It’s a quick story, but one worth repeating.
Recently I was underwriting a guy who was an occasional cigar smoker. Only he answered no to the smoking questions when I asked them. You know, questions like “Do you smoke? Have you ever? Cigars? Anything else?”
It’s not that us insurance agents are out to learn every detail of your existence, but we need to have honest answers to these questions in order to get you the best underwriting results possible. Answers like, “I tried it in college” are appropriate to share (and not just for smoking!) because it allows us to determine what you’ll need to disclose.
It’ll also help us in coaching you for the exam. Because if you’re an occasional cigar smoker we can still get you non smoker rates. BUT, we need to know about it so we can say things like, “WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T SMOKE A CIGAR THE WEEKEND BEFORE YOUR MONDAY MORNING EXAM!!”
My guess is I don’t need to explain to most why that might be a bad idea, but in case you’re still wondering…YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE NICOTINE SHOW UP IN YOUR LABS. It limits your options for carrier selection and may get you stuck with a smoker rating.
Plus, that result sticks with you for 12 months. Your results go to something called the Medical Information Bureau or MIB and anything that lands there is accessible to ALL of the insurance carriers. Which means that “I’ll just go to another carrier and say I don’t smoke” thought won’t really work. To get back to a non smoker rate you’ll have to be smoke free for 12 months (by most carriers standards) and go through underwriting again. So if we pretend that one cigar was indeed your first it’s going to be a) a very expensive cigar in terms of insurance premium and b) one that maybe should have been delayed another week.
All this said, we’ve got a few ideas on how to avoid this surprise nicotine in your blood because you smoked your very first cigar right before your life insurance exam problem. Nope, that wasn’t even close to a run on sentence…
1) Don’t ever smoke a cigar.
2) Definitely don’t attend any bachelor parties in the month before your life insurance exam.
3) Don’t hang out in cigar clubs.
4) By all means stay out of Vegas!!
5) Lock up any and all cigars within a 10 mile radius.
6) Just admit you smoke them from the start and find an insurance agent knowledgeable in underwriting cigar smokers (we’re one of them in case you were looking).
That last one is likely your best method. Message us for help. Before you smoke the cigar.