Listen up vapers, what I’m about to tell you will affect how you buy life insurance.
Even if you don’t smoke cigarettes, vaping and e-cigarettes could increase your life insurance rates IF you apply with the wrong company.
You see, even the top life insurance companies look at your vaping use differently — and that can add up to spending thousands of dollars more than you need to.
…How do we know this?
How Vaping Affects Your Life Insurance
When it comes to insurance companies, even though there are supposedly less adverse health effects with vaping (compared to regular smoking) — life insurance companies often consider the two indistinguishable when it comes to risk.
And just like we mentioned in ‘How to Find Affordable Life Insurance for Smokers’, your premiums will be much higher than non-smokers.
In fact, it can add up two to five times higher!
What does this mean exactly? Let’s look at the risk factors that life insurance companies consider and some of the possible harmful effects of vaping.
How Vaping Can Affect Your Health
One of the biggest health issues for life insurance companies is nicotine and the risks that come with it.
As a result, most insurers will go as far as classify anything with nicotine content (even patches and gums) as a tobacco product and slap users with higher premiums.
Another is that since vaping is a fairly new thing, the science on the health effects is very inconclusive.
Just like with regular cigarettes, it may take a few decades to determine what diseases and long-term effects, if any, are caused by vaping.
Here are some of the harmful effects that may occur from vaping:
1. Greater Risk of Seizures
Did you know that nicotine poisoning has been associated with an increased risk of seizures? While there’s no direct evidence that vaping causes seizures, the various cases noted by the FDA could not determine whether a particular brand or type of e-cigarette was implicated. However, what is known is that one of the e-liquid pods (around 0.7 mL) advertised and sold by the ultra-popular Juul, contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
2. Nicotine is Bad For Your Heart
Nicotine has also been linked with increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and narrowing of arteries which can limit blood flow and cause heart attacks and strokes.
3. E-cigarette Vapor May Irritate Your Lungs
The harm caused by tobacco smoking comes mainly from the burning of the cigarette and the smoke is bad for the cells in your lungs. Breathing vapor, on the other hand, while thought to be much less harmful, can still cause wheezing which can be a sign of emphysema, heart failure, cancer, and chronic lung disease.
Apart from individual health effects, term life insurance companies also look at the long-term healthcare costs which might be attributed to vaping.
Impact on the Health System
Chronic illnesses are on the rise in the U.S. The associated costs, as well as the nature of tobacco-related illnesses appearing years after a person has stopped smoking, is especially worrying for insurers. A detailed look at the U.S. healthcare system by Maryville University shows how chronic illnesses are expected to affect an estimated 164 million Americans by 2025.
As a result, insurance companies take into account the potential costs associated with the possible harmful effects of vaping, and most will consider vapers in the same category as smokers.
What’s a Vaper to Do Then?
Even if you’re a regular vaper some companies may qualify you for non-smoker rates. We explained in the ‘Top 18 Factors That Affect Life Insurance Premiums’ how you may qualify for non-smoker rates with a few companies.
Sample Life Insurance Quotes for Vapers
A 40-year-old male who vapes is in good health and has not smoked regular cigarettes for more than 12 months on a 20-year term with Prudential.
|Standard Plus (Vaping)||$45.90||$84.15||$122.40|
As you can see the savings for vapers are substantial!
Who is the Best Company for Vaping?
Prudential appears to take a more liberal stance on vapers (and medical marijuana users too!). In fact, Prudential allows someone who vapes infrequently to be rated as a non-smoker.
Their 20-year term rates for e-cigarette users are almost the same as non-smokers, with a $1 million policy for a 30-year-old costing just under $77 per month, which is about the same as a standard non-smoker would pay.
How Do You Get the Best Rates?
While we mentioned that many life insurers will classify you as a tobacco user no matter what nicotine products you use.
That means if you’re a cigarette smoker, use chewing tobacco or smoke cigars — you’re going to be paying tobacco rates!
The truth is that even if you use nicotine, but don’t smoke cigarettes — you should be eligible for non-smoker rates!
Prudential offers Standard Plus rates which is possibly the best rating you’ll get as someone who vapes.
So, What’s the Catch, You Say?
When it comes to getting non-smoker rates, you are only eligible if you haven’t touched a cigarette in the past year, or 365 days.
Any other forms of smoking you have to disclose from the beginning as nicotine is routinely tested for during life insurance underwriting.
Just keep in mind that not disclosing a habit or illness to get better rates is considered insurance fraud!
While insurers will most commonly test urine and blood, where nicotine can be detected for up to three weeks and up to 10 days respectively. Other tests that can detect nicotine for longer periods are not so common.
Still, remember that nicotine can be detected for up to one year in your hair, and although these kinds of tests are rare, it’s always good to be prepared.
Now, just because you don’t smoke, doesn’t mean you’ll get the lowest rates. Among other considerations that insurers look at is if you’re in good health, you have a clean driving record and your family history doesn’t prevent you from getting top rates.
Here are some other tips to consider when shopping for the best rates:
1. Do your research well and understand what to expect before submitting your life insurance application. This is best done with an independent life insurance agent.
2. Declare right away to your examiner that you use an e-cigarette and do not lie either directly or by omission at any point.
3. If you’ve cut back on your vaping or even quit recently let your agent know right away.
4. Prepare for your urine or blood test and take it seriously.
…Getting non-smoker rates when you vape will save you a lot of money.
So, there you have it. Vaping doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay higher premiums you just need to pick the right insurer
Article solely written for lifeinsuranceblog.net by Charlene Davis
If you’re not sure where to begin, give us a call. Our agents provide a free, no-pressure, educational approach to life insurance. We’ll compare dozens of the top companies in minutes to show you your most affordable options.