What to Do If You Are Denied Life Insurance

What to Do If You Are Denied Life Insurance

A piece of paper with the word “DENIED” in red ink stamped at a diagonal over the words “insurance policy.” A silver pen rests on a diagonal from the bottom right of the image.

Can You Get Life Insurance if You Smoke or Vape?

Many people assume vaping isn’t as damaging as smoking. And there may be some truth to that. However, life insurance companies treat e-cigarettes, vape pens and other vaping device use no differently than regular cigarettes.

That is not to say that you can’t get life insurance for your family if you smoke or vape. But you will pay higher rates for it.

Why Do Life Insurance Companies Treat Vaping Like Smoking?

Life insurance companies grant approvals and set premiums based on risk. Underwriters evaluate a company’s risk using mortality rates.

Smokers are more likely to suffer from a heart attack and coronary artery disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, the mortality rate for a smoker is about three times higher than for a non-smoker.

Another study at Johns Hopkins University revealed that in 2020 vaping caused nearly 3,000 lung injuries and resulted in 68 deaths for vapers between the ages of 15 and 75.

But Vaping Is Just Water, Isn’t It?

No. Vape juice contains nicotine, which will show up on the labs you must submit to as part of the underwriting process.

Vape juice may also contain other harmful substances, which studies show can cause cancer. And a history of cancer can affect your ability to get affordable health insurance, regardless of whether you smoke or not.

In addition, vaping has historically been less regulated than tobacco. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified e-cigarettes as tobacco products and are subject to regulation. Thus, life insurance companies classify it that way, too.

How to Find the Best Life Insurance to Get if You Smoke or Vape

Although habits that involve nicotine are some of the hardest to break, the best thing you can do to obtain affordable life insurance is to quit. We recommend you wait to apply until you’ve been nicotine free for one year. Even patches used to help you break the habit contain nicotine that will show up in your labs.

In the meantime, consider purchasing a short term life insurance policy which will protect your family should you succumb to a fatal illness or accident. While you may pay a higher rate in the short term, it will provide long-term peace of mind.

And if down the line you do successfully quit, you can convert that term policy to another one with a lower rate.

One final note, although it may be tempting to hide your smoking or vaping habit on your life insurance application, don’t.

Although it may take a while to catch up with you, insurance companies eventually discover misrepresentation. Should you die after obtaining your policy, your insurance company may deny your family your death benefit, regardless of how you died. The best your family can hope for is a partial payment using the premium amount you would have paid if you’d disclosed your smoking habit.

Be honest. Isn’t ensuring your family has the protection they deserve worth telling the truth?

Nick Trawinski

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