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Tobacco and Nicotine Overview
It’s possible to get non-tobacco rates for many types of tobacco, and we show you how to get them here.
Here’s the good news…
Non-tobacco life insurance rates are available for all types of tobacco and nicotine products!
We give you detailed life insurance underwriting information broken down by the type of tobacco and nicotine products.
If non-smoker life insurance rates are available, we’ll help you get them.
If you have health issues, we can help with that too!
Life Insurance by Tobacco and Nicotine Type
The following guides provide you with everything you need to know in order to get affordable life insurance.
If you are a daily cigarette smoker, occasional or a couple of times a year smoker, we show you the best deals available.
If you quit, special rules apply that you’ll want to know about.
Read More: Cigarette Smokers Life Insurance
It doesn’t matter if you smoke daily, weekly, monthly or the occasional cigar, it’s all covered here.
Read More: Cigar Smoker Life Insurance
Chewing tobacco rules are straight forward, but strict.
Find out which companies will be best for you.
Read More: Chewing Tobacco Life Insurance
For pipe tobacco users, it all comes down to your lab results, as that will determine the best company for you.
Read More: Pipe Smokers Life Insurance
Marijuana use is no longer a penalty with many companies, but others still use dated underwriting rules that will hurt you.
Read More: Marijuana Life Insurance
E-Cigs and Vape
Right now, all users are treated as tobacco users. It is no longer possible to get non-tobacco rates if you use e-cigarettes.
People Ask Us
We continually add questions that people are asking about smoking, marijuana, nicotine, smokeless tobacco and more.
Do smokers have to pay more for life insurance?
Smokers pay higher premiums for life insurance than non-smokers.
In fact, a smoker can expect life insurance premiums to increase 4-5 times more than for a non-smoker looking for the same coverage!
What happens if you start smoking after you get life insurance?
If you just happen to start smoking after you bought life insurance, there is zero impact on your life insurance policy.
The only exception would be if your original rate was through a quit smoking incentive program that some carriers offer.
Quit smoking incentive programs give you non-smoker rates for the first few years,
And let you keep them if you are still smoke-free afterward.
How long do you have to be a nonsmoker for life insurance?
You have to wait 12 months to be a non-smoker for life insurance.
Keep in mind that after 12 months, life insurers will only allow their “standard non-smoker” life insurance rate.
In order to qualify for the “preferred” or “preferred best” rates, life insurers require 36-60 months depending on the company.
It will make sense to re-shop each year for a few years after quitting in order to lock in better life rates.
If your tobacco use was something other than cigarettes, non-smoker rates are available right away.
Will life insurers know if I smoke?
Life insurers may or may not know about your smoking history if you fail to disclose it.
There are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
- If you smoke, disclose it on your application.
- The nicotine metabolite cotinine may show up in your labs.
- Your medical records may indicate that you smoke.
- If you previously received smoker rates, the MIB knows for 7 years.
- Your life insurance policy could end up being worthless.
The whole point of life insurance is to protect your family, business, or estate…why risk leaving them in financial ruin?
Failing to disclose smoking status may render your policy worthless, leaving your beneficiaries in a jam.
This is especially true if you die during the initial 2 year contestability period.
Life insurers may look closer into your records and if they discovered that you lied, they may try to deny paying the claim.
The MIB – Medical Information Bureau is used by most life insurers, and smoking status shows up for 7 years on the MIB.
This leads to…
What happens when people lie about smoking?
Failing to disclose smoking on a life insurance application is a big problem.
If the life insurance company doesn’t decline the application,
Underwriting will scrutinize every detail of the application to the ‘nth” degree.
When a “lack of candor” issue arises in underwriting, every aspect of your application will be questioned.
Some companies will simply decline you, while others will give you a smoker life insurance rate.
With the exception of cigarettes (and even these in some cases), non-smoker rates are always available.
How do life insurance companies check for tobacco use?
Life insurers check your lab results, the MIB and your medical records for tobacco use.
Nicotine is rapidly absorbed and metabolized by your body.
The half-life of nicotine (the amount of time it takes for half of the nicotine to leave your body) is about 2 hours.
The other half hangs around your liver and is converted to the metabolite cotinine.
And this is what life insurance companies look for.
Smokers typically test positive for cotinine for 1-3 days but in some cases longer.
Cotinine tests can be performed on blood, urine or oral fluids but mainly it’s done with the urine sample.
Laboratory accuracy is around 99%.
What cotinine can’t tell the underwriter is the type of tobacco/nicotine product used.
If you disclose the type of tobacco/nicotine product you use (and you should),
A positive nicotine test may still allow non-smoker rates with the right companies.
What about secondhand smoke?
It is unlikely that secondhand smoke will cause a positive cotinine test.
The reason why is that secondary smoke will register about 50 ng/ml in a urine test,
And most life insurers’ threshold for detection is above the 50 ng/ml mark in order to avoid this issue.
What if I use multiple types of products?
We just need to know the types of products you are using and whether your labs will be positive or negative for cotinine.
Non-smoker life insurance rates available for most scenarios.
The most difficult situation will be if cigarette smoking is involved.
How to Get Non-Smoker Life Insurance Rates
Let us know exactly what types of tobacco or nicotine products you use.
We’ll then show you the underwriting rules and requirements that you need to meet in order to qualify.
Check out our guide to types of life insurance policies to help you get the right policy.
If it turns out that only smoker life insurance rates are available to you,
We’ll show you the most competitive life insurance rates available to help you meet your needs.
Remember, we work for you, not the life insurance company.
There is never any pressure or obligation with our life insurance service.
Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request today. Thank you.
Michael Horbal is the founder and owner of RiskQuoter.com and a licensed life insurance agent who has helped thousands with affordable protection for families and businesses.