The same life insurance for cigar smokers is available to non-smokers. The biggest difference for final expense coverage is the rates you should expect to pay.
Since smoking, in general, can lead to some medical concerns, this plays a significant role in the monthly cost.
Final Expense Insurance For Cigar Smokers
The majority of final expense insurance companies will charge smoking rates to a cigar smoker. This includes seniors who only smoke a cigar few and far between.
The good news is that select companies offer lower, non-smoking rates to the user of an occasional cigar.
With that said, the definition of the word “occasional” varies from carrier to carrier. Some even offer temporary low rates to entice seniors to quit smoking.
What Type of Insurance is Final Expense?
Final expense insurance is also commonly referred to as burial insurance and funeral insurance. It was built to provide an affordable option for seniors to plan for their end-of-life expenses. The fact that policies come in smaller face amount options makes final expense worth it for seniors with restricted budgets.
This coverage is a type of whole life insurance, meaning that it comes with some basic and permanent features.
Benefits of Whole Life Final Expense Insurance
- No Expiration
- Coverage Lock
- Price Lock
- Builds Cash Value
- No Exam
- No Waiting Period Options
Underwriting Q & A
The decision-making process of accepting applicants is referred to as underwriting.
These decisions are based largely on the health of the applicant. The standards are predetermined and vary between plans and insurance carriers.
The senior final expense insurance underwriting process is fast, with coverage usually issued within a matter of days.
Does Smoking Cigars Affect Life Insurance?
The majority of funeral insurance companies place cigar smokers into the same category as cigarette smokers. They do this by asking about tobacco use rather than specifying how the tobacco is used.
Most final expense insurance companies will consider you a smoker if you have used tobacco within the last 12 months.
Cigar smoking is considered tobacco use since it is made primarily from the tobacco plant.
With this viewpoint, it does not matter how much tobacco you use or how you use it. A pipe, chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, and all nicotine & tobacco use is considered.
Even if you have only had a couple of cigars throughout the last year, you will be held to smoker rates.
Some cigar-friendly life insurance companies ask about tobacco use in the form of cigarettes only.
For cigar smokers, this is great news. This tobacco policy allows you to have an occasional celebratory cigar and not be tied to higher smoking rates.
Some companies do not limit the amount of non-cigarette use while others limit it to 12 cigars a year. This standard varies by company.
If you believe you fall into this category contact an agent to find the cheapest life insurance quote available.
Why Do Cigars Matter?
Whether you are a frequent or occasional cigar smoker, tobacco use will predispose you to some health concerns.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigars increase the risk of developing the following health issues.
- Coronary heart disease
- Gum disease
- Lung disease
- Tooth loss
Since some of these conditions are life-threatening, life insurance companies charge more to off-set the increased risk of premature death due to disease.
How Much Does Final Expense Insurance for Cigar Smokers Cost?
Most companies charge cigar smokers about 40% more than non-tobacco users for the same burial life insurance plan. However, some carriers are considered cigar friendly and do not charge this rate increase.
The biggest things that will affect funeral insurance quotes are age, coverage amount, and health status. Since tobacco use plays into the health of its users, it typically increases the price.
What Happens If You Lie About Smoking?
Lying about smoking on life insurance applications to get the cheapest life insurance rates is highly discouraged. There are a few things that could happen with this.
An insurance policy is a contract that you are entering into. Lying on the application constitutes insurance fraud.
Life insurance companies could assess the higher smoking rates when they find out about your misrepresentation, or even worse, cancel the policy or not pay out the claim when filed.
When you apply, you sign your name, acknowledging that the information provided is true and current to the best of your knowledge. Of course, you are going to know best if you have smoked within the last 12 months. Be truthful.
Finding The Best Burial Insurance For Cigar Smokers
The best burial insurance for someone is very specific to the individual. All pre-existing conditions play a role in qualifying for coverage.
Regardless of your health or smoking status, there are three things that you want to look for in a burial insurance policy.
Cost: Of course, everyone wants a deal. Finding the lowest cost policy is of high importance for most. Willamette Life will always recommend the most affordable plan option. Most companies will charge more for those who smoke cigars, even if only on occasion.
Coverage Start Date: Getting coverage that starts immediately is important to get, whenever possible. With certain health conditions, a waiting period is unavoidable, but cigar smoking alone is no reason for a delay in coverage.
Financial Rating: Obtaining coverage from an insurance provider that is highly rated is vital. This will give you and your family peace of mind knowing that the company will be around long-term and will have the financial resources to pay out the claim when due.
There are four different plan options within burial insurance, and all are available to cigar smokers.
Level: This plan is touted as the best because it is built for healthy seniors, and it is the only option that has no waiting period. Level plans generally have the lowest prices. However, for tobacco users, this is not always the case.
Graded: These plans have a 2-year waiting period with partial coverage during this time. Monthly premiums are slightly higher than level plans due to the increased leniency of the qualifying standards. Not every provider offers this plan option.
Modified: Also, with a 2-year waiting period, modified has even less strict qualifying criteria. This plan is commonly called a “return of premium plan” because of its payout structure during the waiting period. Once the waiting period is complete, full coverage is available.
Guaranteed Issue: Everyone is accepted with this plan regardless of health. These plans usually do not have smoker vs. non-smoker rates, and everyone pays the same amount. Guaranteed acceptance plans have a 2-year waiting period that is also a return of paid premiums throughout the 2 years.
Captive vs. Independent
Seniors can purchase a final expense life insurance policy from any licensed agent in their state. The main thing that sets captive and independent agents apart is how they go about getting a policy.
Captive agents: These agents are contractually able to sell products from one insurance company only.
Having access to only one company becomes problematic for the consumer because of varying prices and qualifying guidelines. Since captive agents have access to limited policy options, they might not even be aware of other policies that could be a better fit for you. Possibly meaning the difference between a level plan and a guaranteed issue policy.
Independent agents: These agents have the freedom to represent multiple insurance companies.
Having access to multiple life insurance companies allows independent agents to shop around on behalf of their clients. Being able to compare pricing and underwriting standards is a huge benefit saving seniors time and money.
Why Willamette Life
As an independent agency, Willamette Life has contracted with top-rated and low-cost insurance providers. Our agents put the customer’s needs first. Always.
Whether you are a heavy or an occasional cigar smoker, Willamette Life staff will get to know your unique situation to find the best possible fit at the most affordable rate.
a. Final expense insurance for cigar smokers is possible to find at an affordable rate but keep in mind that the rest of your health will also be considered.
b. There are a few companies that ask about tobacco use in the form of cigarettes only. In this case, a cigar smoker would not be considered for the higher rates.
c. Working with an independent agency will allow you to easily find a company that will offer non-smoking rates to the occasional tobacco user.
Give Willamette Life a call at 844-576-0019
Stacie manages the content for Willamette Life by keeping it up to date and accurate. By taking the questions frequently asked by clients she has been able to assist in developing a series of blogs that will hopefully be able to help more people than just those we are able to speak with.
We would be happy to answer your specific questions if there is anything we haven’t covered yet.