Up In Smoke… Cigars and Term Life Insurance

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites. You can find him on Twitter.

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UPDATED: Aug 6, 2020

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Rudyard Kipling once wrote, “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.” And who doesn’t like a good smoke every once in a while?

Well, us, for starters. But we know many people enjoy the occasional indulgence, whether it’s poker night with the guys, a Saturday round of golf, or celebrating a wedding or the birth of a child. And now more life insurance companies are beginning to take notice as well.

Many life insurance companies consider occasional cigar use the same as regular tobacco or nicotine product use. This means an applicant would receive a tobacco rating class on their life insurance policy for smoking cigars. The result would be a significantly higher premium on the policy. However, some companies have changed their stance on occasional cigar use over the past few years. It’s now possible for an applicant to receive a non-tobacco rating class on their term life insurance policy even if they smoke cigars.

ING ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (ING) and American General Life Insurance Company will both offer their best non-tobacco rating class to occasional cigar users (assuming the applicant qualifies otherwise). The following requirements must be met, however.

  • Occasional use is limited to no more than one cigar per week.
  • The cigar use must be admitted on the term life insurance application.
  • The urine specimen from the paramedical exam must be negative for cotinine/nicotine.

Some life insurance companies will allow occasional cigar, pipe or even chewing tobacco use with non-tobacco premium rates; however, they may not offer their best non-tobacco rating class. For example, Pruco Life Insurance Company (Prudential) may offer their Non-Smoker Plus rating class to such applicants.

It’s best to disclose and discuss any tobacco and nicotine product use with a licensed life insurance representative. If the information is presented with the initial application, the chances of finding the right policy with the appropriate rating class are much greater.

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