Looking for life insurance for tobacco users can prove to be difficult.
Fortunately, not all funeral insurance companies react the same way towards all tobacco use types or occasional social smokers. Specifically, what each company considers to fall into the “smoking” category and the varying increases of premium.
Is Affordable Funeral Insurance For Pipe Smokers Available?
The majority of life insurance companies will ask if the applicant has used any form of tobacco in the last 12 months. However, some carriers do not include pipe smoking or a social smoker into their inflated smoking rate class. While other providers will charge very high smoking rates with all forms of tobacco included.
As a pipe smoker, working with the right company is pivotal.
Funeral insurance is also referred to as burial insurance or final expense coverage. These policies fall under whole life insurance, which is permanent coverage that never expires. Several permanent benefits come with every whole life policy.
Whole Life Benefits
No Expiration: An absolute requirement of a whole life policy is that it never expires. As long as the required premiums to keep your policy active are paid, the plan will remain in force for the duration of the policyholder’s life.
Coverage Lock: The amount of protection you take out is often called the death benefit and will never fluctuate. With the death benefit locked in, you and your beneficiary can be confident knowing that the full amount will be given to them when the claim is filed.
Price Lock: The premiums that are due are also locked in and will never change. Factoring this into a monthly budget is important for people on a fixed income—other types of life insurance increase in price the older the insured gets.
Builds Cash Value: As a living benefit, the cash value allows you to borrow money from the policy at any time. As the policy owner pays the monthly premiums, a portion goes into the cash value account. This account grows over the years, providing a financial tool that the owner can easily access.
Final Expense Insurance Advantages
Affordability: Unlike larger, more traditional whole life insurance policies, burial insurance comes with smaller death benefit options. A smaller death benefit makes for more affordable premium payments. Coverage is available from $2,000 – $40,000 depending on the provider, whereas traditional policies begin around $50,000.
No Medical Exam: Final expense life insurance is simplified issue coverage, meaning that the underwriting can be done completely over the phone with no in-person medical exam. The application process will include a few questions about the senior’s health to qualify for most plans.
No Waiting Period Options: For seniors that qualify, immediate coverage is available. Smoking tobacco with a pipe does not disqualify you from instant coverage. Qualification is based upon the applicant’s health at the time. The maximum waiting period is two years.
The Cost of Funeral Insurance for Pipe Smokers
Most burial insurance companies will charge an inflated rate for seniors who use tobacco. The prices below reflect the price range that a pipe user should expect to pay with varying health conditions. The lower the price, the healthier the insured will need to be.
Monthly Premium Range
Pipe Smoking Rates
|45||$29 – $41||$41 – $60||$54 – $79|
|50||$31 – $51||$45 – $75||$59 – $99|
|55||$38 – $58||$56 – $86||$73 – $113|
|60||$45 – $70||$66 – $103||$87 – $136|
|65||$55 – $90||$80 – $133||$106 – $176|
|70||$70 – $112||$104 – $166||$137 – $221|
|75||$96 – $143||$143 – $213||$189 – $282|
|80||$121 – $218||$180 – $325||$239 – $432|
|85||$192 – $317||$287 – $474||$381 – $631|
Monthly Premium Range
Pipe Smoking Rates
|45||$36 – $52||$53 – $76||$69 – $100|
|50||$38 – $56||$56 – $83||$73 – $110|
|55||$48 – $69||$70 – $101||$92 – $135|
|60||$56 – $90||$83 – $133||$109 – $176|
|65||$67 – $130||$99 – $193||$131 – $256|
|70||$86 – $177||$127 – $264||$169 – $351|
|75||$111 – $242||$165 – $361||$219 – $480|
|80||$145 – $344||$216 – $514||$287 – $684|
|85||$283 – $499||$423 – $746||$563 – $994|
Underwriting: Why Smoking A Pipe Matters
Underwriting is the process an application goes through to determine if the person meets the plan requirements.
Each insurance carrier has different underwriting standards. This makes finding the best coverage for every circumstance unique.
Long Term Health Concerns
A common misconception is that pipe and cigar smoking is believed to be healthier than cigarettes. However, many common health complications remain the same for all tobacco users.
Pipe smoking can lead to the following medical concerns.
- Gum Disease
- Heart Disease
- Lung Disease
- Teeth Problems
How Pipe Smoking Affects Coverage
It is the overall health of the proposed insured that is taken into account by the insurance companies when getting coverage.
The majority of conditions associated with tobacco use will cause insurance companies to place applicants into a higher-risk category. A higher-risk category could mean higher premiums, a waiting period, or denial. Companies will usually react in one of the following ways.
