Thinking about burial insurance coverage is never an exciting thing. In fact, it is very normal for this task to sit at the bottom of someone’s to-do list for years.
But the longer you wait to take this insurance coverage out, the harder it might be to get and the more expensive it becomes.
Perhaps you are looking for the best life insurance for smokeless tobacco users. The process can seem like a daunting task. However, this article will provide all the information you need to know to make an informed decision.
Burial Insurance For Chewing Tobacco
Whether you chew, dip, snuff, vape, or smoke, tobacco use typically plays into life insurance.
The most common way tobacco will affect life insurance is by raising the cost of the burial insurance premiums.
Why Does Smokeless Tobacco Matter?
Regardless of how you use tobacco, it has been linked with an increased risk of several health concerns.
Chewers, in particular, are at risk of developing the conditions listed below.
- Dental Disease
- Heart Disease
- Mouth Legions
Since these health risks have the potential of being fatal, life insurance companies are going to charge seniors that chew tobacco an increased rate for the same policy a non-smoker would get.
Burial Insurance Basics
This coverage is also known as funeral insurance and final expense insurance. The difference in these names does not mean anything; it is just marketing terminology.
This specific insurance coverage was designed to provide seniors with an affordable way to pay for their final expenses.
The majority of final expense coverage is a type of whole life insurance. The reason burial insurance is affordable is that it comes in smaller coverage amount options ($1,000 – $40,000) when compared to a traditional whole life policy ($50,000 – $1,000,000+).
Advantages of Whole Life Final Expense Insurance
Every whole life burial plan comes with the following benefits.
- No Expiration
- Coverage Lock
- Price Lock
- Builds Cash Value
- No Exam
- No Waiting Period Options
At Willamette Life, we only sell whole life burial plans, and our agents will do everything in their power to obtain coverage with no waiting period whenever possible.
Underwriting: Does Chewing Tobacco Affect Life Insurance?
With most companies chewing tobacco affects final expense life insurance rates. Smoking rates are higher than non-smoking rates. However, there are a few carriers that will offer non-smoking rates to seniors that chew/dip.
It would be best if you worked with an independent agent with access to a wide variety of funeral insurance coverage options. Specifically chewing tobacco life insurance friendly policies.
Most insurance companies define users of tobacco as someone who has used it in the last 12 months.
Can I Get a Non-Smoker Rate on My Life Insurance Policy if I Chew Tobacco?
Burial life insurance for smokeless tobacco users is available at non-smoking rates. This, however, is only available from certain companies and with specific stipulations.
For example, one company offers non-smoking rates for tobacco users in the first 3 years of the policy. If the insured can prove they quit smoking/chewing/dipping for 12 consecutive months, the insurance company will continue to honor the non-smoking rates.
Another thing some companies do is ask specifically about cigarette smoking. This specification to cigarettes only will allow for dippers and cigar or pipe smokers to qualify for non-smoking rates.
How Much More is Life Insurance for Dippers?
On average, final expense life insurance costs about 40% more for dippers than for non-tobacco users. This estimation is based on the increase charged by the majority of companies. However, if you dip tobacco and receive non-smoking rates from a carrier that is chewing tobacco friendly, this 40% difference does not apply.
Is There Affordable Final Expense Life Insurance for Tobacco Chewers?
There is low-cost final expense coverage available to seniors that use smokeless tobacco. The main things determining the cost are tobacco use, age, health, and the coverage amount.
Tobacco use: Some life insurance companies charge a lot more, some charge a little more, and some charge the same. The key is to find a company that you qualify for based upon its health requirements AND fits your budget.
Age: The older someone is when taking out a policy, the more their monthly premiums will be. If you are thinking about getting a policy but have put it on the back burner, you should act soon before your price increases much more. Once the policy has been issued, the price is locked in.
Health: The healthier someone is, the lower their cost will be. For a senior with a complicated medical history, a chronic disease, or a terminal diagnosis, the plans available to you will be limited. However, there are affordable plan options if this is the case.
