Are you a smokeless tobacco user?
Maybe you got started watching your dad or grandpa, or maybe you played some high-school baseball.
In fact, a lot of cigarette smokers find the only way to give up smoking is to turn to chewing or dipping to satisfy their cravings for nicotine.
Certainly, anytime a cigarette smoker can get off the “cancer sticks” it’s a good thing.
If you’ve ever applied for life insurance as a smoker then you know that your rate will likely double or even triple because of your habit.
But what happens if you don’t smoke tobacco?
What if you are a chewer or a dipper? This is when you need to speak with an insurance professional who represents all of the top-rated companies. He or she will have the experience to let you know who to apply to and how much to you will end up paying for your coverage.
To what Extent do You use Tobacco?
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This is the most important question you’ll have to answer. There is a big difference between smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco (at least for insurance companies). Many companies will rate you at smoker rates whether you smoke cigarettes or cigars or chew, but some will rate you as a non-smoker if you only chew or dip. Remember, the difference is significant. Here’s an example:
$100,000 20-Year Term Policy for a 30-Year Male
|Mutual of Omaha||$33.82||$16.80|
This chart provides a clear indication that no matter what your age, smokers will pay at least twice what non-smokers pay for term life insurance. It’s important to note, however, that only certain carriers will assign a non-smoker rate to someone who chews or dips tobacco.
There are verifiable Health Risks if You Chew or Dip
If you chew tobacco or dip, you’ve probably already gotten the lecture from your physician or may have done some online research on your own, but we would be remiss if we didn’t approach the subject in this article. We have seen in reports from the American Cancer Society that smokeless tobacco like chewing tobacco or dip can cause cancer just like smoking tobacco.
Overall, individuals who dip tobacco or chew it ingest close to the same amount of nicotine as people who smoke tobacco. They also ingest many chemicals that are associated with the cause of cancer. The most dangerous chemicals found in smokeless tobacco like chewing tobacco or dip is tobacco-specific nitrosamines. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines levels vary from tobacco product to tobacco product, but the higher the level of tobacco-specific nitrosamines the higher the risk for cancer.
Cancers associated with smokeless tobacco are:
- Cheek, mouth, gum, and tongue cancer
- Cancer of the esophagus
- Cancer of the pancreas
Based on all the information out there about smokeless tobacco, it makes sense that insurance companies frown on offering their lowest rates to people who willfully expose themselves to dangerous health issues by consuming smokeless tobacco.
We have found that Prudential Life Insurance Company currently offers non-smoker insurance rates for applicants who chew or dip tobacco. Prudential also offers non-smoker rates for pipes and cigars. This liberal underwriting guideline will go a long way to reduce your insurance rates as long as you have no health issues that could lead to additional rate increases. Also keep in mind that Prudential, like other life insurance companies, will use a height versus weight chart that each applicant will be subjected to during the underwriting process.
It’s essential that the applicant be honest about their tobacco use since the underwriter is likely to order an insurance medical exam that includes a blood and urine test. Not revealing that you use smokeless tobacco could cause your application to be declined if your blood or urine test is positive for tobacco.
How Much Can You Save?
The chart below provides actual rates from Prudential for $250,000 insurance coverage using a 20-year term policy and assuming the applicant has no health issues.
|AGE||MALE NON-SMOKER||FEMALE NON-SMOKER|
Smokers who apply with Prudential for the same amount of coverage should expect to pay at least double the rates listed above. To get an accurate quote for your actual age, please call or visit our website.
Also good to note that Lincoln Financial will also offer you a standard non-smoker rating for chewing and dipping tobacco. Make sure that you check all rates before you make your decision.
It’s also important to remember that most insurers follow what is known as the “12-month rule”. What this means is that if you’ve used any type of tobacco product (including a nicotine patch or vaping) you will be listed as such and rated accordingly. So if you’ve recently quit smoking, don’t expect to get non-smoker rates. If you’ve recently quit using smokeless tobacco, don’t expect to get a non-smoker rate from every insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will chewing tobacco affect my life insurance rating and premiums?
There is a big difference between smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco (at least for insurance companies). Many companies will rate you at smoker rates whether you smoke cigarettes or cigars or chew, but some will rate you as a non-smoker if you only chew or dip.
How can I get affordable life insurance if I chew tobacco?
Here is when you take advantage of an experienced independent insurance agent who knows which carriers offer the best rates for applicants who use smokeless tobacco. Your independent agent will represent multiple insurance companies which typically includes one of the handfuls of companies that allow a non-smoker rate class for those applicants who chew or dip.
Can I get a non-smoker rate on my life insurance policy if I chew tobacco?
Smokers will pay at least twice the premium amount than what non-smokers pay for life insurance. It’s important to note, however, that only certain carriers will assign a non-smoker rate to someone who chews or dips tobacco. An experienced independent agent like Ogletree Financial Services can help you find those carriers.