Low-Cost Premiums with Immediate Coverage
A few companies ask only about cigarette smoking, not smoking pipes or other tobacco use. Some plans honor non-smoking rates for 3 years and allow the insured to quit smoking for 12 months during this period. If the insured can prove they quit smoking, they can continue receiving the non-smoking rate class.
Higher Premiums with Immediate Coverage
The majority of life insurance companies will award coverage to healthy pipe smokers but at an increased premium price. This is how the majority of providers react to tobacco users. Some will require you to pay more in smoking rate increases, while others will not inflate the smoking rate class as much.
Higher Premiums and a Waiting Period
For seniors who use a tobacco pipe and have other health concerns, life insurance protection will cost more and could have a waiting period. Typical waiting periods are 2 years and provide only partial coverage during this time.
Denial of Coverage
Being denied coverage just because you have a habit of smoking pipes will not happen. Coverage denial is possible if the applicant has certain pre-existing conditions. You will never be denied coverage for a guaranteed acceptance plan, so even if you have a chronic or terminal illness, this protection is still available.
Finding The Best Funeral Insurance As A Pipe Smoker
Each carrier reacts to pipe smoking and other health conditions differently. Coverage gets very specific for particular diagnoses and lifestyle choices.
Burial insurance for pipe smokers is usually best from the following companies. However, depending on the applicant’s specific pre-existing health history, the company recommendations may vary.
Sentinel Security Life: People who smoke a pipe and are considered a social smoker by this company are eligible for non-smoking rates. Sentinel Security creates the definition of social smoking as using tobacco no more than twelve times in the past twelve months.
Americo: The application question in regards to smoking ask about cigarette use only. Chewing tobacco, cigar-smoking, and pipe smoking will all qualify for the non-smoking rate class with this company. The distinctions in nicotine and tobacco use are outlined in this full Americo review.
Mutual of Omaha: This company has non-smoking and smoking rates, with pipe smokers falling into the increased smoking rate category. However, the smoking rate class is not as inflated as many of its competitors for its graded plan. The graded plan will provide the lowest rates, hands down, but has a 2-year waiting period.
AIG: For tobacco users with a terminal or chronic illness who cannot qualify for immediate coverage with the above companies or other companies, AIG’s guaranteed acceptance policy could be the best option. This plan asks no health questions and does not have smoking vs. non-smoking rates, and all prices are the same. AIG’s policy is one of the most affordable on the market for those that require no-questions-asked approval.
What to Look For
There are many companies to choose from, but the three things that you will want to keep in mind are the company’s financial rating, the cost, and when the coverage begins.
Company Financials: Getting a policy from a financially sound insurance company is the most important. There are ratings that independent rating organizations give. One of the most reliable and widely used is A.M. Best. Finding an insurance provider with no lower than a B+ rating will ensure that the company will have the money required to pay out its claims well into the future.
Low-Cost: Getting an affordable policy is vital. If you cannot pay the monthly premiums for your policy, it will lapse, leaving you without insurance protection. Since the price is locked in, make sure it will be affordable for you in later years.
Coverage Start Date: Whenever possible, getting immediate coverage is a top priority. Some seniors will be required to have a waiting period depending on their health, but several companies are lenient with pre-existing conditions.
Captive vs. Independent Agents
Since each life insurance company has a varying tolerance to specific pre-existing conditions, the type of insurance agent you work with is very important.
Captive Agents: This type of broker sells coverage from only one company. While many of these agents work for companies with high brand recognition, the burial life insurance that they offer is not the best product for the masses. Typically these companies offer insurance across multiple lines of coverage, including home, life, and auto.
Final expense insurance for pipe smokers from many of these captive agents is either very strict or has guaranteed acceptance with high costs. These plans are not bad, just not right for everybody.
Independent Agents: Brokers that are independent can represent several different insurance providers. Since each company accepts different health concerns, having access to many companies is a huge advantage to seniors looking for life insurance protection.
Agents that are independent are not tied to any particular company. They can shop for pricing and coverage structure according to the individual needs of their client.
How Willamette Life Can Help You
Willamette Life is an independent life insurance agency specializing in finding people the best final expense coverage to need their needs. We have access to several top companies with varying risk-tolerances to many health concerns, including nicotine and tobacco use.
a. Finding affordable funeral insurance for pipe smokers is achievable. Most insurance companies look at any tobacco use over the past 12 months to increase the premium price.
b. A few select companies have narrowed their definition of smoking to include cigarettes only. By their definition, pipe smokers are exempt from the increased rates and do not have to pay more for the same insurance protection.
c. Working with an independent agent will be the fastest way to find and apply for a policy that best fits your health, budget, and lifestyle.
Call Willamette Life 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.