If you are a cigar aficionado or you like to have the occasionally celebratory cigar, you might run into some issues when it comes to qualifying for life insurance. The reason for this is that the life insurance medical exam tests for nicotine. If you happen to have nicotine in your system from that one cigar you smoked last week, you might end up on the wrong side of the test results.
Cigarette smokers, as many of you may know, pay a hefty rate for their life insurance. If you do not want to get “lumped” in with these daily tobacco users, you might have some problems. If nicotine comes up on your urine test, you might be grouped in with the “high risk” life insurance owners. These high risk policies, because of the mortality rate of cigarette smokers, are often times can cost more than five times the cost of a life insurance policy for a healthy, non-smoker.
The Good News For Cigar Aficionados
There is a silver lining for cigar users when it comes to life insurance. Around 75% of cigar smokers are only occasional smokers. An “occasional smoker” is defined as a smoker who smokes once per month (although a few life insurance providers are a bit liberal with their definition). Therefore, if you fall into this category of “occasional smoker”, your life insurance premiums will be lower, as your risk category will be that of a non-tobacco user.
Many life insurance companies, however, have different views on the issue. The reason for this is because many cigars have as much tobacco as a whole pack of cigarettes. If you indulge in a cigar from time-to-time, you may be consuming more tobacco than you think. Tobacco consumption, as you know, is a huge health risk. Some life insurance companies, therefore, will consider you to be just as risky to insure as the regular cigarette user. Because of this, it’s best to find a life insurance company that is more willing to insure the occasional cigar smoker.
Smoker vs. Non-Smoker Rates
As mentioned above, tobacco users pay a hefty premium on their insurance rates. To give you an idea on how much more a tobacco user would spend, consider this: A 40 year old male is likely to be given a rate of $400 per year for a $500,000 twenty year term life policy. The same policy, given to a smoker, would cost $1,400 annually (on average). This is why it is vital for you to find an insurance company that allows for the occasional celebratory cigar. You DO NOT want to be forced to pay the same premiums as say, somebody who has smoked a pack of cigarettes every single day for the past 10 years.
If you smoke cigars often and/or are a regular tobacco user or cigarette smoker, you are faced with a different dilemma. If you would like to get non-smoker rates, you need to quit right away. As a general rule of thumb, life insurance companies will consider you a non-smoker if you have not smoked at all within the past three years. Different insurance companies have different definitions of smokers vs. non-smokers, but regardless, it would be a safe bet to quit while you can.
How To Find Cheap Insurance Rates As A Cigar Smoker
The best way to search for life insurance rates as a cigar smoker is to first start with the insurance providers that have been known to allow celebratory cigars. To begin, you might want to check out AIG or Voya. These two life insurance providers are known to have the best rates for celebratory cigar smokers.
Insurance quote comparison engines, such as Life Ant, allow you to specify your tobacco usage when getting a quote. If you fall inside the guidelines of “occasional smoker” or “non-tobacco user”, you will be charged accordingly. However much tobacco you consume, Life Ant strongly advises all of its customers to quit smoking as soon as possible.