Burial Insurance For Smokers: Secrets To Low-Cost Coverage

Jake Irving

Jake Irving is the Founder of Policy and has contributed to articles for Synchrony Financial, GoBankingRates, Yahoo News, UpCity, Zapier, LegalZoom, and more.

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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.

Low-cost burial insurance policies can help offset these expenses for anyone who does not have money set aside. This insurance coverage allows smokers to be proactive with their final costs rather than leaving this burden behind.

How Much Does Burial Insurance For Smokers Cost?

Smokers pay an average of 40% more for the same coverage as non-smokers. Usually, burial insurance is billed monthly and costs between $60 – $90 for those who have used cigarettes within the last 12 months.

However, this burial insurance cost can fluctuate from person to person depending on the applicant’s pre-existing conditions, age, gender, and the policy amount.

The Basics of Burial Insurance for Tobacco Users

Final expense coverage is a type of whole life insurance. It was built to provide seniors with 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. Burial insurance ranges from $1,000 – $40,000 in coverage, while other types of whole life and term life protection begin at $50,000.

Three different names commonly refer to senior whole life insurance.

  • 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 after you’re gone. All whole life burial insurance policies come with the features listed below.

  • No Expiration
  • Coverage Lock
  • Price Lock
  • Builds Cash Value
  • No Medical Exam
  • No Waiting Period Options

happy senior woman with glasses in blue

Underwriting For Tobacco Use

Underwriting is the decision-making process an application for coverage goes through. If applicants meet all of the health requirements, they will be approved. The applicant will be denied or placed in a more restrictive plan if they do not meet the criteria.

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.

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.

Insurance companies could deny burial insurance policies 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.

Associated Health Complications that Could Affect Burial Insurance

Since cigarette smoking leads to an increased risk of health complications, insurance companies charge more to compensate for this risk.

The CDC lists smokers at an increased risk for the following medical complications, which may affect life insurance acceptance.

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Lung Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Stroke

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 cannot prove that you have quit smoking, you will be charged the increased smoking rate, or your coverage will be decreased.

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 leave your beneficiary with no funds to cover your funeral expenses.

close up of hand holding burning cigarette

Finding The Best Burial Insurance For Smokers

The best burial life insurance companies for cigarette smokers will differ 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 your pre-existing condition affects your ability to qualify. Cigarette smoking will not disqualify you.

Financial Rating: Obtaining coverage from a company with a high financial rating is critical. This will ensure that the carrier has the financial stability to pay your claim when it is due.

How to Buy

There are two main ways to purchase a policy, directly with the insurance provider or an insurance agency.

Insurance Agencies: An agency can represent multiple insurance policies and is not tied to only one provider, allowing the consumer access to more price and underwriting options. Having more choices will save time and money.

Directly from Company: If you contact an insurance company directly, you will not be able to compare plans offered by other providers. Since each company sets its pricing and underwriting criteria, it is nearly impossible as the consumer to know you are getting a good deal.

Final Thoughts

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 finding the cheapest life insurance for smokers, you will also want to make sure that you can qualify based on any pre-existing condition you have.

c. Working with an independent agency will open the door to many providers and save you time and money.