The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our .
Vaping nicotine has become an increasingly popular habit among adults. According to recent research, there are currently over 8.1 million American adults who use electronic cigarettes, more commonly known as vapes. But while vaping is common among adults in the U.S., it can have a direct impact on life insurance premiums, and may even lead to denials of coverage. Life insurance quotes are largely based on your age, overall health, habits and lifestyle choices, and that includes nicotine use in any form. In fact, nicotine use is one of the biggest red flags that life insurance companies look for on your application.
Vaping can be detrimental to your health and many insurance companies are wary of insuring vapers due to the harmful physical effects of nicotine and the complications that can arise. If you are a vaper, you may want to know how vaping affects life insurance premiums, how it affects your health and how to get affordable life insurance for vape smokers.
How vaping impacts life insurance rates
Vape users should know the potential consequences of how vaping can affect life insurance rates before applying for a policy. One of the main impacts of vaping is that a life insurance company is likely to charge a smoker significantly higher rates for a policy than a non-smoker. That means vapers who are healthy overall, with no pre-existing conditions or family history of illness, could still pay an extremely high premium because they vape.
So if you vape tobacco or marijuana, you may be categorized as a smoker by the life insurance company, even if you only do so on occasion. And, smoker rates can vary widely depending on the company’s policies and other factors. In general, the best way to determine smoker vs. non-smoker rates for your specific situation is to fill out an application for life insurance and be honest about your vaping or smoking habits. The life insurance company will then determine which rates apply to your situation.
Can you be denied life insurance for vaping?
In certain cases, yes, there is a chance that you may be denied a life insurance policy if you vape, but it will depend on the insurance company’s policies and other factors. In general, most insurance companies will put you in the high-risk category for life insurance if you vape nicotine products, which will likely result in increased premiums. However, most insurance companies will not deny you for vaping nicotine, but you might not get the most competitive rates because of it. And, not disclosing the fact that you vape could lead to the insurance company withholding your death benefit if you pass away.
How vaping impacts your health
Vaping has been called a health epidemic and it is not only young people who are picking up this unhealthy habit. As of February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2,807 hospitalizations and deaths due to lung injuries caused by e-cigarettes and vapes. The deceased individuals range in age from 15-75 years old.
Not only can vaping have a serious impact on your health, but those potential health complications can have a direct affect on your life insurance premium. Below are some of the biggest health risks tied to vaping and tobacco use.
Research has shown that vaping can lead to heart disease. According to one study, adults who used e-cigarettes were 56% more likely to have a heart attack than non-smokers, and also had an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease. Daily vapers had the highest instances of heart disease compared to occasional smokers.
Heart disease is one of the factors that life insurance companies consider when they underwrite policies. In part, this is because cardiovascular issues can shorten a person’s lifespan. The insurance company will often raise the applicant’s premium to compensate for a potential payout in the event of an early death.
When you think about the risks of smoking, cancer is one of the first things that comes to mind. Not only does vaping increase the risk of certain cancers because it contains tobacco, but also because of the chemicals found in some vaping oils. A 2019 study found a strong correlation between e-cigarette vapor and lung cancer in mice.
Insurance providers know that nicotine users are more likely to develop cancer, which will have an impact on a vape smoker life insurance premium. People who have cancer, or have a history of cancer, may also struggle to get approved for life insurance coverage due to their health risks.
Life insurance classifications
Most life insurance companies use a classification system, which is based on health, to price individual policies. The lower your rating is, the higher your premium will be. The full rating table is below with a description of each classification:
|Life insurance classification||Meaning|
|Preferred Plus||The Preferred Plus category is reserved for the healthiest individuals, with no pre-existing conditions or family history of illness.|
|Preferred||The Preferred category is for non-smokers who only have a few minor health issues.|
|Standard Plus||The Standard Plus category is for people who have several minor health issues, or are considered overweight.|
|Standard||The Standard category is used for people in average health, who suffer from several minor conditions, or have a family history of certain medical issues.|
|Preferred Smoker||The Preferred Smoker category is for people who actively smoke or recently quit smoking, but are otherwise in excellent health with little to no family history of illness.|
|Standard smoker||The Standard Smoker category is for active smokers who are considered to be in average health, and who may have a few minor conditions.|
|Table rating||People who are in poor health are often put into the high-risk category, which uses a table rating system to calculate their premium. People in this category pay the highest rates.|
As mentioned, vapers typically fall into the Preferred Smoker or Standard Smoker category, which can have a major impact on the cost of their life insurance. Additionally, people who vape and suffer from other health issues, like heart disease, will most likely find themselves in the table rating category, which comes with an even higher premium.
Life insurance for vapers
When you apply for life insurance, you may be tempted to hide your vaping habit in order to get a lower rate. However, being dishonest on your life insurance application could lead to other insurance-related issues. A physician will be able to detect nicotine in your system during a medical exam. Additionally, if your insurance company finds out that you vape and did not include that information on your application, they have the right to withhold your death benefit if you pass away.
Because there is so little information about the long-term effects of vaping, many life insurance companies put non-tobacco and tobacco smokers in the same category, which leads to higher rates. However, there are ways to save money on your life insurance policy, including:
- Quit smoking: If you stop vaping, you may eventually be removed from the smoker category and can get a cheaper rate. Typically, life insurance companies will consider you a non-smoker after you have stopped smoking for 12 months.
- Improve your overall health: If you are in the high-risk category and you currently vape, consider working on improving your overall health to move into a better category. That may mean working with your doctor to manage existing conditions, taking medications that are prescribed, losing weight if you have a high BMI and so forth.
- Switch carriers: If you think you are paying too much for life insurance, you could consider switching to another provider. You might also consider finding an insurance company that assigns different rates to tobacco smokers and non-tobacco smokers.
Frequently asked questions
The best life insurance for vapers is different for everyone. Every life insurance company prices its policies differently and classifies vapers in a unique way. Some of the best life insurance companies, regardless of health or lifestyle, have strong customer satisfaction ratings and financial strength.
Yes, it is important to disclose vaping and any other health conditions on your life insurance application. Insurance companies will usually assess your health through a comprehensive medical exam, which is used in part to validate the information you provide on the application. Lying on your life insurance application comes with consequences and you may also be denied coverage.
Yes, if you do not think you would be able to pass a traditional medical exam, you could opt for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Guaranteed issue policies do not have a medical exam. Instead, they may have a health questionnaire, making it possible for almost anyone to obtain coverage, regardless of their health. It may be worth keeping in mind that guaranteed issue policies are typically very expensive and offer limited coverage.
As a general rule of thumb, insurance experts recommend that you purchase enough life insurance to financially support your family without your income. An easy way to determine your life insurance needs is to use an online coverage calculator.