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Quote Service: Rates For Smokers Are Rising

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Healthy nonsmokers may be paying lower prices for term life insurance policies with 10-year level-premium terms, but smokers and purchasers of 30-year term policies are paying higher rates.

Robert Barney, president of Compulife Software Inc., Nicholasville, Ky., a Web-based term life quote service, has presented that analysis in a discussion of the recent history of term life rates.

Barney has added a term life rate history feature to his company’s Web site, at Document Link

Rates have been falling steadily for 10-year and 20-year term policies for applicants in the preferred and preferred plus non-smoker categories, Barney says.

But rates for smokers have plateaued, and rates for 30-year term coverage for non-smokers in “regular” health have risen a total of about 20% since 2000, according to Compulife price data.

Factors pushing rates up for some buyers and some products include consolidation in the life insurance industry and increases in reserve requirements for term life policies with level-premium terms longer than 10 years, Barney says.