Updated: Apr 10
Are you a tobacco user and considering a life insurance policy but concerned with paying higher rates? Find out which insurance carriers are “smoker-friendly” and those that won't charge extra premiums for using any type of tobacco products!
What is Final Expense Life Insurance Exactly?
Burial insurance aka Final Expense or funeral insurance is whole life insurance that has a small death benefit and is easier to get approved for than traditional whole life insurance.
Each insurer will charge applicants differently, but most will usually set a higher premium for those using tobacco or nicotine products.
The explanation for this is simply that tobacco users are more likely to develop health concerns in the future, and therefore represent a greater risk.
During the application process for Final Expense insurance you are simply asked if you use tobacco products, and unlike Term or traditional Whole Life insurance, you are not subjected to a medical exam to test for nicotine usage.
Now there are people that use tobacco very sparingly, but it's important to answer the question straightforward because there can be ramifications (loss of benefit, benefit denied, etc.) if you're not honest about it, and you don’t want to leave your family without financial support when you die. Honesty to this question really will be the best practice.
The First Thing To Know Is How Insurance Carriers Classify Tobacco.
Here are the most common classifications:
E-cigarettes & Vaping
Cigars and Cigarillos
The underwriting question on most, if not all, insurance applications is:
"In the last 12 months have you used tobacco or nicotine in any form?"
But here's the main point; not all insurance carriers will price your policy for tobacco use! It depends on the type of tobacco used. In fact, there are even carriers that won't charge extra premiums for cigarette use!
The type of tobacco used can mean a lot of money in savings if you know which carriers charge, or don't charge, extra for tobacco use. There is even a company (AMERICO) that will give you non-tobacco rates if you are a cigarette smoker, and then give you three (3) years to quit smoking to keep the non-tobacco rate and benefit amount!
Here Are Carriers That Gives Price Breaks For Tobacco Usage:
Though many people have not heard of Americo, the company has been around for over 100 years. They're an "A" rated insurance carrier, and if you're a tobacco user, including cigarettes, they'll give a non-tobacco rate, and then give you three (3) years to quit smoking to keep the non-tobacco rate. After the 3rd year, you have to prove you don't use tobacco, via a saliva swab, and then you can keep the lower rate and benefit amount. If you don't quit then your premium remains the same, but your benefit amount will decrease to what you would have received as a smoker. And they don't charge tobacco rates if you use cigars!
PROSPERITY LIFE GROUP
Prosperity, also an "A" Rated insurance carrier, has its roots in the Great State of New Jersey. Unlike most carriers, they'll give you a tobacco rate only if you're a cigarette smoker. All other forms of tobacco; cigars, pipes, chew, vape, etc. will receive a non-tobacco user rate!
American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas has a sound financial track record, and they've been around since 1910. They also maintain an "A" credit rating with A.M. Best, and they will offer non-tobacco rates for anyone who occasionally smokes cigars or pipes.
CMFG (CUNA MUTUAL FINANCIAL GROUP) AKA TRUSTAGE INSURANCE
CMFG has been around since1940, and they are one of the only companies around that will give you non-tobacco rates for any type of tobacco usage. That's right, any type of tobacco, including cigarettes! Their policy premiums tend to be a little higher than most carriers, so their lenient underwriting is reflected in the price.
GUARANTEED ISSUE POLICIES
A Guaranteed Issue (GI) policy is a Whole Life Final Expense insurance plan, and will insure someone with NO health questions and NO tobacco questions asked.
But a Guaranteed Issue policy also comes with a waiting period during the first 1-2 years. For a non-accidental death of the insured, during the waiting period, the insurance company will refund all the premium payments paid into the policy PLUS an interest fee, typically 5% - 30% depending on the carrier. For an accidental death of the insured, the entire death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Once the waiting period is over, the full benefit is paid for both accidental or non-accidental death.
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 to give your dependents or loved one’s financial support. And if you have other health conditions, it's imperative to get a policy at the lowest price available now because we never know when our health can change which could result in even higher rates later.
You can buy a whole life policy now and then ask your insurer for a rate reconsideration, or even cancel it and get another policy at a non-tobacco rate, once you’ve been tobacco-free for more than 12 months.
How can AffinityQuotes assist you?
If you're looking for a life insurance policy, AffinityQuotes will help determine if you need a Level, Graded, or Guaranteed Issue policy and then find the BEST insurance carrier for you.
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 the freedom to shop the best deal for YOU.
Shopping multiple carriers is important especially if you use tobacco products.
To get the best deal must look at as many insurance companies as possible to find the one that will give you the best rates for tobacco usage, and having a brokerage firm like AffinityQuotes can do the searching for you!
AffinityQuotes shops dozens of insurance carriers to find which one(s) will accept you based on you and your health conditions.
Whatever questions you have, we'll provide the answers to you at no-cost.
Call 855-400-7766 to see what a licensed AQ agent can do for you.
Run Your Own Final Expense Quote Below!