Despite the fact that most e-cigarette users have turned to vaping in order to quit smoking, in the US they are being lumped in with smokers when it comes to health insurance policies.
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, health insurers in the United States, tend to not consider e-cigarettes or vapes as cessation or harm-reduction tools, and insure vapers as they would smokers.
“If you have any belief, even given all the uncertainties, that vaping can be a form of harm reduction, from a public-health and ethical standpoint, the answer to this question is obvious,” said Ronald Bayer, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia. “People should be encouraged to go from one to the other, not discouraged.”
UK Life insurance policies vary
In the UK, the situation varies. Insurance company Lifeguarded recognizes the relatively reduced health risks from vaping as opposed to smoking, and offers vapers premiums accordingly. To this effect, it has become a member of the IBVTA.
The insurance company works in partnership with a mainstream insurer who also recognises that vapers are not exposed to the same health risks as smokers. Therefore they are helping create a unique opportunity for UK vaping businesses to increase customer loyalty, while helping smokers who make the switch to save money in the long run.
Lifeguarded Sales Director, Matthew Thompson, said that they are happy to be part of the movement encouraging the vaping industry to be treated as an independent sector. “We are delighted to be affiliated with the IBVTA and are keen to re-enforce the message that e-cigarettes and vaping should be treated as an independent sector, entirely separate from the tobacco industry.”
While IBVTA CEO, Gillian Golden, said that thankfully vapers now have the opportunity to work with a broker who no longer penalizes them for trying to quit smoking via vaping. “We welcome Lifeguarded on board as an associate member. So many vapers have for too long been penalised when it comes to life and critical illness cover, and we look forward to working with a broker who understands the value of the independent vape industry.”