Can I get Business Life Insurance if I Smoke or Vape?
Many smokers are worried that they won’t be able to get Key Man Cover or Relevant Life Cover for themselves or their businesses. One of the most commonly asked questions is “can I still get Business Life Insurance / Relevant Life Cover / Key Man Insurance / Directors Life Insurance etc if I smoke”?
The answer is yes.
However, depending on the underwriter, you premiums could be increased by double versus the standard premium rates of a non-smoker.
Any insurance cover that pays out in the event of a critical illness or death will always ask you to confirm your smoking status when taking out a policy – this is because as a smoker, you are at a significantly higher risk level for critical illnesses and even death.
Most underwriters deem you to be a smoker if you have smoked within the last 12 months and may even test you to see if you have smoked in that timeframe. The most commonly used test is for Cotinine (created in your body when you metabolise Nicotine) in your urine which can usually be detected if you have smoked in the last 3 months (or for longer in your hair follicles).
If you are tests come back negative, you will be deemed a non-smoker and regular premium rates will apply. However, if your tests come back positive, you premiums will be increased as you are seen as higher risk.
Does Vaping Class as Smoking for Life Insurance Purposes?
As vaping is a relatively recent phenomenon, there is not a lot of research or information available on the harm and effects it may have on you and your body.
Therefore, most providers have defaulted to the position of treating vaping the same as smoking and your premiums will be increased in the same way as a smokers are – even if you are vaping nicotine-free products.
However, this isn’t always the case and some providers such as Aegon will see you as a non-smoker if you are only vaping nicotine-free products. Others like The Exeter will review non-nicotine based vaping on a case-by-case basis.
I Smoke or Vape – What Would You Recommend?
Our recommendation for those of you that smoke is to declare you are smoking and get covered as soon as possible – after all, you are at higher risk and if you hold off until you quit, it may be too late.
As your premiums will be higher, try and quit as soon as possible and then ask to be tested – if your tests are clear, your insurer will lower your premiums to non-smoker rates.
In the future should you start smoking again, you will still only continue to pay the same premium rates as a non-smoker.
Let us know if you’re unsure of your smoking status and want some free advice on Business Life Insurance and smoking/vaping. If you would like to free help in finding the best cover for smokers/vapers, fill out our quote form and we can help!