Does quitting smoking for vaping affect life insurance premiums?

5 minutes

As the number of smokers in the UK drops and the number of people vaping grows, we’ve asked a member of the LV= Life Insurance team, whether e-cigarettes are better for your health – and if vaping rather than smoking could affect your life insurance premiums.

How could vaping affect your life insurance premiums?

Could quitting smoking for vaping affect your life insurance premiums

At the moment, LV= still applies normal ‘smoker rates’ for customers who vape.

‘A very small percentage of vapers fall into the category of those who currently vape but who’ve never smoked,’ points out LV= protection product manager Claire Kelly.

Currently, an estimated 3.2 million people use e-cigarettes, which is up from 700,000 in 2012. The majority of people who vape are ex-smokers (1.7 million), while a high proportion of people using e-cigarettes also still smoke (1.4 million). The small minority use e-cigarettes but have never vaped.

Could the growth of e-cigarettes affect life insurance premiums in the future?

Although life insurance providers don’t see a difference between vaping and smoking at the moment, we may in the future.

‘As more research becomes available, we may decide to significantly reduce premiums for customers who quit smoking over a year and continue to vape,’ says Claire.

‘However, they would still likely pay a higher rate than someone who didn’t vape. We may require a carbon monoxide test to confirm they’re not still smoking cigarettes as well as vaping.’

A carbon monoxide test measures how much of the gas is in your body. During the test, people are asked to exhale into a tube, which is attached to a handheld monitor. The monitor will display how much carbon monoxide was in your breath, and hence in your system.

It is still better for your health to not vape or smoke, and your premiums will reflect this.

Do insurers keep tabs on the health implications of vaping and smoking?

‘This is something the industry is keeping a close eye on,’ says Claire. ‘If vaping can improve the health of customers who smoke, then this is definitely something we want to encourage.’

How does smoking affect life insurance premiums?

Smoking is considered a risk factor for protection policies as smokers have a higher risk of life-threatening diseases than non-smokers.

They also have a higher risk of illness and therefore a higher risk of being unable to work, which is important when considering critical illness cover and income protection.

Smoking could increase your premiums, or your application for insurance could be rejected if you have a health condition and you smoke.