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Vaping & life insurance: why does it cost so much?

Vaping & life insurance: why does it cost so much?

John Boughey |

There’s one area of life where vaping can still do the same amount of damage as smoking … and that’s life insurance premiums! This week, we’ll reveal why most vapers are still paying as much as smokers for their life insurance cover. We’ll also share a few common-sense tips to help you keep your insurance costs down. 

Why do insurers treat vapers like smokers?

Right now, most UK insurers group vapers and smokers together when calculating how much to charge someone for life insurance. The insurance industry gives two reasons for this: nicotine addiction and the lack of hard data on the long-term effects of vaping. 

First, vaping is a nicotine replacement therapy. It might have been years since you last lit a cigarette, but if you’re still vaping nicotine, insurance companies will put you in the ‘smoker’ category. The same rule applies to anyone who is chewing nicotine gum or using nicotine patches. For now, anyone who relies on nicotine is paying the same sort of life insurance costs as a smoker. 

Second, the UK insurance industry wants more proof on the safety of vaping before they bring monthly premiums down. Until we have more peer-reviewed scientific research on the relative harm of e-cigarettes, life insurance costs to vapers will remain as high as costs to smokers.  

The insurance industry’s reasons for charging vapers as much as smokers seem very unfair and out-of-date. Their logic doesn’t tie in with what the UK’s medical and political leadership has to say about vaping. First, Public Health England have stated that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking (source: What’s more, the UK government recognises the power of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. In fact, the government plans to distribute one million e-cigarettes to smokers as part of their ‘Swap To Stop’ scheme (source: 

We can’t believe that insurers will be able to keep charging vapers these high life insurance premiums … but right now, they are.  As of April 2024, there’s no sign of prices coming down, so we vapers need to come at this problem from a different direction.

Strategies to keep life insurance premiums down

Every insurance policy is different, and it all depends on how much money you need to insure for, but there are steps you can take, as a vaper, to drag your insurance premium down. 

Quit nicotine 
The sooner you can quit vaping nicotine, the better. If you have already successfully used vapes to quit cigarettes, the next step is to wean yourself off e-cigarettes (read our guide to tapering down). This isn’t a quick fix. It can take around 3 months to wean yourself off nicotine fully, and most insurers expect you to have quit nicotine for at least 12 months before they will update your premiums. 
Lose weight
Lifestyle factors have a big impact on insurance premiums. If you live more dangerously than the average person, then your life insurance premiums will be higher. Most of us aren’t into extreme sports like skydiving and skiing, but many of us are overweight. If your BMI calculation puts you at overweight or obese, anything you can do to get into a healthier range will pay dividends. 
Pay down big debts
The main purpose of a life insurance policy is to protect your loved ones from financial hardship when you die. Your life insurance might need to cover the cost of a mortgage, credit card debt or other personal debts. If you can find ways to shrink your debt pile, then the amount of money you need life insurance for will shrink, too. 
Shop around
We live in hope that, some day soon, insurers will start to recognise the difference between vaping and smoking. It’s worth speaking to a financial advisor (not just a marketplace website) who knows the market and can try to find you a better deal than anything you might have seen online. Most middlemen are paid a commission by the insurers so it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you more money to do this. Make a point of shopping around once a year or so.

Don’t be tempted to lie on the form

Last but not least, always tell the truth when filling in your life insurance application form. It’s an injustice that vapers have to pay as much as smokers for life insurance, but if you tell a lie or leave anything out when applying for cover, your insurance policy is invalid. 

The whole point of life insurance is to protect the people who depend on us after we’re gone. If an insurer can see that you haven’t been truthful, then they aren’t obliged to pay out anything to your family when you die. It’s really not worth the risk. 

That’s it! We hope this article gives you a clear picture of why insurance premiums cost so much for vapers. It’s a tough situation at the moment but we’re hopeful that, over time, the market will adjust and vapers’ life insurance costs will improve.

Hopefully in a few years we’ll be updating this article with links to some great insurance companies offering great deals to vapers … sadly, we’re not there yet.

Stay safe and happy vaping!

John Boughey

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