does not have funds set aside. This insurance coverage allows smokers to be proactive with their final expenses rather than leaving this burden behind for their family to deal with.
How Much Does Burial Insurance For Smokers Cost?
Smokers pay an average of 40% more for the same coverage as non-smokers. Most commonly, burial insurance is billed monthly and costs between $60 – $90 for those who have used cigarettes within the last 12 months.
However, this cost can fluctuate from person to person depending on the applicant’s pre-existing conditions, age, gender, and policy amount.
What Type of Insurance Does Final Expense Fall Under?
Final expense coverage is a type of whole life insurance. It was built to provide seniors an affordable way to cover their final burial expenses. This no-exam life insurance program for seniors is one of the cheapest life coverage options.
It is considered one of the more affordable plan options because of its flexibility in the death benefit amount. Burial insurance ranges from $1,000 – $40,000 in coverage, while other types of whole life and term life protection begin at $50,000.
Senior whole life insurance is commonly referred to by three different names.
- Burial Insurance
- Funeral Insurance
- Final Expense Insurance
Benefits of Coverage
While there are countless benefits to obtaining coverage for burial expenses, such as peace of mind knowing your family will be financially taken care of, all whole life insurance policies come with the features listed below.
- No Expiration
- Coverage Lock
- Price Lock
- Builds Cash Value
- No Exam
- No Waiting Period Options
Underwriting is the decision-making process an application for coverage goes through. If an applicant meets all of the health requirements, they will be approved. If they do not meet the requirements, the applicant will be denied.
For cigarette smokers, this comes into play if you have any medical concerns. Smoking alone is not a medical concern. However, it is a reason for higher insurance premiums.
Nearly every insurance company has a tobacco rate class.
Why Cigarettes Matter
Nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the US are caused by cigarette smoking, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Since smoking is known to lead to an increased risk of health complications, insurance companies charge more to compensate for this risk.
The CDC also lists that smokers are at an increased risk for the following medical complications.
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Lung Disease
- Poor Bone Health
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Vision Loss
Can You be Denied Burial Insurance if You Smoke?
Life insurance companies will not deny coverage solely because the applicant is a cigarette smoker. These organizations will instead charge an inflated rate to offset the risk of covering a tobacco user.
Burial insurance policies could be denied if the proposed insured does not meet the health requirements to qualify.
For example, if an applicant is a smoker and has emphysema, this person could be denied coverage by a company due to the emphysema, not the tobacco use itself.
How Smoking Affects Coverage
Nearly every funeral insurance company has a different rate class for smokers.
The main exception to this rule is guaranteed issue plans because these policies ask no questions about your health or smoking. With that said, smokers in good health can still receive lower insurance premiums from other plan types.
Most final expense insurance companies will consider you a smoker if you have used tobacco within the last 12 months.
A couple of companies differentiate cigarette smoking and the occasional cigar, but this post is specific to cigarettes.
Senior final expense programs will not ask about nicotine, so if you are currently using nicotine gum or a patch to curb cravings, this will not be an issue.
Also, some companies including, Americo, offer non-smoking rates for the first couple of years as an incentive to quit smoking. However, if you are unable to prove that you have, in fact, quit smoking, you will be charged the increased smoking rate.
Completing the Application
Upon completing your application, you will be asked to sign agreeing to the terms of the contract and the validity of the information you provided. If any of the data was knowingly falsified, this could lead to a voided contract.
Lying about smoking on life insurance applications is a bad idea and is never recommended.
Insurance providers reserve the right to dispute the claim when the beneficiary files if they believe there was a misrepresentation on the application. This could ultimately leave your beneficiary with no funds to cover your funeral expenses.
Finding The Best Burial Insurance For Smokers
The best burial life insurance companies for cigarette smokers will be different for each person depending on age, gender, and pre-existing conditions.
Ultimately the best insurance coverage is going to come down to 3 things.
Cost: The cheapest insurance is what you should go with every time. By getting a lower price, you could afford even more coverage.
Coverage Start Date: You’ll want to move forward with a plan that begins coverage as soon as possible. This will not be an issue unless you have a pre-existing condition that will affect your ability to qualify. Cigarette smoking is not disqualifying.
Financial Rating: Obtaining coverage from a company with a high financial rating is key. This will ensure that the carrier has the financial stability to pay your claim when it is due.
Generally speaking, the better health you are in, the lower your monthly premiums will be.
Level: These plans have both smoking and non-smoking rates. Typically even the occasional smoker will be lumped into the smoking rate class. Level plans offer the lowest price with no waiting period.
Graded: This type of plan is for those who have a health complication that throws up a red flag and, in turn, disqualifies you for Level coverage. Graded policies offer partial coverage immediately, with full coverage available after year 2.
Modified: Another name for this policy is a “return of premium plan” because if the insured passes away during the 2-year waiting period, the beneficiary will receive the paid premiums plus 10%. This is similar to how a Guaranteed Issue policy is set up.
Guaranteed Issue: Smokers, non-smoker, or someone who recently quit smoking will each receive the same burial insurance quote and guaranteed acceptance. These plans offer coverage, no questions asked but have a 2-year waiting period before full coverage can be awarded. Upon the completion of the second full policy year, the insured is fully covered.
Captive vs. Independent
There are who types of agents to purchase a policy from. Both hold the same type of license.
Captive: A captive agent can sell products from only one insurance company. Typically these agents work for a large insurance provider and are licensed across multiple lines of insurance coverage, such as home, life, auto, and health.
Independent: Agents that are independent can represent multiple insurance companies. This allows more price flexibility for the consumer because the agent is not tied to a singular carrier. They can also provide access to several lines of coverage or stick to a niche of the market.
Why Willamette Life
Willamette Life focuses solely on final expense life insurance, making us experts in the field. We represent several top-rated funeral insurance companies and exhaust all options to get you the lowest possible price.
Since burial insurance is such a niche in terms of acceptance of health concerns and the pricing of smoker rates, it is important to work with an expert.
Give us a call at 844-576-0019
Free Insurance Quotes Available!
Using the quote calculator on this page will let you see the difference between smoking and non-smoking burial insurance rates for your age, state, gender, and desired coverage amount.
a. Burial insurance for smokers is simple to qualify for. The price will play the most significant role in determining which coverage is best.
b. Along with trying to find the cheapest life insurance, you will also want to make sure that you can qualify based upon any pre-existing condition you have.
c. Working with an independent agency, such as Willamette Life, will open the door to many providers. This will save you time and money.
Stacie manages the content for Willamette Life by keeping it up to date and accurate. By taking the questions frequently asked by clients she has been able to assist in developing a series of blogs that will hopefully be able to help more people than just those we are able to speak with.
We would be happy to answer your specific questions if there is anything we haven’t covered yet.