Smoking, vaping and e-cigarettes: Who will cover your clients?

People’s smoking habits are changing. An estimated 2.9 million adults in the UK are using e-cigarettes according to the NHS, and of these, 1.5 million have stopped smoking regular cigarettes completely. Our National Account Manager for Protection, Craig Bryce, takes a look at what impact smoking, using e-cigarettes and being an ex-smoker can have on getting life cover and critical illness cover.

Recently I’m always being asked about smoking, ex-smoker and e-cig smoker rates and it’s hardly surprising given the change in smoking habits across the UK.

As you’ll probably already know some insurance companies classify e-cigarettes the same as regular cigarettes. But given that e-cigs do not contain tobacco like normal cigarettes, which is one of the most damaging elements to someone’s health, it does surprise me, particularly when the NHS states e-cigs carry a fraction of the risk of regular cigarettes!

This stance seems especially harsh or unfair when according to MoneySuperMarket.com being a smoker means your clients life insurance premiums could be more than a 50% more expensive. Despite this, there has been limited research on e-cigs and the effect they can have, but they are currently viewed as a better alternative to smoking.

However, underwriters are now adapting to changing smoking behaviours and increasing demand from consumers for more tailored cover to better reflect their lifestyle choices. With an increasing amount of people now using e-cigs and still requiring life insurance and critical illness cover the industry is reacting.

We now have providers on our panel that will give e-cigarette users non-smoking rates! This is providing the e-cigs don’t contain nicotine and your client hasn’t smoked tobacco in the last year. This 12-month rule is also normally the same for those who have given up completely. So, here’s how our panel treat smokers and e-cigarette smokers.

  • Aegon – 12 months with no nicotine, Vapes/E-cigs must not have nicotine
  • AIG – 12 months with no nicotine, Vapes/E-cigs must not have nicotine
  • Aviva – 12 months with no nicotine, Vapes/E-cigs must not have nicotine
  • British Friendly – Don’t have smoker rates unless they smoke and have asthma or pulmonary disease
  • Cirencester Friendly – No smoker rates but if they smoke more than 40 per day it will be declined
  • L&G – 12 months without smoking cigarettes, E-cigs & Vapes still classed as smokers
  • LV – 12 months without smoking cigarettes, E-cigs & Vapes still classed as smokers
  • Royal London – 12 months without smoking cigarettes, E-cigs & Vapes still classed as smokers
  • Scottish Widows – 12 months without smoking cigarettes, E-cigs & Vapes still classed as smokers
  • The Exeter – 12 months with no nicotine, Vapes/E-cigs must not have nicotine
  • Vitality – 12 months without smoking cigarettes, E-cigs & Vapes still classed as smokers
  • Zurich – 12 months with no nicotine, Vapes/E-cigs must not have nicotine

Being able to secure the peace of mind your clients deserve, without having to pay the increased premium for using e-cigarettes is great news and can allow you to provide a more personal service tailored to your client’s circumstances and their budget.

For more conversations like this join us for our Protection Workshop in Wakefield on July 10th, head over to Broker Zone to register and secure your place.

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