The Cigar Insurance Myth

The cigar insurance myth. As a cigar smoker, you probably heard that story more than once. According to the legend, some smart-ass insured his cigars against fire. And after smoking, filed a claim that he lost the cigars due to a series of small fires. And that it backfired. But is it true?

The Origin

The story appeared in a newsgroup alt.smokers.cigars. Those newsgroups were the online chatrooms before social media was invented. In 1996, one of the cigar smokers in that group brought it up. But it wasn’t a new story. In the late 1960s, an identical story was published in a collection of amusing anecdotes. And that story was based on an even older joke, about an accountant who deduced cigarettes from his tax because they were lost by fire. 

Ministry of Cigars The cigar insurance myth
Jack Nickelson smoking a cigar (unrelated to the article but a cool picture)

Over the years, the myth remained largely the same. A cigar aficionado insured his cigars against fire. After smoking them he claimed them from the insurance company. The insurance company denied his request. The cigar aficionado went to court and won. But the insurance company hit back with an arson claim and won. The cigar aficionado was sentenced to jail and a fine. Details changes, but the moral of the story didn’t.

This story, that has been going around for fifty years, is an urban legend, but undeniably fake. There are no records that a case like this has ever been in court. And even if so, if the court sided with the cigar aficionado, then it would mean they rule it as ‘no fraud’. And that would automatically mean that the arson claim would be overruled. 

So next time you hear the cigar insurance myth in a cigar lounge, during a cigar gathering (herf) or anywhere else you know it’s an urban legend. There is no truth in this story. No matter what Brad Paisley sings, nothing like this ever happened.

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