Life Insurance for Those who Chew Tobacco and Smoke Cigars

June 2, 2017
Life insurance company underwriters consider many things when they decide how much to charge for premiums. It’s common knowledge how they view cigarette smoking, but what are the life insurance options for those who chew tobacco and smoke cigars?

Generally speaking, chewing tobacco doesn’t have as many health risks as smoking does, such as lung cancer and respiratory illness, but it does come with health risks – particularly when you consider the higher risk compared to someone who doesn’t use any tobacco products.

Health Facts About Chewing Tobacco

  • You can chew as much nicotine as is relative to 60 cigarettes
  • Chewing tobacco has been reported to be harder to quit than smoking
  • Long-term chewers have almost a 50 per cent increased chance of developing oral cancer than non-chewers

This is important, because these are facts that life insurance companies consider.

Do I Have to Mention That I Chew Tobacco?

Yes, you should never try to hide information on your insurance application. If you didn’t mention it, it is highly likely that they will find out anyways. Traditional life insurance policies require a medical exam and they will take your blood and sometimes your urine – these tests will tell on you. If you want to avoid a medical exam because you have no intention of giving up tobacco, apply for a guaranteed issue policy. You’ll pay a little more, but you can still get coverage.

How Do Life Insurance Companies View Chewing Tobacco?

Each life insurance company looks at chewing tobacco differently. Some will be more casual while others will lump you in with cigarette smokers. However, how much you chew will be a factor, along with a host of other things such as your height, weight, overall health, and age.

Life Insurance Rates for Those who Chew Tobacco

Premium rates will also differ based on the insurance company’s view of chewing along with the other factors listed above. Most life insurance companies will charge you a standard smoking rate, others will ask for a rated policy and another one may decline you.

Life Insurance for Cigar Smokers

Many people think that cigar smoking doesn’t affect life insurance rates because it is different than smoking cigarettes. However, it is not unusual for some premium cigars to contain the tobacco equivalent of an entire pack of cigarettes.

With that being said, many cigar smokers only smoke occasionally. Some life insurance companies define this as one per month while others consider four each month as occasional smoking. Some, but not all companies, will give you non-smoking rates if you smoke one a month provided there is no cotinine (the principal metabolite of nicotine) in your blood.

Similar to the above with chewing tobacco, you should never exclude the fact that you smoke cigars; and premium rates can vary drastically between life insurance companies.

At Shelter Bay Financial Corp., we can help you compare rates if you chew tobacco or smoke cigars. Work with us and you won’t even have to leave you house! We deliver all of our services online or by telephone and can use shared screens online to walk you through the process, step by step.

To learn more, please call us toll free at 1.888.498.5288

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