If you have ever applied for a life insurance policy, then you may be aware that the insurance company will want to know a lot of information about you, your health, and your habits. This is because the insurer needs to be aware of just how much risk it is taking on with its applicants before offering the insurance coverage.
Because one of the key factors in the pricing of life insurance policies has to do with life expectancy, the insurance company’s underwriters will examine applicants’ health habits – including whether or not you smoke. This not only includes just cigarettes but also if you smoke cigars.
This can be the case, even if you are just an occasional cigar smoker because some life insurance companies do not have a way of distinguishing the difference between someone who just smokes cigars on an intermittent basis versus someone who smokes them regularly.
Therefore, it can be extremely helpful when you do apply for a life insurance policy to work with someone who can help you with finding an insurer who can differentiate between an occasional cigar smoker and an applicant who smokes a large number of cigarettes each and every day. This is where we can help.
How Cigar Smoking Can Effect Your Application for Life Insurance Coverage
While those who smoke cigars may not always do so as regularly as people who smoke cigarettes, the truth is that both of these habits – cigarette and cigar smoking – can be considered dangerous to your overall health. And because of that, in the eyes of some life insurance companies, the premium rates that are charged for a cigar smoker will typically be more than those of someone who does not smoke at all.
One reason for this is because the smoking of cigars still includes the use of tobacco – and this can still lead to certain health related risks. In fact, even just chewing tobacco without lighting it can be harmful to one’s health.
Some of the harmful health risks that have been linked to smoking include some different cancers, such as lung, throat, pancreas, tongue, and esophagus. Smoking cigars (and cigarettes) can also lead to other serious health issues such as heart disease, lung disease, and / or high blood pressure.
In fact, while many people may believe that the smoking of cigarettes is more dangerous to your health than smoking cigars, the reality is that the concentration of tobacco in a cigar is much higher than that of cigarettes. With that in mind, the more a person smokes cigars, the higher risk they are posing to their health.
The information that you submit when you apply for a life insurance policy will typically be cross-referenced with information that is available from other sources, such as that from the MIB (Medical Information Bureau). Should it turn up that you are a smoker, the insurance company that you have applied through will classify you as that.
Therefore, it is important to be truthful on your application – even if you only smoke cigars on an occasional basis.
What the Life Insurance Underwriters Will Want To Know
When applying for life insurance, you will be required to fully complete an application for coverage. Here, you will be asked for initial details about yourself, your health, and your health history. For example, in this part of the application process, the insurance company will want to know about your:
- Name and Contact Information
- Birth Date
- Marital Status
- Occupation / Income
- Height and Weight (Weight as it pertains to your height)
- Smoking Status / Tobacco Usage
- Alcohol Usage / Frequency
- Health History
- Family Health History
- Medications Taken
- Hobbies / Habits (i.e., dangerous or risky activities such scuba diving, rock climbing, skydiving)
- Foreign Travel Frequency
- Other Life Insurance Coverage In Force (and the amount of that coverage)
As a cigar smoker, it is always best to provide the insurance company with the most accurate information as to the amount and frequency of your cigar smoking habit. This way, the life insurance underwriters will be able to price your policy properly.
In addition to the application for coverage, it is likely that you will also need to undergo a medical examination. This usually includes meeting with a paramedical professional who will ask some additional health-related questions. They will also take from you a blood and a urine sample.
The insurance underwriters may also wish to review additional health-related information. This may be obtained from your primary care physician and / or from various specialists that you may see.
How Much Will Your Life Insurance Coverage Cost?
The premium cost of life insurance for cigar smokers can vary based on the type and the amount of insurance that is being purchased. It can also be dependent on the age and gender of the applicant.
In addition, the cost of your life insurance can vary depending on the insurance carrier that it is purchased through. While all life insurance carriers have at least some way of screening their applicants for coverage, the way in which they do so is not identical.
Therefore, if you apply for a policy through one insurance carrier, you could be approved and charged a certain premium rate. However, if you apply for the same coverage through another insurance carrier, you could be approved at a substantially different premium rate.
This is why it is extremely important to shop and compare several different life insurance policies before making your final purchase decision. When doing so, it is typically much easier to work with an independent insurance brokerage that has access to multiple insurance carriers than it is to go from one single insurer to another.
