Life insurance for vapers

Vaping won’t prevent you from getting life insurance, but you’ll be evaluated like a smoker by insurers. Vapers pay two to three times more for coverage than non-smokers.

Amanda Shih author photoPat Hanzel

By

Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

&Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

Updated|3 min read

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Many smokers switch to electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) as an alternative to smoking tobacco. However, since there isn’t much research on vaping and its long-term health effects, most major life insurance companies consider vape users riskier to insure than non-users.

Insurers generally treat vaping the same as smoking when determining how much you’ll pay for a policy. E-cigarette users can still buy life insurance, but they’ll pay two to three times more for coverage than their non-smoking peers regardless of the substance. 

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How vaping affects your life insurance premiums

When you apply for life insurance, the insurance company will use the underwriting process to determine the risk of insuring you and set your premiums. The healthier you are and the less complicated your family medical history, the lower your premiums will be.

Most insurers classify e-cig use as tobacco use because vape juice often contains nicotine, which providers test for during the medical exam. Tobacco users receive a separate health classification after underwriting, which translates into a costlier policy.

Below are monthly premiums for non-smokers vs. smokers buying the same term life insurance policy.

Age

Sex

Non-smoker

Smoker

25

Female

$21.10

$57.24

Male

$26.97

$72.27

35

Female

$25.53

$76.96

Male

$30.32

$92.53

45

Female

$47.94

$162.66

Male

$60.80

$223.36

55

Female

$109.12

$362.38

Male

$151.65

$518.83

Methodology: Rates are calculated for male and female smokers and non-smokers in a Preferred or Preferred Tobacco health classification, obtaining a 20-year, $500,000 term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, and Transamerica and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 9/08/2022.

If you vape marijuana, you may not qualify for the lowest smoker rates with some insurers. A Policygenius agent can help you compare quotes to find the right policy for your vaping history.

→ See the best life insurance companies for smokers

Why is vaping treated like smoking by life insurers?

In addition to the nicotine use associated with vaping, there’s less data available on the health impacts of vaping than the effects of cigarette use. [1] The industry is also much less regulated than tobacco sales. 

"Life insurance companies are very risk-averse. If there is a particular area in the medical field with a lot of uncertainty, most will err on the side of caution,” says Patrick Hanzel, certified financial planner and advanced planning team lead at Policygenius.

There can be harmful chemicals in your vape device that might have negative side effects on your health — the metal used in the coil or the chemicals in the juice, for example. If your vape or its modifications were made in a place with less quality control, you could inhale harmful substances. [2]

If you want to avoid being classified as a smoker and keep your premiums low, you need to quit vaping long before you apply for life insurance. Insurers want you to be completely tobacco- and vape-free for a set period — usually 12 months but sometimes up to five years — before they’ll offer you non-smoker rates.

quote

Life insurance companies are very risk-averse. So when it comes to vaping and other areas of uncertainty, they'll err on the side of caution.

- Patrick Hanzel, certified financial planner and advanced planning team lead at Policygenius

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Be honest about your vaping history

Tell the whole truth about your electronic cigarette use. Any substance you vape will show up during your medical exam or in your health history. 

If you misrepresent your e-cig use and die during the policy’s contestability period, your insurance company can refuse to pay the death benefit to your beneficiaries, leaving them without financial protection. Most policies also allow insurers to deny the death benefit due to misrepresentations even if you die after the contestability period ends.

If the life insurance company does choose to pay out, it may reduce the death benefit payout by the amount you would’ve paid in premiums had you disclosed your vaping habit. The penalties for lying apply regardless of the cause of death.

While you’ll probably pay more for life insurance if you vape, you’ll still be able to get the financial protection you need. Whether you plan to quit or not, an independent insurance broker like Policygenius can help you find the right coverage.

Frequently asked questions

Does vaping affect life insurance?

Yes. Most life insurance providers treat e-cigarette users like smokers, so you’ll pay two to three times more than non-smokers unless you quit vaping for at least 12 months or more.

What happens if you lie about vaping on your life insurance application?

If your medical exam doesn’t reveal vape use and you withhold the information, your life insurance company can cancel your policy or deny the death benefit to your beneficiaries.

Can you be denied life insurance for vaping?

It’s unlikely you’ll be denied life insurance for vaping. In very rare cases, a few insurers decline applicants who vape marijuana.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. Harvard Medical School

    . "

    Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know

    ." Accessed February 10, 2022.

  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    . "

    The facts on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults

    ." Accessed February 10, 2022.

Authors

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™ & Advanced Planning Team Lead

gray linkedin icon link

Patrick Hanzel, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Advanced Planning Team Lead at Policygenius. His expertise has been featured at Lifehacker, Consumer Affairs, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, and Fatherly.

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