Our title is a truism for any avid tobacco chewer, who knows intimately the difference between dip and a cigarette. While there are dangers associated with chewing tobacco including mouth cancer and potential dental problems, there is no comparison to the dangers of smoking. And for the daily tobacco chewer, and now a hand full of more progressive life insurance companies the differences are playing out in policy.
Just as the quality of the tobacco is incomparable, so too are the relative dangers of chewing tobacco and smoking.
Aside from the difference in the quality of the product is the fundamental difference of not engaging with a burned carcinogen. For these reasons, if you are paying the same rates as a smoker you are massively overpaying your life insurance.
And when we say massively, we are talking in five digits over the course of your life.
Luckily, if you’re a chewing tobacco user, that doesn’t mean that your life insurance premiums have to break your bank every month. If you want to get the best coverage possible, we can help.
If you are just beginning your search for a life insurance policy, and are looking at various options as a tobacco chewer, then this is a great place to start. In this brief but we hope enlightening post, we’ll walk you through the options, warn you of the pitfalls and the companies to avoid, and give a sense of what you should be paying for your life insurance.
While the majority of insurance providers put people who chew tobacco into the same category as those who smoke, a handful of more progressive firms like Prudential are leading the way for vastly less dangerous habits to be treated as such when it comes to writing a life insurance policy. So while some companies charge so-called tobacco rates, often 2 to 4 times higher than non-tobacco rates, the Prudentials of the world do not.
Bottom line is if you chew tobacco and don’t want to be fleeced on your life insurance policy you should only consider signing on to a policy that puts you in a non-tobacco category. And the best way to compare prices from only those firms is by working with an independent agency that knows who to solicit quotes from and can provide you the widest number of options, and ultimately the very best rates.
Can I Keep My Tobacco Use A Secret?
As nice as it would be to figure out a way to trick a life insurance company, the chances are very slim that you’ll be able to pull it off.
Even if you said you weren’t a tobacco user, the blood test portion of the exam will detect any nicotine that is in your system, which effectively ends any opportunity to slip by and get a non-tobacco rate.
How Much Will My Policy Cost
To give you a concrete idea of the differences, we are going to run through some cost comparisons.
In the case of a typical 20-year term life policy providing $500,000 of coverage for a healthy 45-year-old male note the difference in the premiums between companies that impose Tobacco Smoker and Non-Tobacco Smoker rates:
Here is an example of the difference in rate for a $500,000 20-year term policy for a healthy 45-year-old male:
The 45-year-old male who chews tobacco and gets a non-smoker rate will pay $101 a month:
If the same 45 year old goes with the wrong insurance provider imposing a smoker rate, he would pay $295 per month!
Now let’s do the math over the course of that 20 year term policy. The premium differential is a whopping $2,328 annually which at the life of the policy will come a total of $46,560. Now think about what you might consider doing with nearly $50,000 extra. A yacht perhaps?
This quick case underscores how critical it can be for people, particularly those in specific categories to only source their insurance policies from aligned companies through experienced independent brokers.
Because each company has different criteria, you could receive drastically different rates based one which company that you choose. Picking the right company could be the different between getting declined for coverage versus getting an affordable life insurance policy.
Getting Affordable Life Insurance Coverage
Being honest, it is unlikely you’ll find true affordable coverage while using any type of tobacco. But we do suggest stopping as a soon as you can. After a year, the life insurance carrier will allow you to re-do the medical exam and if you’ve quit for 12 consecutive months you can have the tobacco up-charge removed.
However, through our experience we do know of several tips that will help lower your rate that include switching companies.
A medical exam will happen after you have submitted the application to the carriers home office. During the exam they’ll take your blood pressure and ask you questions about your life habits, and health history.
Since you now know this is coming, it’s best to start now on exercising a little more, and eating healthier. If you know you’ll be applying in the next several months any jumpstart you can get on lowering those numbers will be beneficial in getting a preferred-tobacco rating.
Our other tip is to get a quote from more than one carrier. Like we talked about before, there is a rise in carriers who treat people who chew tobacco differently than in the past. But there are others besides Prudential who are on this progressive track.
To get the ball rolling, just fill out the form on the right or call us toll free at 1-888-552-6159. Your family and your bank account will thank you.
Best Life Quote represents over 30 of the nation’s best rated life insurance companies. Within that stable of partners we can hand-select only those firms, and there are a few of them, that will insure all you tobacco dip enthusiasts out there, without the smoker stigma and exorbitant rates. If you would like to read some of our reviews such as our Globe term life insurance review.