How do smoking and vaping affect life insurance?

It’s no surprise that insurance providers view smokers as high-risk. Our clear guide will explain the difference between smoking and vaping when it comes to life insurance. 

Kamran Altaf From the Life team
minute read

How much difference does it make to your life insurance if you smoke?

Regardless of your age or whether you’ve been a long-term smoker, being classed as a smoker will make a big difference to your premium. It’s estimated that for a 30 year-old, premiums will be around a third higher, while for a 50 year-old it could be up to double the cost of the same aged non-smokers.

How much difference does it make to your life insurance if you smoke?

What if I don’t tell an insurance provider that I smoke?

Not informing your insurance provider that you smoke is classed as ‘material misrepresentation.’ If you were to die and it was found that you were a smoker, the insurance provider may well refuse to pay out on a life insurance claim. In that situation, your best case scenario would be that an insurer would pay a smaller amount; but there’s a very real risk that your beneficiaries will be completely turned down for a claim.

Is vaping any better?

From an insurance point of view, not really. You could still invalidate your policy if you tick the ‘non-smoker’ box on your life insurance policy and it turns out you’ve been vaping. Off the back of a 2015 report by Public Health England, which suggested e-cigarette smoking was 95% less harmful than the traditional use of tobacco, there have been less positive reports – including that e-cigarettes could contribute to an increased risk of long-term ailments including cancer and heart disease.

In the eyes of an insurance provider, nicotine is nicotine and it really doesn’t matter where it comes from, it’s still bad for you. That said, not all insurance providers take a dim view of vapers (a vape liquid which contains no nicotine may be different, for example) so whether you already have a policy or are looking for one - check the terms of each individual quote with care. For most life insurance providers to consider you a true ‘non-smoker’, you need to be nicotine free for at least 12 months.

Is vaping any better?

Where can I get a quote for life insurance?

Life insurance isn’t a one size fits all and there are different types to consider – whether you’re a smoker or not. So, you should be able to find a policy that suits your lifestyle and meets the needs of you and your loved ones.
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