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Life Insurer Offers Lower Premiums for E Cig Users


Life Insurer Offers Lower Premiums for E Cig Users

A specialist insurance broker has bucked the trend and drawn up life cover agreements at non-smoking rates for electronic cigarette users which could save them upwards of 40% on their insurance.

Until now, all of the UK’s insurance groups have aligned vapers with tobacco users, meaning that they have to pay extra into their life insurance plans due to the added health risks of tobacco. Insurers have claimed that they cannot be 100% positive that e cig users are not putting their health at risk by vaping and used this opportunity to keep their premiums at an increased rate.

The brokers who are offering this new life cover premium for vapers, Suttons Independent Financial Advisors, have stated the importance of differentiating between tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.

“All insurers ask questions about tobacco use and many, but not all, ask specific questions about nicotine,” said director Harvey Sutton We sought situations where e-cig users could honestly answer questions relating to their use of tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes are not tobacco products. We spoke to the underwriters in question: we are not doing this without underwriters’ knowledge.”

With evidence suggesting that the effects of electronic cigarettes are far less injurious than traditional cigarettes, Sutton has suggested that insurers are behind the times and need to be more fluid in their policies and approaches.

With more and more research being undertaken into the long-term effects and benefits of electronic cigarettes, the financial landscape for vapers could shift significantly in the near future. If e cigs are declared risk-free, financial products such as annuities could become available to vapers at more attractive prices.

Nigel Barlow of specialist annuity provider Partnership said: “This is a very new market indeed. While e-cigs appear to cut down on some of the hazards associated with smoking, there are some questions as to the chemicals. While we do not at the moment take into account use of e‑cigarettes when we quote for an annuity, this may well change in future.”

Furthermore, if electronic cigarettes are proven to be risk-free or low-harm then the process of life insurance assessment would be forced to alter as well. Currently an individual seeking life insurance would be subjected to a nicotine test which would not be able to determine the different between whether the subject had used tobacco products or electronic cigarettes. New testing standards would have to be implemented to be able to make the differentiation.

4th November 2013, 9:30