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Life insurance and vaping

Does vaping affect life insurance?

published: 03 January 2023
Read time: 5 minutes

It’s a commonly known fact that smoking will influence the cost of your life insurance – but will vaping also be taken into account? Our guide explains how providers view vaping when applying for life insurance.

There has been a rise in people using e-cigarettes, or vapes, as a habit or to help quit smoking. While many have recognised the benefits of swapping tobacco for e-liquids, the technology’s relative infancy means health professionals still can’t be entirely sure about vaping’s long-term impact.

Smokers have long since paid more for life insurance, but with e-cigarette use on the increase, you might be wondering how your premiums will be affected when applying for life insurance vaping.

Does vaping affect your life insurance premiums?

Almost all life insurance providers will charge you more if you’ve vaped or used any form of e-cigarette in the 12 months prior to taking out cover. In some cases, you may have to pay twice as much in premiums to get cover.

Young man looking at a phone walking down the street

Is life insurance cheaper for vapers than for smokers?

In most cases, you’ll pay more for cover whether you’re a smoker or a vaper compared to someone who hasn’t used it either. Insurers deem people who smoke or vape to be a higher risk as the impact on health is either negative or unknown. At the moment, there isn’t any discount for people who’ve quit cigarettes for their electronic counterparts.

If vaping helps me quit smoking, why don’t insurers reward this?

It’s likely due to the lack of concrete evidence about the long-term effects of vaping that insurers don’t currently offer discounts for people who’ve used e-cigarettes to quit smoking. However, this may change in the future, depending on research.

Do insurers follow research about vaping and its health implications?

As you’d expect, many insurance companies and their affiliates have researchers to analyse the risk of certain activities, and as smoking and vaping are still common habits, these are likely to be monitored.

If I vape but don’t use nicotine, will it affect my life insurance premiums?

This will depend on your insurance provider, but some insurers only ask whether you’ve used nicotine products – so cigarettes or nicotine e-liquids. For these insurers, you won’t need to declare vaping if you haven’t used nicotine in the last year – however, this isn’t always the case, so be sure to read all questions carefully when getting a quote.

What if I use other nicotine products, like patches or gum?

As with vaping and e-cigarettes, for many insurers, it’s the nicotine that matters – so if you’ve used any nicotine products in the last year, you’ll need to declare it. As a result, you’re likely to pay more in premiums.

Do I have to tell my insurer that I vape or smoke?

When you run a quote for life insurance, you should always be completely honest in all your answers – including your smoking or vaping habits. While admitting you smoke or vape regularly will see your premiums increase, the alternative is to lie and risk your policy being invalidated – which could leave your dependants without any pay-out if you pass away.

How will my insurer know if I smoke or vape?

There are policy types that offer life insurance without a medical – however many types of life insurance will and if you’re found to be lying about your nicotine intake, you’ll likely be refused cover.

Even if you don’t need to go for a checkup, if you don’t tell your insurer you smoke and you die as a result of an illness that ‘could’ be related to smoking or vaping, your policy might not pay the full amount – if anything at all.

What if I start smoking or vaping after taking out life insurance?

If you take out life insurance when you aren’t a nicotine user, and then pick up smoking or vaping during your policy term, you must inform your insurer. If you start smoking or vaping and don’t let your insurer know, they may refuse to pay out on your policy if you pass away.

What if I stop smoking or vaping after I take out life insurance?

If you stop smoking or vaping after you take out life insurance, you might be eligible for lower premiums. Depending on your insurer, you will need proof that you haven’t used any nicotine products in the past 12 months. The reason for this is that the addiction to nicotine, even in gum, can mean the habit isn’t kicked completely – making you at a higher risk of restarting. However, if your vape is nicotine-free, you might be able to get lower premiums from your insurer.

Some insurers might not reduce your premium prices until five years after you stop smoking or vaping – it is best to check with your insurer and keep them up to date with any health and lifestyle changes you have.

What information about my habits will I need to share?

For many, you might not want to disclose intimate details about your smoking or vaping habits. However, to calculate the correct premiums for you and to ensure your pay-out, your insurer might want to know:

  • How you intake nicotine (smoking, vaping, gum, etc.)

  • How long you have smoked or vaped

  • The impact of this habit on your health, or any pre-existing smoke-related health issues

  • Your overall health, which could include a medical check for some insurers.

Compare life insurance

Comparing life insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket is a quick and easy way to find cover. Just tell us a bit about yourself, your lifestyle and the cover you need, and we’ll search the market for deals that will suit you.

You’ll be able to compare quotes by the overall cost of your policy and the cover you’ll get – and once you’ve found the one you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

As with all types of insurance, keep in mind the cheapest option won’t always be the best – you should try to get all the cover you need in place for the best price available to avoid being over- or under-insured.

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