How Smoking Affected Our Life Insurance Premium

smoking life insurance premium costs Canada


Canadians know the health risks of smoking plus the financial debt just to buy cigarettes and costs of high life insurance quotes.

Did you also know that it costs smokers a higher life insurance premium when applying for life insurance as it did for us?

Who knew there would be such a significant cost difference for life insurance for a smoker and non-smoker as you will later find out.

It’s been over a year now that we butted out (January 29, 2102) and are both still smoke-free today.

We will always give thanks to all the support along the way from not only each other but external motivation such as family, friends, our family doctor, the pharmacy team and of course The Smokers Helpline.

The Smoking Memory

As time went on smoking became less of a habit for us and more of a memory and now we don’t even think about it.

We won’t lie and say that if someone sparks up a cigarette that the smell is captivating because it still is.

We smoked for quite a long time and every smoker knows that the first inhale is the best of a newly lit cigarette.

When I’m at work it no longer bothers me when I’m yapping outside with colleagues and they are having a cigarette.

In fact, the more I continue to smell it the happier I am that I no longer have this habit.

There have been many times over the course of the winter that we both have been thankful to not have to stand out in the cold just to get our fix.

Addicting, you bet it was, but breaking the habit was the easy part the hard part is sticking to it.

Life Insurance For Smokers


The health benefits of quitting smoking were our top priority followed by monetary gains by discontinued expenses of $200 on cigarette purchases each month.

Over the course of the year that added up to more than $2000 that we willfully just blew away on smokes.

With the costs of smokes in 2019 near $16 a pack in Canada that cost has almost tripled to over $5000 a year.

One motivation to keep living the smoke-free lifestyle is when we see friends who smoke and their constant “need” to have one.

Smoking Addiction

We can see how smoking addiction can take over someone’s life like it did ours and it wasn’t easy to butt out.

However, one thing we don’t do is talk about quitting smoking to those that smoke unless they bring it up.

Honestly, when we smoked we knew what we were doing, we’re not idiots and neither are those that are addicted to smoking.

I’m sure there are many smokers online who are going to read this blog post and wish that they too could give up smoking today.

They can, but they need to have a will to succeed and a desire to live.

That’s what came over us, not someone telling us we had to quit smoking.

I don’t think we initially set out to become a smoker (I mean, who does?) but now know it was a mistake that did cost us in many ways.

Quitting Smoking And A Reduced Life Insurance Premium

smoking life insurance Canada

When we initially quit we had our yearly review with our financial advisor whom we told about us quitting smoking and our desire to live a healthier lifestyle.

He was just as happy as our doctor was about it and not only from the health benefits aspect.

He told us that if we could stay smoke-free for one full year that we could be re-assessed and potentially listed as non-smokers.

If accepted they would put us in a new class and a new life insurance policy were drawn up.

How exciting is that if we can potentially save more money instead of blowing it away?

We both started with life insurance about 4 years ago with a 25-year term life policy just to cover our bases in case something should happen.

As long as the house and funeral costs were paid we were happy enough with that.

We didn’t need to have millions of dollars in life insurance plus we didn’t have any dependents at the time like we do today.

This was another motivation and what we needed to continue through not smoking or wanting to pick one up and light it throwing all our hard work down the toilet.

It only takes one cigarette to set us back and we knew that so we had to plan our journey to quit smoking properly.

However, it was always in the back of our minds about saving a bit of money in our budget because we’re always looking for ways to improve.

We had no idea how much money we could save on our life insurance premium so we waited for one year to pass.

Smoke-Free For A Year – Life Insurance Premium Party

One year had passed and we booked our annual meeting with our financial advisor to celebrate our life insurance premium party. 

He had all the paperwork ready for us to fill out for our new life insurance policy when we arrived.

I’ll admit we said a couple of times that we better get a good reduction in rate with all the paperwork we had to fill out again.

We were skeptical yet optimistic because we knew that we never cheated when we quit smoking, not once.

There was no testing done although if they required a nicotine test we would have been more than happy to oblige.

In fact, we almost wanted them to check because we were so proud of our accomplishment.

Telling The Truth To Your Insurance Company

Even though the paperwork was somewhat daunting but nothing is as bad after you fill out pages and pages of forms to become a Permanent Resident in Canada.

It was extremely important to make sure that our medical history was accurate and up to date for Manulife Insurance, our provider.

Those horror stories when people file a claim for life insurance only to find out something was missing or inaccurate in the policy is scary.

We didn’t want to be those people so we took the time to make sure everything was correct.

They told us that the underwriters would likely call our family doctor which was perfectly fine with us.

Once that was done we went on our way in hopes of hearing back soon the results and to find out the cost of our life insurance premium.

Smoke-Free Life Insurance Premium Costs

Life Insurance non-smokers

We received a phone call last week from our financial advisor who wanted to congratulate us on being approved and we are now rated non-smokers in our new life insurance policy.

The best part is that the new monthly life insurance premium for our budget has decreased significantly.

Here is the cost breakdown:

  • To Purchase Smokes: Approx $196 a month or $2352 a year
  • Smoker Life Insurance Policy: $135.05 for both of us
  • Non-Smokers Life Insurance Policy: $70.43 for both of us

Yearly as smokers, we paid $1,620.60 to pay for our life insurance policy and the new yearly cost is just about half that amount at $845.16.

Over the course of the next 21 years, the policy will cost us $17,748.36 instead of what would have been $34,032.60 in premiums.

What a huge difference and we were excited to make that change to our life insurance category in the budget.

We’ll take the money that we are saving from our life insurance and put it in our savings account for now.

We may just use it as our “rendezvous money” as one of my fans suggests doing with the money we don’t spend each month in our grocery budget.

