If you’re shopping for life insurance and you smoke cigars only occasionally, there’s a good chance you can be classified as a “nonsmoker” and get better life insurance quotes than smokers. The key is in how frequently you smoke cigars and finding a life insurance company that provides non-tobacco rates for that number.

Life insurance companies typically charge much higher rates for smokers. An EverQuote analysis found an average increase of 234% for term life insurance quotes for 30-year-olds who smoke more than one cigar a month vs. nonsmokers. (See methodology below.)

But there are often special exemptions for people who smoke only “celebratory cigars” or only smoke cigars occasionally.

How many cigars can you smoke and get non-smoking rates?

EverQuote analyzed the rules for cigar smoking from several major life insurance and found a wide range of definitions of “occasional use.” They ranged from once a week to up to four a year to get the best non-tobacco rates. Common limits were 12 or 24 cigars a year for a nonsmoking rate.

We found there were often catches to getting those better rates. Rules also often include:

  • A urine test from a life insurance medical exam must be negative for nicotine.
  • You must admit cigar use on the application -- not later.
  • Other medical information information confirms only occasional use.
  • You do not use other tobacco products.

How to get the best life insurance rates if you smoke cigars

Because the definition of “occasional” cigar use varies so much among life insurance companies, it’s especially important to get quotes from multiple insurers. An independent life insurance agent can shop the market for you and find companies that can provide non-tobacco rates for your amount of “occasional” cigar smoking.

Methodology: We averaged the three cheapest term life insurance quotes we found for nonsmokers and those who smoke more than one cigar a month. We used quotes for term life insurance for 30-year-old men and women in very good health. We averaged the increases for cigar smoking for 20-year term life policy amounts of $500,000, $1 million and $2 million. Increases will vary based on age, policy amount and policy length.