The way in which you apply for your life insurance coverage can also have an effect on the premium rate. Here, it is important to be as truthful as possible as you go through the questions.
For example, in some cases, an individual may only smoke a cigar at certain times or on special occasions, such as at weddings or on holidays. Or, maybe a person may just smoke a cigar on the weekends and consider herself or himself to be an “occasional” cigar smoker.
If you fall into this category, it will be extremely important to determine just exactly what the insurance company’s definition of occasional means – and this can often differ from one insurer to another.
In any case, even if you just smoke the occasional cigar, you should not automatically consider yourself to be a non-smoker. This is because, it is likely that during the medical exam, tobacco may show up and the insurance company may be able to detect that you smoke cigars.
Also, even if your life insurance coverage is issued at a non-smoker rate, if it is later determined that you are a smoker, a claim could be denied. This could be devastating to your loved ones who may be in need of the policy proceeds.
What if You Quit Smoking
If you quit smoking altogether, there may be a chance that you can obtain non-smoker life insurance rates. However, in most cases, there will be a certain amount of time that you must wait after quitting smoking before you will be classified as a non-smoker.
In many cases, a life insurance company will require that you have refrained from smoking for at least one year to qualify for this classification. This, however, will vary from one company to another. Also, many life insurance carriers will have more than one policy rating category for smokers.
For example, to qualify for a preferred or an “elite” non-smoker rate at some life insurance companies, it may be required that you have not smoked cigarettes or cigars for as long as five years.
If you already have a life insurance policy and are paying smoker’s rates – and you have now “kicked the habit” of smoking – it may be possible for you to contact your insurance company and inquire if you can have your premium rates changed. In some cases, life insurance carriers will allow policyholders to reduce their rates down to a non-smoker rate if they have stopped smoking for a certain period of time.
When applying for these new non-smoker policy ratings, the life insurance carrier will typically have an applicant go through a new medical examination where a blood and urine sample is taken. This way, the company can be sure that no nicotine shows up.
In any case, when applying for a new policy – or even if you have a current policy, and you are now a non-smoker, it can be smart to compare policies from several different insurance carriers to see what you are eligible for.
What If You Don’t Qualify for Traditional Medically Underwritten Life Insurance?
There may be some instances where individuals do not qualify for traditional, medically underwritten life insurance coverage. This could be due to having a medical condition or some other issue such as participating in a hobby that is considered risky by the insurance carrier.
If this is the case, there are other alternatives that you may still try for obtaining the life insurance coverage that you require. One such option is to apply for a no medical exam life insurance policy.
As the name suggests, a no medical exam life insurance policy will not require that you undergo the medical examination as a part of the underwriting process – and because of this, many applicants who have certain health conditions can be approved for coverage.
It is important to note that because no medical exam life insurance policies are typically sold to applicants who are considered to be riskier, the premium cost of these plans will usually be higher than comparable medically underwritten policies. However, this could be a good alternative for obtaining coverage when other options have been closed.
Where to Find the Best Premiums on Life Insurance for Cigar Smokers
If you are a cigar smoker, and you are seeking the best rates on life insurance, working with a company or an agency that has access to more than just one single life insurance carrier can be a great way to find the policy that you need. This is because you will be able to more directly compare the coverage, as well as the premium prices, all in one convenient place – and from there, you can decide which plan will be the best for you.
When you are ready to move forward, we can help. We work with many of the best life insurance companies in the marketplace today – and we can assist you with obtaining all of the important details that you require for making an informed purchase decision. We can do so for you quickly, easily, and conveniently – all from your home computer, and without the need to meet in person with a life insurance agent. To begin the process, just simply fill out the quote form on this page.
Should you find that you still have any questions about finding the right life insurance for cigar smokers – or even if you have a question or concern about life insurance in general – please feel free to contact us directly.
We understand that the purchase of life insurance can seem a bit overwhelming – especially if you are a smoker, and you may have had trouble finding the proper coverage in the past. The good news is that, by working with an independent broker, you have many more possible options that are open to you. And, we will walk you through the process of finding the coverage that is right for you and your specific needs. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.