If you're a smoker who is looking to purchase a life insurance policy, you've probably learned that insurance companies are going to charge you higher premiums than if you were someone who didn't smoke. What if you are one of the millions of former smokers who has made the switch to vaping? While you may believe that you've made the right choice for your health, and your wallet, the distinction may not be as clear to a life insurance company. Here are five things that you need to know about e-cigarettes if you're planning to purchase a life insurance policy.
1. E-Cigarettes Remain Unregulated When a life insurance company considers e-cigarettes, their risk classification has a lot to do with the lack of regulation of the devices. While there have been some new rules about who can purchase an e-cigarette, not much else has been determined to date. The FDA is still considering whether or not they are going to expand their tobacco authority over e-cigarettes, which would include additional funding for testing.
2. Safety of E-Cigarettes Remains in Question Electronic cigarettes have been around since 2007, which isn't very long. In fact, these devices don't have an extended track record as either an effective smoking cessation device or a more healthy alternative to conventional cigarettes. In its quest to regulate e-cigarettes, the FDA wants to look at such things as the liquid nicotine juices that could contain toxic chemicals like diethylene glycol and some reports of battery-related burns.
3. Most Insurance Companies Won't Differentiate A common question on a life insurance policy application is, "Do you use tobacco products?" While the user of an e-cigarette might truthfully answer "no" to this question, their medical exam will likely show a positive test for nicotine, and this is where the problem lies. In fact, most insurance companies today don't differentiate between smoking cigarettes and using e-cigarettes. A recent Reuters study is backup for this assertion, as it revealed that at least 75 percent of e-cigarette users were continuing to smoke tobacco products.
4. There May be Exceptions to the Rule If you are an e-cigarette smoker who has ditched the tobacco products for good, there may be some relief if you want to purchase a life insurance policy. Provided you haven't smoked conventional cigarettes in the past 12 months, there are some insurers who will quote a non-smoker rate to an e-cigarette user.
5. Life Insurance Policy Options if You Quit Smoking It's never a good idea to lie about your tobacco or e-cigarette use when you apply for a life insurance policy. A medical test will reveal the presence of nicotine, and an examination of your past medical records can show that you've smoked in the past. This doesn't mean, however, that you can't get lower rates.
If you're a cigarette smoker or are unable to secure a non-smoker rate with your preferred insurance company, you might be able to ask for lower rates in the future. If you quit smoking, it might be a good idea to request a policy review after 12 months which could give you lower premiums. You can also shop for a new policy that will provide you with lower rates. To find out what your life insurance policy premium would be today, use our easy term life calculator here.