That sounds like a plan and that way when we save enough money we can treat ourselves to a trip back to Europe to travel and see family.

Sometimes it’s the small things we don’t think about that add up in a big way for the budget.

It truly was a lifestyle change for love, health and money for us.

Although quitting smoking is not as simple as it sounds even if we made it seem that way, it’s not.

I can only hope that those that do smoke make the decision to quit smoking do so for their personal reasons.

They will also save money not only from not buying cigarettes but with lowered life insurance premium costs.

Discussion: Have you quit smoking and received a reduction in your life insurance premium?
Leave me your comments below.

What motivates you to stay smoke-free?

It’s 2019 as I update this post and I wanted to leave a little note to say, We Are Still Smoke-Free!

Don’t give up friends,  it’s possible to rid of this demon forever.

You can read our Quit Smoking Series Below;

New Start, New Beginning, New Life, Change, Divorce, Seperation

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  1. If at all anything, this becomes a good reason to quit smoking or never get into this habit. Yes, smoking creates a huge spike in the premium rates and in some cases a smoker has to pay 3 times the non-smoker’s premium. What I loved about your article is it is coming out as a motivational one rather than just a technical piece of info. Great write.

    1. Thank you so much. We are both still not smoking and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made especially now that we have our son who arrived last week. I think that no matter what we all read the motivation to quit comes from with-in.

  2. Hey CBB,

    I don’t know if you are aware… you can get insurance (special for smokers) where you get non-smoker rates for two years. If you become a non-smoker great! If not, you get “smoker rates” after the end of two years.

    Why wait?



      1. Hey CBB,

        You should consider going back to your advisor and consider converting some of your term into permanent coverage, assuming your cash flow is good.

        Why? I wrote a story about two years ago about annuities. At that time a 65 year old male could get 8% for life on his money the key is to of course have some permanent coverage in place. Taxes are about 20% less.

        The other reason is insurance companies make their money on the interest spread. Right now rates are low and will remain so for a long time. Hence rates are going up. Term on the other hand is great for the family if you die while the insurance is in place!! yet the odds of that before that is less than 1% before 65.

        People who are incorporated and understand taxes have the corporation buy the insurance since they want to pay less taxes and like the idea of the protection for the company as well as retire with more cash in their hands in retirement.



  3. Congrats to both of you for kicking the habit and staying with it! Hubby, along with several others in our family, are former smokers, and it’s so wonderful to see them living healthier lives and saving money. SO happy for you!

  4. Obviously you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but by quitting, you’ve likely added years to your life and raised your quality of life. My dad is a lifelong smoker. He just turned 65 and has already had a multitude of health problems related to smoking. His younger brother died almost 20 years ago from throat cancer, also directly related to smoking. Even if you don’t die or have a serious health problem, long term smokers stink, have leathery skin, and are hacking all the time. I know it must be one powerful habit. I’m so glad you and Mrs. CBB quit.

  5. Great article!!! It is interesting to see how much you can actually save by quitting!! I flipped this over my son’s way and I’ll see what he thinks of it and the links…..

    1. Well all my mates smoked back home but I was the only one in my family who smoked. They are very proud in fact I’m just proud of myself and the wife for suggesting we do it together. I never dreamed I would call myself a non-smoker. Can’t wait to go home!

  6. Congratulations on quitting! Smoking does such horrible damage to the body that it’s no wonder rates are so much higher. My grandmother smoked like a chimney and died of lung cancer at 55.

  7. That’s great Mr. CBB! It definitely does have a huge impact on life insurance premiums. I smoked the occasional cigar while in college, but nothing really beyond that. My Mom & stepdad smoked for years though and had to give it up cold turkey after my stepdad had bypass surgery and the money savings in just crazy.

    1. Sometimes it takes a big scare with someone or a loved one that will jolt them into high gear with a desire to quit. We didn’t want it to get that far and I hope others will consider the same. Cheers

  8. Congratulations on being quit for over a year! I’m coming up on 3 years this May myself. I have life insurance through my employer, so I don’t have to pay anything at all for it, which is nice. We are trying to accumulate enough money before we leave this job, so we can self-insure for the rest of our lives. That eliminates the payment to the insurance company altogether!

    1. I have some through my employer as well but it’s with the employer and I wanted one that was outside of employment as I may not be with them forever. Good for you both wanting to self insure. I think as long as there is a plan in place and we are being proactive it’s better than having nothing at all. Although some people simply don’t want life insurance and that’s a personal decision. We have a mate like that.

      1. Our plan right now is HEFTY. Both of us have $400,000 policies. The way I see it is that (to self-insure) the amount we have saved/invested should cover all of our assets and the funeral if one of us were to die. By the time we leave our employer, that should hopefully be the case.

        1. Well you sure know where you are headed good for you. I was just reading about our mate there at wise dollar how he lost his job this week. You know, nothing is ever written in stone and one of the main reasons we wanted to pay off our mortgage. Do you have a plan B? What would you do? Scary stuff really.

          1. Our expenses are so low right now, so every extra dollar gets invested. If we were to lose our jobs, we’d be good for at least 3 years (including mortgage payments).

            On top of that, we have contract jobs which expire in 2016. So we have guaranteed work for 3 more years. If we keep up the saving trend that we’re on now, we’ll have enough saved for 15-20 years of expenses ๐Ÿ™‚

            I’m calling that our plan B.

  9. We are both classified as non-smokers on our policies Mr CBB and it sure makes a world of difference! I say the not buying cigarettes pays for our travel, the insurance savings pays for the timeshare condo fees and taxes. Basically one decision improved the quality of our lives and hopefully the healthy duration by leaps and bounds! ๐Ÿ™‚

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