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Smokers shopping for burial insurance generally know they will be charged a higher premium. The simple truth is that smokers live shorter lives than non smokers as a whole. This means that every insurance company that offers insurance to tobacco/ nicotine users has to come up with their own game plan on how they take on that risk. Since every company has their own way of assessing the risk and charging the customer for that risk… the big question is- Which insurance company is going to give me the best price.
This is probably the first question a smoker asks since they already know it’s going to cost more… now, they just need to find the cheapest of the more expensive options.
Today, we are going to explain how different insurance carriers determine if you are subject to tobacco rates since they’re all different. We will also discuss which companies offer the best tobacco rates for smokers. If you already know that you are a tobacco/ nicotine user no matter how someone tries to define it, you can probably skip the next few paragraphs as we will first dive into the more gray area of what insurance companies consider to be a tobacco/ nicotine user.
Chewing vs Pipe vs Cigar vs Nicotine Patches vs Gum vs Vaping
As we all know, there are multiple forms of tobacco and nicotine. Some companies will be okay with what they call “Occasional” pipe or cigar use. Some insurance companies will also view chewing tobacco differently with some viewing it as having no increased risk. At the time of this article, Vaping has found itself taking an extraordinary amount of heat due to the lack of regulation and rapid growth of use by younger individuals. The fast growth of vaping is sure to have insurance companies assessing if there’s any increased risk for covering an individual that vapes and if so, what that rate of coverage should look like. So, you can probably expect applications to start asking about vaping as soon as the actuarial and legal departments can put something together!
How Insurance Companies Determine If You Are A Tobacco User
Now that we’ve established that there are at least six different ways to consume tobacco/ nicotine and therefore there are even more ways for insurance companies to assess the risk levels of these activities. Lets take a look at some potential questions you might see on an application by various companies.
Every final expense life insurance company will ask their own questions and ask about different timelines. Although a majority of the questions below ask about the last 12 months, some companies will ask about the last 2, 3, 4 or even five years. Every now and then, you’ll even see a company that asks if you’ve EVER used tobacco. Below are the most often used questions on applications:
• “In the past 12 months, have you smoked any cigarettes?”
• “In the past 12 months, have you used tobacco in any form other than the occasional cigar?”
• “During the past 12 months, have you used tobacco in any form (excluding occasional pipe and cigar use)?”
• “Have you used tobacco or nicotine products in the last 12 months?” Yes or No
o “If yes was it: Chewing Tobacco/ Snuff OR All Other Forms?”
• “Have you used any tobacco or nicotine products in the past 12 months?”
• “Have you ever used tobacco or nicotine products?”
Get lower rates if/ when you quit smoking
Now that we’ve covered different types of tobacco use and covered various questions that could be asked, its time to talk about someone that is a smoker or consistent user of these products and would answer the question as “yes” regardless of how the question is asked.
Simply put, a smoker is probably going to be charged close to double that of a non-smoker. Its nothing more than basic math that creates this increased cost. Smokers shorten their life span by 10-13 years depending on volume of usage. If you are already in your 50’s and looking for insurance when the average life span is 78, this means that any insurance company is going to assume that you could pass away between 65-68 and therefore, they have almost half the time to cover you for the same amount of money as they would the non smoker. Although the math may not come out to exactly double and you may not have exactly half the amount of time as a non smoker, the statistics start to heavily influence the price.
This means that the savings could be massive if you were to quit smoking. Also, if for some reason you were a smoker but aren’t any longer and are stumbling on to this article, it would definitely be a good idea for you to review all of your health/ life insurance policies to make sure that you’re not overpaying. If you have no health conditions that get in the way of being approved, your new rate will be much lower even though you’re probably older than when you first got your coverage.
If you’re now curious as to how much more a policy is for the smoker vs non, check out the various rates on our quote page. The difference is huge!
The Best Funeral Insurance Companies For Smokers
For healthy non smokers, there is actually very little pricing difference across the board. In fact, the top 10 providers are all with $10 a month on the cost. That is a whole other story when it comes to the tobacco rates for reasons we mentioned at the beginning of this article.
We’ve put together the top four insurance carriers that have some of the most competitive pricing when it comes to working with tobacco/ nicotine users. We included the fourth insurance company that has the best prices for people that both smoke and have additional health issues which means, they could only qualify for a guaranteed issue policy (a policy where the company doesn’t care how many medical problems you have). The data simply shows that smokers tend to have more medical issues than non, so we thought it would be helpful to go ahead and include who we think tends to be the most competitive for that category also.
American Amicable Life Insurance Company
American Amicable is has been in business since 1910. They have excellent financials and maintain an A rating with A.M. Best. They are consistently a top carrier that offers really good tobacco user rates when I’m working with clients. This is a company that is also okay with “the occasional cigar or pipe.”
If you’ve been wondering this whole article “who is the lowest priced for smokers”, this company has probably the best smoker rates on the market. For 100 plus years, Assurity has been offering folks quality life insurance with the most competitive rates for smokers.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha is easily is probably the most well known and respected insurance companies that make this list. Their history, credibility and customer service are all top notch. Their rates are probably the most competitive as a whole. Their non- smoking prices are almost always the best and the smoker prices are still always in the conversation.
United Home Life
United Home Life offers what’s called guaranteed issue burial insurance. That simply means there are no health questions or medical checks of any kind. Although that may sound nice, there’s a catch. Guaranteed Issue policies are typically the most expensive because they ask no questions and that means the applicant could have several health issues that make them high risk or would be declined coverage if they had to answer questions…
A guaranteed issue plan (with any insurance company) will always cost more, and have contingencies, like, won’t pay out benefits during the first two years. Whereas, with Assurity, Mutual of Omaha, or American Amicable will offer you immediate coverage.
The reason we have Gerber in the mix for good smoker rates is because smokers tend of have health issues. Some of which are pretty serious like COPD. It’s not at all uncommon for smokers to have health issues that force them to endure a waiting period of some kind.
How To Find The Best Burial Insurance For Smokers
We’ve laid out a lot of variables that will factor into the price you could pay if you use tobacco/ nicotine and didn’t even touch on if you had other medical issues and how that would be factored in also. The best thing you can do is to work with a company / independent agency that understands all the ins and outs of these insurance companies to find the one that will fit your situation best.
Simplegacy works with 20+ insurance carriers. Not only will we find a company to work with you, we will find multiple. When we do, we can compare rates and impartially recommend whichever carrier will give you the best value. We are not tied to any single company, which gives us the ability to unbiasedly tell you what your best solution is. Since we only work in the Burial/Funeral/Final Expense Insurance category, you will never have to worry about being “cross-sold” or pushed into a solution that doesn’t make sense in the long run for you.
We are here to help you in any way we can. We will use every resource available to us in order to help you find the best policy that will work for you and your family. Our goal is to approach every scenario the way we would if it was our own family that we were planning for.
Call us at 888-519-9119 or fill out the quick quote form for an instant quote.