Are you a tobacco user and thinking of buying a life insurance policy but concerned with paying higher rates? You may be surprised to learn some companies don't charge extra.
In this article, we'll discuss these companies, and what you need to know about avoiding tobacco rates, and the one company that gives incentives to quit, and more.
What is Final Expense Life Insurance Exactly?
Final Expense insurance aka burial or funeral insurance is a whole life insurance policy with a smaller death benefit, and is easier for you to get approved for, than traditional whole life insurance.
The policies pay out the benefit money to your beneficiary typically within 48 hours which makes them ideal for funeral, burial, cremation, and end of life expenses.
They're also called 'Simplified Issue' meaning you don't have to undergo a medical or physical exam to be approved for the policy.
What You Need To Know About Tobacco Usage and Pricing
All insurance companies will price you differently for tobacco or nicotine use, but most will charge you a higher premium.
The explanation for this is simply tobacco users can be more likely to develop future health concerns and represent a higher risk.
During the application you'll be asked if you use tobacco or nicotine products, and unlike Term or traditional Whole Life insurance, you won't undergo a medical exam to confirm it.
You might not use tobacco that often, but it's best to answer truthfully because you could lose or be denied the benefit if not honest. And you don’t want to leave your family without financial support when you die.
The First Thing To Know Is How Carriers Classify Tobacco
Here are the most common ways:
E-cigarettes & Vaping
Cigars and Cigarillos
The underwriting question on most insurance applications is:
"In the last 12 months have you used tobacco or nicotine in any form?"
Here's the main thing to know; all carriers have different prices depending on the type of tobacco. Some carriers only charge for cigarettes, and there's one carrier that doesn't charge extra for it!
In the end, you can save a lot of money if you know which companies give breaks to tobacco users. For example, if you're a cigarette smoker AMERICO will give you a non-tobacco rate, and then give you three (3) years to quit smoking to keep the rate.
And The Carriers That Gives Price Breaks For Tobacco Usage Are:
Although many people have not heard of Americo, the company has been around since 1946. They're an "A" rated carrier and if you smoke cigarettes, they'll give you a non-tobacco rate, and then give you three (3) years to quit smoking to keep the rate.
After 3 years, you'll have to prove you don't use tobacco, with a saliva swab, to keep the lower rate and benefit amount. If you don't quit then your price remains the same, but your benefit amount will decrease to the smoker rate. And they don't charge tobacco rates if you use cigars.
Prosperity, founded in 1916, is also an "A" Rated insurance carrier, and has over 300,000 policies served and over $13 billion of life insurance policies in force. And, unlike most insurance carriers, they'll give you a non-tobacco rate if you use any tobacco products, except cigarettes. That's right, all other forms of tobacco; cigars, pipes, chew, vapes, etc. receive a non-tobacco rate.
American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas was founded in 1910 and has a very sound financial track record. They're a highly reputable company and maintain an "A" credit rating with A.M. Best, the definitive source for insurance carrier ratings, and they will offer non-tobacco rates for occasional cigar or pipe smoking.
TruStage, underwritten by CUNA Mutual, who has been around since 1935, is one of the only companies around that gives non-tobacco rates for any type of tobacco usage. You read the right, any type of tobacco, including cigarettes.
Guaranteed Issue Policies
Guaranteed Issue plans have NO health or tobacco questions asked.
Sometimes, as a smoker, it can be cheaper to get a Guaranteed Issue, or a Graded plan instead of a Level plan with smoker rates.
However, Guaranteed Issue and Graded plans come with a waiting period during the first 1-2 years. If non-accidental death occurs during the waiting period, the insurance carrier will refund all payments paid into the policy PLUS interest back, typically 5% - 30%, depending on the carrier.
After the waiting period is over, the full benefit is paid. For accidental death there is no waiting period. If you're healthy, and don't mind the waiting period, it could also be a way to avoid tobacco rates.
If You Recently Quit Smoking, Should You Wait To Apply For Life Insurance?
The question on a Final Expense application typically only asks about your tobacco usage "within the last 12 months."
If you quit smoking or using tobacco products within the last 12 months, it’s still important to get a policy and you shouldn't wait to give your dependents or loved one’s financial support.
You can get a whole life policy now and then ask for a rate reconsideration, or even cancel and get another policy, once you’ve been tobacco-free for 12 months.
If you use tobacco and have health conditions, it's better to get a policy at a lower price now because we never know when our health can change which could result in higher rates later.
How Can AffinityQuotes Assist Tobacco Users?
If you're looking for a life insurance policy, we can help you find the carrier right for you according to the type of tobacco you use.
Here’s why we believe that…
We're an independent agency representing many different insurance carriers, and we're not obligated to any one carrier which gives us freedom to shop the best deal for YOU.
AffinityQuotes shops dozens of insurance carriers to find the ones that will accept you based on your specific needs.
Call 855-400-7766 to see what a licensed AQ agent can do for you.
We'll happily answer your questions for you at no-cost.