Life insurance provides financial protection for your loved ones if you pass away within the policy term. The lump sum of money could help maintain your family’s standard of living and provide some relief after your death. The cost of life insurance is calculated by evaluating the likelihood of a pay-out. As we grow older, this likelihood increases and in turn, life insurance premiums increase also. Cigarette smokers have significantly higher life insurance premiums than non-smokers because the habit is known to increase the chance of death. By this logic, vapers should receive improved insurance rates as it is approximately 95% safer than smoking, according to Public Health England in 2018. However, this isn’t always the case. Life Insurance, Smoking and Vaping If you have smoked in the past or used nicotine replacements within the last year, including e-cigarettes, nicotine mints, gum, patches, and vapes, you will likely be categorised as a smoker. As a result, life insurance for vapers is likely to have the same premiums as that of cigarette smokers. This is because, despite scientific data suggesting vapes and e-cigarettes have less than a 1% chance of causing cancer (Public Health England 2018), the world of insurance is yet to acknowledge the key differences between cigarettes and vapes. Insurance Application Process During the insurance application process, there will be questions surrounding your smoking habits; you may even be asked to have a cotinine test or undergo medical screening to establish whether you smoke or vape. Therefore, it is paramount you answer these questions honestly. If you are untruthful, and this is proven by the insurer, you could be declined cover and labelled as committing insurance fraud. In the case of your death, the insurance company has the right to request medical records and could evoke the contestability clause to establish if the cause of death was due to smoking habits. If you were untruthful about your smoking habits (or you started smoking/vaping after taking out the policy and died within two years), your policy could be invalidated, leaving your loved ones financially vulnerable. The ‘Non-Smoker’ Label Previously, insurance companies would classify you as a smoker no matter what type of substance you consumed, whether cigarettes or vapes. However, progress has been made in recent years within the insurance world, and some organisations now classify individuals as ‘non-smokers’ if they use nicotine-free e-liquids. Therefore, it is always worth mentioning the type of vape you consume during your application process. If you have an existing life insurance policy in which you are noted as a cigarette smoker, it is worth explaining your transition to vaping as they may reduce your monthly premium to provide more cost-effective life insurance for vapers. It may even be cheaper to cancel your current policy and take out new cover as a vaper, especially if you have switched to nicotine-free e-liquids. If you have recently stopped smoking, it is imperative to mention this transition during the application process. Most insurance companies require an individual to abstain from smoking for at least twelve months before being labelled as a ‘non-smoker’, although this timeframe varies between insurance companies. With that said, the insurer should still be informed of your switch prior to the twelve months as they may still reduce your premium. Compare Quotes It’s essential to compare quotes from multiple insurance providers as they will have different classifications of a smoker, meaning their prices will differ significantly. The vaping community currently equates to approximately 2.7 million adult vapers in England alone and is continuing to expand. As a result, more contemporary organisations are adjusting their classifications of smokers and providing significant discounts of premiums for vapers, especially those that use nicotine-free e-liquids. Life insurance can last for approximately forty years. Therefore, spending time discovering the cheapest and most effective insurance policy could equate to significant savings over the long term. We recommend using an FCA regulated life insurance broker to compare a range of insurance policies. The broker will also assist during the application process and match their client with an insurance company that suits their needs. Life Insurance for Vapers – Summary The details above should help secure cost-effective and suitable life insurance for vapers. Remember to be transparent about your habits during the application process; always compare quotes from a range of insurers; ask questions around the classification of nicotine-free e-liquids, and if your smoking status changes, contact your policyholder to review your premiums or consider switching insurer.