Even if you are smoking cigars, you can still get life insurance and in some cases may even be offered great non-smoker rates. Whether you are a daily cigar smoker or an occasional one, smoking cigars can have a direct effect on the cost of life insurance.
The chemical makeup of the tobacco plant is what makes it dangerous to the human body, and one of its main chemicals, nicotine, is what makes it addictive. Even a small amount can be hazardous to your health, which is why the life insurance industry raises the prices on tobacco users.
How often you smoke cigars will affect your life insurance premiums. You may consider yourself a “non-smoker” because you’re only occasionally smoking cigars. The problem with this is that the definition of occasionally is very subjective.
You may think the cigar or two you smoke at your monthly poker games doesn’t qualify you as a regular smoker, but certain insurance carriers would definitely put you in the smoker class for the use. Meanwhile other carriers may offer you their non-smoker pricing. It depends on which insurance company you apply with.
See what you’d pay for life insurance
If you are a true occasional cigar smoker, which most insurance companies consider this to be one cigar a month or less, you may qualify for non-smoker insurance rates. You may also qualify for non-smoker rates if you don’t inhale when you smoke cigars, which is typical.
In both these cases, the urine samples you give during your medical exam would need to come back with little to no trace of nicotine. If you are the one-cigar-a-month-or-less user, it is important to schedule your medical exam thoughtfully. You may not want to schedule your exam for the morning after the annual poker party.
It is important that you are honest about your tobacco use on your life insurance application. If it turns out that you lied about tobacco use on an application, the life insurance company can penalize you by reducing your death benefit to what your premiums would be paying for on a smoker-rated policy.
You lied on your application saying you never used any tobacco product and were offered a 20-year $1,000,000 term policy for $53 per month. During the two-year contestability period, the insurance company discovered you actually are a weekly cigar smoker. Your policy suddenly drops down to a $175,000 death benefit instead of $1,000,000 because that’s what the $53 per month smoker-rate would cover.
If it is discovered after you die that you lied, the carrier can dispute part or all of the benefit your beneficiaries were to receive upon your death. It does not pay to try and fool the insurance company.
Certain insurance carriers are more lenient with cigar users than others, so if we know ahead of time that you are a cigar smoker we will be sure to go to those carriers with your case. There are even life insurance companies that Quotacy works with that will offer non-smoker life insurance rates to weekly cigar users.
So, if you are celebrating the birth of your best friend’s child with a cigar – don’t worry! We can still find you great life insurance rates so you can protect your loved ones. No one ever anticipates needing to use life insurance, but the unexpected happens. Be prepared and get a free and anonymous term life insurance quote today.
About the writer
Natasha Cornelius, CLU
Senior Editor and Licensed Life Insurance Expert
Natasha Cornelius, CLU, is a writer, editor, and life insurance researcher for Quotacy.com where her goal is to make life insurance more transparent and easier to understand. She has been in the life insurance industry since 2010 and has been writing about life insurance since 2014. Natasha earned her Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 2022. She is also co-host of Quotacy’s YouTube series. Connect with her on LinkedIn.