Whether you smoke it or chew it, if you use tobacco products, you can expect to pay significantly more for life insurance. That’s because there’s decades of evidence tying tobacco use to disease and early death. However, what if you vape e-cigarettes or toke marijuana in states that allow it? Do electronic cigarette smokers pay more for life insurance? How will marijuana use affect your life insurance premiums? Here’s what you need to know.
Electronic cigarettes and life insurance
E-cigarettes deliver nicotine via inhaled vapor–no smoke, no ash. But as far as your insurance underwriter is concerned, they still produce formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. They also deliver a higher dose per use of nicotine than does a regular cigarette, which can lead to high blood pressure and greater risk of stroke. So most life insurers don’t see a big difference between vaping an e-cig and smoking a Marlboro. You can shop around for life insurance carriers with a more enlightened attitude, but whatever you do, don’t lie about electronic cigarette use on your life insurance application. It shows up in the medical examination blood and urine tests just like nicotine from real cigarettes.
Marijuana use and life insurance
As states relax their laws on marijuana use, insurers are divided about how to deal with it. From a life insurance underwriter’s point of view, there’s just too little data out there. As a result, different life insurance carriers assess marijuana use differently. Some will tolerate occasion use without assigning a premium penalty. Some give a substandard rating (and higher premiums) for heavy recreational use. And some will flat out turn your application down. As it currently stands, over 30% of life insurance companies classify marijuana users as non-smokers. So it pays to shop around if you want the best rates for a life insurance policy. Here again, you are cautioned not to fudge the truth on you application. Your use may not show up on your medical exam, but should it be discovered that your use of marijuana in any way led to your death, your insurer could deny death benefits to your beneficiaries. Not cool at all, dude!
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