In response to the recent US cases of “vape-related” lung disease, the fourth-largest life insurance company in the US, has announced that from now on vapers will be classified as regular smokers and charged as such, when applying for individual life coverage.

“Prudential will reclassify users of e-cigarettes to treat them as smokers and in line with our cigarette smoking guidelines,” a company spokesman said. “Smokers typically will have higher-priced policies.”

The US insurance industry influenced by the EVALI outbreak

“Prudential will reclassify users of e-cigarettes to treat them as smokers and in line with our cigarette smoking guidelines. Smokers typically will have higher-priced policies.”Prudential

Normally, non-smokers including vapers, are charged up to 50% less a year on their life insurance. This could equate to paying between $350 to $800 less a year, depending on other health related factors.

However, the conservative life insurance industry, seems to be taking advantage of recent events. “There hasn’t been enough statistical data to say whether or not they’re as bad as traditional cigarettes. Let’s not forget that it took 20 or 30 years before that connection was made,” said Vice President Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute. “Before you pick up that e-cigarette, people should ask themselves, ‘Is it worth the risk?'” she added.

Other companies offering reduced rates to vapers include Brighthouse Financial, Global Atlantic Life, MassMutual and United of Omaha, however it is unclear whether these will follow suit and increase their rates.

UK insurance price comparison site

In the UK, last year Future Proof Insurance, launched the country’s first ever price comparison site especially designed for vapers, in partnership with the UKVIA, of which Future Proof is a member. This site was designed to help e-cigarette users save thousands of pounds by giving them the option to list themselves as vapers, and give them access to tailored insurance packages accordingly.

“This is fantastic news for vapers all across the UK who will finally be given fair treatment. Not only are those who successfully switched in Stoptober being rewarded through improved health, but also life insurance that recognizes the change they’ve made,” said a UKVIA spokesperson at the time. So far there has been no mention of changes in insurance rates for vapers in the UK.

Read Further: CBS News


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