Not everyone who smokes is a heavy user. In fact, thousands of Americans enjoy tobacco without touching cigarettes, commonly viewed as the worst for your health. Fortunately, when you’re making an insurance decision, buying life insurance as a cigar smoker could end up working in your favor.
Life insurance for cigar smokers can be much cheaper than those who use cigarettes.
This is because people who smoke cigars can get as good as non-smoker rates on many occasions. People who smoke cigarettes can’t.
Life Insurance For Cigar Smokers
It’s not as simple as telling your agent you smoke cigars and not cigarettes, however. Several different factors have a role in getting non-smoker life insurance premiums for cigar users. There are a few basic items which affect the outcome of your application, among them:
- Frequency of Use
- Chosen Insurance Company
- Smoking History
- Overall Health
Any one of these can throw off your approval rating, including pushing you from non-smoker to smoker rates. You’ll need to work with an independent agent to get the standard rates, more than likely.
How often you smoke cigars makes a huge difference in your ability to secure the best rates. It also ties directly to which company you should apply to.
Cigar users are somewhat unlike many other tobacco users in that it’s not necessarily a habitual use. Many men and women who smoke cigars do so on special occasions or during certain types of recreation. This is opposite that of cigarette users or e-cigarette users, even though your buddy may swear he only smokes when he drinks.
A person who smoked one cigar at a wedding or celebratory event really has nothing to worry about. A person who has one annually to ring in the New Year’s or next birthday is in the clear. Even a person who has a several cigars each year should be find by most companies.
It’s when your frequency is 12 cigars or more per year where you need to pay extra close attention to where you’re applying to buy life insurance as a non-smoker. Higher than 12, you’ll be down to around 7 or 8 companies to choose from. The maximum number of cigars you can smoke in a single year but still be eligible for non-smoker rates is 52.
Depending on where you fall on the frequency of use, you may only have a small number of carriers you should attempt to apply to. Your frequency dictates eligibility based on each providers underwriting guidelines and risk tolerance. Of course, it’s not the job of consumers to find the right company, it’s the agents.
The best life insurance companies for cigar smokers allow as many as one cigar a week!
Below we’ve created a quick chart with some of the larger providers of life insurance and their stance on cigar use. This chart is subject to change at the discretion of each carrier, and may be changed without notice.
|Company||# Cigars Per Year|
|Mutual of Omaha||12|
Important: with any carrier, you must disclose your cigar use at the time of application!
One more note about these numbers: the number displayed may not be their allowance for top rates. It only reflects the maximum number of cigars allowed by the carrier to receive a non-smoker rate, regardless of discounted premiums if available.
One thing you’ll need to grasp before you apply is how your previous history of smoking cigarettes could affect you even now. Just because you only smoke cigars now doesn’t mean your history of cigarette use is obsolete. If you’ve used any other type of tobacco aside from cigars, you’ll have to let the carrier know.
If you’ve smoked cigarettes within the last year, there is no carrier who will offer you non-smoker rates.
However, if you’ve smoked several years ago, you may be in the clear. Again, it all depends on which carrier you choose. In some cases, a completely negative history of smoking is required, meaning you never used cigarettes. These “without regard to time frame” type questions catch many consumers who think they are freely eligible due to strict use of cigars, although only currently.
Other Hurdles: Overall Health
As with just about anything, there are always exceptions.
One of the those, in regards to cigar use and life insurance, is health related factors which can be caused or worsened from tobacco use. An example would chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Someone who has COPD may not be underwritten the same as someone without when cigar use is present. Emphysema, asthma, or other breathing related illnesses are similar, as are tongue, throat or other cancers located throughout the respiratory system.
Combinations of products are another speed bump. For example, someone may use any combination of two or more tobacco products, like chew or dip, pipes, or e-cigarettes in conjunction with cigars. If this is the case, your total number of tobacco related instances per year may trump cigar use only; this is especially true with e-cigarettes and vaping. The asterisks in the chart above highlights the only provider who will accept current users of e-cigarettes and still consider a non-smoker premium.
Choosing the right company is largely dependent on your use, your health, and your needs. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as one carrier being better than the other, only more lenient in their underwriting practices, an aspect most consumers can’t see without the help of an independent agent.