By on | Posted in: Lifestyle Choices

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Life insurance companies can be picky at times. But something they will all agree on is their smoking policies. While you may not think of yourself as a smoker, they might disagree! How is that, you might ask? Well, they won’t consider you a non-smoker until you have been without tobacco or nicotine for at least a year. And even at that, you probably will not receive better rates until several years after being completely tobacco and nicotine free.

So, suppose that you are a 35 year old male looking for a $500,000 20-year term life policy in the “Preferred” risk class as a smoker. You are looking at about $900 a year. That’s more than double the non-smoker rate of about $300! Being said, if you are still using tobacco or nicotine and are looking to get life insurance, it’s in your best interest to make your best attempt at quitting the habit. Take a look at how life insurance companies take on various tobacco or nicotine products.

Currently smoking cigarettes?

Unfortunately, you’re definitely looking at higher rates.

Nicotine Patches/Gum

These can be pretty iffy… Reason being is because nicotine, regardless of how it’s consumed, could increase a person’s risk of having heart disease. Taking a life insurance carrier such as Prudential, for example, they will give a non-smoker plus rate to people who use nicotine patches or gum. But, other carriers may or may not piece these in with cigarettes. It’s pretty important to do your research with the many different life insurance companies before sticking to one.

Cigars, Pipes & Chewing Tobacco

AIG, another life insurance company, considers cigars a “non-factor” if: you smoke no more than one a week, haven’t used any other tobacco products for at least five years and have no nicotine in your urine when you’re tested. Transamerica, on the other hand, has comparable guidelines, but allows only one cigar a month. So, what about the occasional ‘celebratory’ cigar? These count as well. Good news is that some companies will list you as non-tobacco in a rating class even though you advise your agent on your cigar use. When it comes to cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco, you can even test positive for nicotine on your exam, you are looking at the non-smoker plus rates through some life insurance companies, such as Prudential and standard non-smoker with Lincoln National.

Electronic Cigarettes

Not many life insurance companies have underwriting guidelines for electronic cigarettes but those that do, such as MetLife and AIG, have them classified with the regular, old-fashioned cigarette. This is simply due to the fact that there isn’t enough information or research to show the long-term effects that e-cigarettes have. Life insurance companies do not take too many risks on a lot of different issues, and this ends up being one of those where they’re still uncertain about. One company, Prudential will give a non-smoker plus rate to people using electronic cigarettes.

Own Up To Your Habits

Do not lie about anything on your life insurance application! Especially tobacco usage. Eventually the truth will come out when you take the tests or when it shows up on your medical records! Most of the substances they are looking for can take days – weeks to leave your system depending on how much you used. Best case scenario, you will end up getting the higher rates which line up to what other tobacco users typically pay. Worst case scenario, you’ll be refused coverage. If you do not lie to your agent they can shop the market and find you the best and lowest price based on respective companies guidelines. You can use 1st Option Insurance quoting tool to find the best rate. Click Here

Quit Using Tobacco!

Make a solid attempt at quitting your tobacco or nicotine use. You’ll get rewarded for it (eventually!) and it will make you a better person.
At 1st Option Insurance, we have agents ready to help you with your life insurance quote! They will guide you through the process and will find you the best rate on the market through over 50 life insurance companies, rated A Excellent or higher.


By on | Posted in: Lifestyle Choices

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Stress happens in your everyday life. Jobs, school, family and financial problems at home, etc. It affects us all and it affects every person differently. Negative effects of stress can include headaches, anxiety, laziness or feeling tired, insomnia and having an upset stomach. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease can all be caused by having unmanaged stress in your life. Statistics show that more than 75% of doctor’s office visits are all mainly due to stress. It’s important to know that stress cannot be taken care of overnight, it takes time. Being said, there are many healthy ways to manage stress.

Release those endorphins!

Exercising regularly is extremely important for many health reasons. Working out releases endorphins (hormones that boost your mood and grant you feelings of happiness) which are essential to reliving your stress levels. Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to find time to work out in between your job and a home life, but try taking out at least 15-30 minutes to work on your well-being. This doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout routine. It can be something as simple as taking a quick walk around the building you work at or a quick jog around your neighborhood.

Find your inner peace.

You may have heard about yoga and you might have even tried it out once. Yoga is indeed a form of exercising but it is also a form of meditation. While doing yoga, you go through different kinds of postures and positions all while you work on controlling your breath. These elements create a connection between controlling your body and quieting your mind. You are able to relax and focus on what is going on currently in your life. Learning to let go of outside elements is hard and it takes some practice being able to master this inner peace, but you’ll learn to love it when you do! So break out your mat and relax.

Catching those Zzz’s!

A huge factor in your overall health is how much you sleep. A lack of sleep has a big, negative impact on your health. With having stress in your life, you’ll find yourself losing sleep. Insomnia, depression, anxiety, losing ability to function daily are all factors of not being able to sleep those recommended 7 full hours. New studies suggest that those who are addicted to their cell phones are the ones losing the most sleep. So if you’re attached to your phone, put it aside at night! Try reading a book before going to sleep or listening to relaxing music.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Experiencing stress or anxiety, you might go through a fight or flight response – your heart will beat faster and you may find that your breathing becomes more difficult. The number one tip on this is to slow down. Slow your breathing down as much as you can, and you’ll find that you are calming your mind down at the same time. Count slowly, five deep breaths in and five deep breaths out. You’ll find great relief with doing this simple exercise.

Don’t eat that junk food!

It’s a given that eating right paves the way to a better, healthier you. Stress will find you craving unhealthy foods, which can make you feel terrible at times. A way to avoid all this is to control your hunger with good snacks, such as raw almonds or vegetables! If possible, keep some in your desk at work or have them in your car. Another tip, don’t skip meals! Eat breakfast – even if you’re running late for work. Find a quick granola bar and eat it on the go.

Treat yourself!

It’s okay to say no! If you are feeling overwhelmed with the invites or projects being thrown at you, please understand that it’s okay to say NO. It’s very important to know your limits and take time out for yourself. Do yoga, watch a movie, relax, or go take your dog (or just yourself if you don’t have a dog!) for a walk in the park.

Talk to someone, call your family/friends.

Sometimes the best place to turn to if you’re feeling completely weighed down with the stress in your life is to just turn to your family or your best friend. They will be willing to listen to you. Having someone else’s opinion just might help you out.

Managing stress will vastly reduce your chances of developing certain health conditions. Best of all, the healthier you are, the better rates you will get on your life insurance. Are you curious about how much life insurance could cost you? Run a term life insurance quote to find out. It only takes a couple of minutes (it’s less stressful that way!)