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by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
  • Brits confuse health advantages of vaping with financial benefits
  • However, Brits overestimate impact of smoking on life insurance

Almost TWO THIRDS of Brits (63 per cent) are in the dark about the impact of vaping on life insurance (LI), and admit they don’t know it has the same effect on premiums as smoking. 

A quarter (23 per cent) incorrectly believe the habit can rule out UK adults from having an LI policy, while only a third (33 per cent) understand that vaping increases critical illness cover costs.

With *2.3million Brits switching to vaping, according to charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), it’s important they are aware of the financial implications.

According to a survey of 1,000 UK adults commissioned by life insurance broker, Caspian Insurance, and performed by Censuswide (between 4 to 6 August 2021), 59 per cent don’t think smoking will be obsolete by 2030. The target, which was outlined in a Government Green Paper in July 2019, hopes cigarette users will convert to vaping or quit.

The Paper outlined plans for smokers to switch to perceived better alternatives, such as vaping. However, in personal finance terms, vaping is just as costly as smoking.

When questioned if the 2030 goal has become less likely since the pandemic, almost a third (32 per cent) agreed, while a further 38 per cent weren’t sure. And 67 per cent of those are aged 18 to 34 – the demographic most likely to take up the habit during the pandemic.

In contrast, the independent study revealed that Brits overestimate the impact of smoking on life insurance.

Almost half (44 per cent) of adults surveyed believe you have to quit smoking for two or more years to see life insurance costs reduce. Only a tenth knew that to be classed as a non-smoker you have to have kicked the habit for 12 months.

While four in ten (41 per cent) Brits believe that smoking can disqualify you completely from getting life insurance cover, which thankfully for them, is not the case.

And when asked how much monthly payments increased for smokers, 14 per cent thought it was between £4 to £5 per month, 19 per cent said between £8 to £10 per month and three per cent think it’s more than £10.

Oliver Rayner, managing director at Caspian Insurance, said: “It’s critical that people correctly disclose smoking and vaping habits to their insurer so that the right policy can be found for them and at the best price. While it’s true premiums do cost more for smokers and vapers alike, we work with many trusted providers who are able to insure them. And it’s worth shopping around as Aviva, for example, classifies people as non-smokers if they have switched to a nicotine free vape for a year.

“Premiums can cost around £25 more a month for smokers and vapers. Looking at a quote for a 35 year old non-smoker covered for £300,000, level term insurance costs £13.01 a month, while the same cover costs £38.64 a month for a smoker or vaper.”

He continued: “For those considering quitting, it just takes a year to be classed as a non-smoker and you should be able to get a better deal on your life insurance.”

Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable ill-health in the UK, killing 115,000 people a year, as reported by **The Guardian. Vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon and as such, the physiological effects are still being researched.

Craig Paterson, Chief Underwriter at Royal London, said: “It’s clear that a lot of people are unaware about the impact of vaping on insurance premiums”. While some studies suggest that vaping is less harmful than more traditional smoking, the long-term impact on health is unclear. Giving up the habit all-together will not only be better for your health but could save you thousands of pounds in insurance premiums, and that’s on top of savings made from not buying smoking products.”