How do life insurance companies see cigar use?
Every life insurance company has an opinion and an underwriting guideline that spells out how they treat cigar use. The key is finding the company that offers you the best rate possible based on what your cigar habits are. You may be someone who only has a cigar when a baby is born or when you golf with your friends a half dozen times a year. You may enjoy a TGIF cigar to celebrate making it through another week, or you may smoke cigars daily or whenever the mood strikes you.
I mentioned that every company has their opinion on how to treat your habit, from the most occasional use to those of you that enjoy frequent cigars. Let’s break those opinions down so you know where you stand.
Does Cigar Use Affect Life Insurance Rates?
The key for any cigar smoker is to find a way to avoid being treated the same as a cigarette smoker. Life insurance companies charge cigarette smokers rates that are at least double and sometimes as much as four times higher than a non smoker would pay. I won’t waste time with the potential list of health risks that can accompany a cigarette habit since those same health risks don’t carry over to cigar use, but suffice it to say that life insurance companies know the difference.
Did you know that you are tested for nicotine when you take a life insurance exam? With the exception of one life insurance company, a positive test with cigar use will put you in the aforementioned smoker category and rates. Some companies will allow their best non smoking rates if you smoker four a year, twelve a year, and one company will allow one a week….unless you test positive for nicotine. My best advice for any of you that fall into one of those usage categories is don’t smoke a cigar within a week, preferably ten days, prior to your exam. Let your agent know how many times a year you smoke cigars and they can match you with the best company and then, shoot for a clean nicotine test and you’ll get those great rates.
As mentioned above there is one company that will allow non smoking rates for cigar smokers even if you test positive for nicotine. For those whose frequency is almost guaranteed to carry a positive nicotine test, Hinerman Group can guide you to the that company.
How to win!
Be honest about how often you smoke cigars and trust Hinerman Group to find the best company and best possible non smoking rate for you.