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.