Smoking and Vaping: how can it impact your insurance?

New research conducted by Royal London has revealed that smokers can save up to £16,000  on life insurance premiums by quitting. According to the insurer, non-smokers could be  entitled to lower rate premiums if they have avoided tobacco, or nicotine replacement  products such as e-cigarettes, for at least a year. So, how much of an impact on your life  insurance can stopping smoking have? 

 According to new research, a smoker aged 50 would pay almost three times the amount that a non-smoker of the same age would pay every month for the same sum assured. Obviously, this is down to the health risks associated with smoking – and the savings made  by not smoking can be up to a total of £16,005 over a 25-year  term. 

 Chief underwriter at Royal  London, Craig Paterson, spoke  on No Smoking Day about the  savings that are there to be made  by quitting smoking: “there’s a  huge potential for savings on  premiums, and that’s on top of  not buying cigarettes as well as  the benefits to your health. While  the new year is a popular time  for many to give up smoking,  No Smoking Day is a perfect  opportunity for those who didn’t  quite manage to kick the habit.  Committing to making a positive  change to your health can also  lead to a positive change to  your wallet – and realising that  may help people stick to their  decisions.” 

Am I a smoker? 

With a long list of alternative  nicotine products available on  the market now, it can be hard  to tell whether you fall into  the ‘smoker’ category or not.  Most life insurance providers  do class vaping and the use  of e-cigarettes the same as  smoking. Although Public Health  England found vaping to be  95% less harmful than smoking  in 2015, there have been more  recent studies that suggest there  may be some longer-term health  issues that the use of e-cigarettes  could cause. 

 From an insurance provider’s  perspective, any nicotine  products are more often than  not considered to be within  the same bracket. There are  sometimes exceptions, and the  use of 0% nicotine e-cigarettes  can be viewed differently – but  as a general rule most insurance  providers will need you to be  nicotine free for a year before  being classed as a non-smoker.

 So, although the alternatives  to smoking do not come with  as many adverse effects, the  inclusion of nicotine is enough to  make you fall under the ‘smoker’  bracket in the eyes of an insurer.  Therefore, there really isn’t much  difference between the two  when it comes to protection. 

 If you’d like to discuss the options available to you, contact your adviser today. 

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