In prior years, insurance companies built some flexibility into their non-smoker and smoker categories. The term “smoker” used to denote those persons who smoked cigarettes only. This meant, in some cases, a cigar smoker or tobacco chewer could qualify for a non-smoker rate. Most carriers have moved away from this thinking and categorize any tobacco user as a smoker.
Other Tobacco Users & Non Smokers
There are a couple of companies who still offer Preferred non-smoker rates to those “alternate” users. Prudential is especially strong in this area. When you get a quote, be sure to use the Health Analyzer and put in your tobacco preference. Prudential is usually comes out significantly less than everyone else.
If you quit smoking cigarettes more than a year ago, you can qualify as a Preferred non-smoker with some companies. If you currently own a policy that was bought when you smoked cigarettes, be sure to get a new quote. Chances are it will be less expensive.
A note of caution:
Many companies are becoming particularly aggressive in their mortality assumptions for their non-tobacco non-nicotine rate classes.
Any misrepresentation of the tobacco/nicotine use question on the application can trigger a strong response from any of the companies. This can include an attempt to rescind the policy or, if a claim is made within the contestable period, declination of benefits. Occasional cigar smokers need to be aware of this.