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American Cancer Society

Q&A: Can cigar smokers get life insurance?

Q:  I was going to tell my husband to stop smoking his occasional cigars, because he needed to qualify for life insurance. Then I found out that some insurers allow for 'celebratory cigars.' Which life insurers will give you a good rate if you're not a regular smoker, but from time-to-time light up a Cohiba to celebrate? —Kathleen B., Arlington, Va.A:  Three-quarters of all cigar aficionados are only occasional smokers. Most life insurance companies define that as one per month, though a couple of carriers have liberalized their rules to allow up to four per month, and under those terms they rate your risk of death for insurance purposes as "non-tobacco user."To find the lowest rate, " shop the carriers that are cool about celebratory cigars and find the ones with the best rates," says Byron Udell, founder and CEO of Accuquote.com, an independent insurance brokerage that shops for the best premiums and terms from among dozens of A-rated major life insurers in all 50 states."We have sof...

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