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Getting Term Life Insurance as a Cigar Smoker

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

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Most people who enjoy cigars assume that, when it comes to term life insurance, they will automatically be given the much more expensive “Smokers’ Rates” as a result. However, this is not necessarily the case.

If you smoke cigars, and only cigars (no other forms of tobacco/nicotine), you are actually eligible for non-tobacco rates with some of the best life insurance providers.

Life Insurance for Cigar SmokersWe’ll go over the best companies for cigar smokers in a bit, but if you want to get started right away with comparing insurance rates, you can use the free quote tool right on this page. If you would like more information however about getting great insurance rates as a cigar smoker, keep reading.

The company you choose is the make or break decision for affordable coverage. Making the wrong choice could cost you hundreds of dollars every year.

Health Ratings

Term life insurance companies determine their rates for individuals based on a system of health ratings. Basically, applicants are put into categories based on their health and certain activities (like tobacco use), with better health ratings naturally dictating lower insurance costs.

For non-smokers, there are four general health ratings: Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus (or Regular Plus), and Standard (or Regular). While many insurance providers will automatically put you in their smoker health ratings (which are more akin to Standard) because of cigar use, there are some that will not.

Best Companies for Cigar Smokers

Obviously, choosing is the right company is the biggest decision you have to make when purchasing life insurance. Let us help you with this.

Here are the companies that are best for cigar smokers:

American General

If you, on average, enjoy less than a single cigar every week, American General will consider placing you in a health rating as high as Preferred Plus. Aside from limited weekly cigar smoking, the other condition is that you must not have smoked anything other than cigars for at least the past five years.

When it comes to cigar smokers, it’s hard to beat American General. There are several demographics which should stay away from American General (those with diabetes), but if you smoke less than 1 cigar a week, you’ll be able to snag the best rates from American General.

Banner Life

Banner Life will also consider cigar smokers for Preferred Plus rates, but only on the condition that you smoke an average of one cigar or less each month, in addition to not having smoked any cigarettes for at least the past three years.

If it has not been three years but has at least been two years since you last smoked a cigarette (and you still smoke no more than one cigar per month), you can qualify for Banner Life’s Preferred non-smoker’s rates.

That said, if you have gone without cigarettes for at least 12 months, you could qualify for their Standard Plus or Standard nonsmoker rates.


Rather than going by a strictly monthly basis, Genworth will consider you for their Preferred Plus nonsmoker rates if your average cigar use is less than 12 per year.

Genworth sells several kinds of life insurance plans. Evyerhint from your standard term plans to a universal policy. If you’re looking for options for affordable coverage, Genworth is the place to go.

ING Reliastar (now named Voya Financial)

Like American general, ING Reliastar  (Voya Financial) will consider you for their Preferred Plus rates if you only smoke an average of no more than one cigar per week.

While they may have changed their name, they still continue to sell quality insurance coverage to applicants who smoke cigars.


With MetLife, you are eligible for their nonsmoker rates if your average cigar use is less than four per year. So, they are a bit stricter than others, but if you are only an occasional cigar smoker, MetLife could be the right choice for you.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha’s term life insurance for cigar smokers includes occasional cigar enthusiasts who only smoke no more than one cigar every month. If this is the case, they will consider you for Preferred Plus rates.

Mutual of Omaha is the most recognized carrier on our list for cigar smokers. They’ve put a lot of money into advertising and sponsoring various events. If you want a company you know, they are probably the best choice.

Protective Life

If your cigar use is fewer than six cigars annually, you are eligible for Protective Life’s Preferred Plus nonsmoker rates. That said, you can still qualify for their Preferred rates if your use is no more than 12 cigars a year.

Protective sells everything from your standard term plans to their Customer Choice UL. They have a host of different choices.


The good news about Prudential is that it is definitely among the most lenient with cigar smokers. With them, it actually doesn’t matter how many cigars you smoke on average every year. In fact, you could even use things like chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum, or the patch and still be eligible for nonsmoker rates.

Basically, Prudential reserves its smokers’ rates for those who actually smoke cigarettes.

Choosing a Company – What to Look For

There are plenty of good companies for applicants who smoke cigars, but not all of them are the same. There are some checkboxes you should look for when deciding on a company.

One of them is a stable history and a record of paying claims quickly. Of course, you don’t want to fall for a scam, but beyond that, you want a company which will pay your family the money they deserve quickly.

Don’t buy before you look at their customer service ratings. If you and your family are going to be dealing with a company, you want well-trained customer service representatives.

If you do a simple Google search, you’ll see plenty of results about customer reviews on every company out there.

Lastly, you want to ensure the company you picked is the cheapest choice. With so many options, it’s easier just to pick one and go with it.

You’ll be tempted just to go with your friend or cousin who sells coverage, but don’t make this mistake.

Every person has different wants and needs when to life insurance. We don’t give blanket advice, but we do tell all of our customers to compare before they buy.

Just by getting a couple of quotes before you choose, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars every year, which is going to equal thousands of dollars throughout the life of the insurance plan. It sounds like a good investment to me.

If you’re still a little unsure of which company may be the best one for you, feel free to give us a call at 800-712-8519.

At we work with 30 of the top insurance companies, and so we are well equipped to find the best one for you.

Picture of Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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