Coverage amount: The more coverage you purchase, the more your premiums will be. The coverage amount is usually flexible based on how much you want to pay for funeral insurance each month.
What Happens If You Lie About Tobacco Use?
Lying about tobacco use is highly discouraged. You might think that this is just a little white lie, but being anything less than truthful on an application constitutes insurance fraud.
Punishment for insurance fraud varies by state but can include probation, fines, community service, and jail.
This deception can also result in the insurance company canceling the policy, increasing your rate to account for the tobacco use, or your beneficiary not receiving the money upon filing the claim.
None of this is worth it, so it is best to be completely honest on the application.
Finding The Best Life Insurance For Smokeless Tobacco Users
With all of the intricacies of qualifying for final expense coverage, there are really only three things to keep in mind before applying. The best life insurance for tobacco users will have an affordable price and immediate coverage from a financially stable company.
Cost: While the cost for tobacco chewers can be higher, it still needs to be at a price that you can afford. The policy is only active as long as you continue to pay the premiums, so make sure you can pay the monthly cost.
Coverage Start Date: There is no reason why chewers and dippers cannot get immediate coverage. Unless you have an additional pre-existing condition that throws up a red flag for the insurance providers, tobacco use alone will not force you into a waiting period.
Financial Rating: The company should have a strong financial rating. Most carriers that have a name you recognize are going to have this. There are also plenty of life insurance companies that are financially sound that you have not heard of. Look for an AM Best rating of B+ or higher.
There are four policy tiers within funeral insurance coverage, level, graded, modified, and guaranteed issue.
Level: This is the only option that provides immediate coverage upon approval. Ideal for seniors in average to good health, level policies are the least expensive and hardest to qualify for. That said, most of our clients can qualify for this type of plan.
Graded: With a 2-year waiting period, this policy offers partial coverage upon approval. Typical payout structures are 30%, 70%, and 100% in years 1,2, and 3+, respectively. Seniors must medically qualify for this plan that is moderately priced.
Modified: Also, with a 2-year waiting period imposed, this plan asks health questions and is high in price. A return of paid premiums plus 10% is usually the death benefit during the waiting period if death occurs,
Guaranteed Issue: These plans accept all seniors. There are no medical questions asked, and all that is required is to pay the increased monthly premiums. There is a 2-year waiting period before full coverage kicks in with a paid premium +10% return if death occurs during this time.
Captive vs. Independent
As long as an agent is licensed in your state with access to life insurance policies, they can provide an applicant with coverage. However, this might not be the best life insurance available for chewers. The main difference between captive and independent agents is access to policy options.
Captive agents: Contractually, a captive agent can sell products from one insurance company only. These are usually agents that offer plans over several lines of insurance coverage, including home, auto, and life.
Independent agents: This type of agent can represent many insurance companies. Offering competing products allow an independent agent to shop around on behalf of clients for the individual’s specific needs.
Some independent agents specialize in one area of the market, while others offer multiple lines of coverage.
Why Willamette Life
Willamette Life is an independent agency that specializes exclusively in final expense life insurance. Operating in this way allows the team to have access to a wide variety of plans, which provides more choices to the client. Having more choices often results in obtaining the most optimized coverage for our clients.
a. Affordable burial insurance for chewing tobacco users is available from several different carriers.
b. Some life insurance companies are lenient on seniors that use tobacco. You’ll want to make sure that you can medically qualify for this coverage because tobacco use is not the only thing determining the price.
c. Working with an independent agency like Willamette Life can help you navigate this process to save you time and money. Rely on the experts rather than having to become one yourself.
Give Willamette Life a call at 844-576-0019
I’m the owner and founder of Willamette Life Insurance. Willamette Life specializes in Final Expense Insurance. We compare prices with different insurance carriers while finding the perfect match for your health and budget. This company was started to help educate the public on why Final Expense Insurance could be a great option for them and their family. We strive to be friendly, informative, and always have the client’s best interest as our top priority. Everything in this article is my own professional opinion and experiences I have had during my time in helping clients.