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I’ve never been seen smoking and I suspect that Dave Ramsey isn’t real big on the habit either, but after spending the last year and a half immersed in Dave Ramsey through his Financial Peace University, I am convinced that Dave Ramsey wouldn’t want to monetarily punish smokers for their choice.

I think it’s safe to say the Dave is the best known and most listened to debt reduction advocate out there today, far surpassing those who seem to kind of flit around the periphery like Suze Orman. Dave’s messages stay consistent. They are no nonsense and meaningful to me, they are sound from a biblical point of reference.

Dave has recommended a nationwide agency, Zander Insurance, for some time. Quoting him on Zander’s home page, “Four generations and 80 years experience, unparalleled commitment to service, the best products on the market, and a principled commitment to debt free strategies, are just a few reasons I trust, use and strongly recommend Zander Insurance.”

Having learned and taught Dave’s debt free strategies I find it more than a little troubling that, using myself as an example, if I were a smoker and took Dave’s advice to use Zander life insurance, I would pay nearly $1200 more per year for a $500,000, 20 year term insurance policy than I would through most other nation wide agencies out there. The Zander life insurance website quotes my best rate in this scenario as $6295 a year from Transamerica, while our website and many others I checked quote $5100 annually with Liberty Life. I believe that Dave might characterize that kind of unnecessary expense “a stupid tax”.

I emailed Dave on his radio show and also sent this email to his info@ address. ” I’m a life insurance agent and agree with your philosophy on term versus permanent insurance, actually have since well before I ever heard of you. Been through FPU and am facilitating FPU at my church right now. What a life changer. Not debt free yet, but well on our way.

My question is why Zander life insurance when they clearly don’t offer the best value in term insurance in many cases? If you bought from them and then found out you could get the same amount and term length for $1000+ a year less with a company they didn’t quote, would you be OK with that?” I really don’t expect a reply on his radio show, not because he wouldn’t want to talk about it but rather because there are who knows how many thousands of calls and emails to him daily. What are the chances?

I did receive a response from his customer care folks and was told “About your insurance questions, Dave has been working with Zander for many years now. They have been in business for several years as well. Four generations and 80 years of experience…they offer the best products on the market and have a commitment to debt free strategies (which is what Dave teaches). Dave strongly recommends them and personally gets his insurance through Jeff Zander. This is the only insurance company that we endorse and recommend not just because of their excellent commitment to service, but because they provide the most informative access that our customers and listeners need—when it comes to insurance. They are not only committed in providing excellent service to us (our team members) and families, but to our customers and listeners as well. This is who we recommend and endorse.”

I emailed back and thanked them for the response but suggested that my question really wasn’t answered. The question really went to whether Dave was aware of the fact that Zander had made an administrative decision to charge far more than necessary in some cases. The answer I received was to contact Zander if I had questions concerning their term insurance plans. Quoting Zander insurance from their website, “GREAT RATES AND GREAT SERVICE. A strong statement we know, but with Zander’s 80 years experience and our arsenal of term life insurance plans, we know we can deliver. We understand the importance that term life insurance provides to a family’s financial future. We also recognize that it is just one piece in your financial plan and needs to be the most cost effective option allowing you to focus on debt reduction and wealth accumulation strategies. It is the balance and commitment to these two principles that define our mission to help you succeed in your goal of financial peace and independence.”

Bottom line. I write all of this because there are so many agents and agencies that really do embrace Dave’s beliefs and really do more than lip service to “providing the most cost effective options”. I’m not suggesting that Dave endorse me or any one other than Zander life insurance, but I am suggesting that when a person has millions of followers they should stand ready to take those they endorse to task when they fly in the face of deeply held beliefs and philosophies.