Can You Be Denied Life Insurance For Smoking?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Can you be denied life insurance for smoking?

Yes, you can be denied life insurance for smoking, especially if you have underlying medical conditions that are exacerbated by smoking, such as diabetes or heart disease.

While smoking alone may not always lead to a denial, it often contributes to higher premiums and can tip the scale towards a decline in cases where a non-smoker with the same medical conditions might receive an offer.

Unlock the best deals in life insurance with our competitive quote comparison.

Impact of Smoking on Life Insurance

Higher Premiums

  • Non-Smokers vs. Smokers: Non-smokers generally receive lower premiums compared to smokers.
  • Risk Assessment: Insurers view smoking as a risk factor for various health issues.

Potential for Denial

  • Underlying Health Conditions: If you have health issues like heart disease or diabetes, smoking can increase the risk of complications.
  • Combined Risk Factors: Smoking, when combined with other health issues, may lead to a decline in coverage.

Evaluation Process

  • Medical Examination: Insurers may require a medical exam, where smoking habits are assessed.
  • Honesty is Crucial: It’s important to be honest about smoking habits; failure to disclose can lead to policy cancellation or denial of a claim.

Ways to Improve Chances of Approval

Quitting Smoking

  • Health Benefits: Quitting can improve overall health and may lower insurance premiums.
  • Insider Tip: Insurers may consider you a non-smoker if you commit to quitting within 36 months

Managing Health Conditions

  • Regular Check-ups: Regular medical check-ups and managing existing conditions can demonstrate responsibility and improve approval chances.

Choosing the Right Policy

  • Different Policies: Some policies are more lenient towards smokers.
  • Expert Advice: Consulting with insurance experts can help find the right policy for your situation.


While smoking is a significant factor in life insurance applications, it’s the combination of smoking with other health conditions that often influence the decision. Smokers, especially those with additional health risks, face higher premiums and a greater likelihood of denial. To improve your chances of approval and better rates, consider quitting smoking and effectively managing any existing health issues.

For personalized advice and options tailored to your specific situation, contact us today for a free quote.

Free Life Insurance Quotes

Get help from a licensed financial professional. This service is free of charge.

Contact Us

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

Scroll to Top