Reinsurers Warn on Vaping

Reinsurers put pressure on underwriters to charge certain vapers higher rates than smokers.
December 4, 2019

Global reinsurers are stepping up their warnings to life insurer clients about the potential risks of vaping, putting pressure on underwriters to charge certain vapers higher rates than smokers, or even exclude them altogether. U.S. authorities said last month that there had been 47 deaths this year from a lung illness tied to vaping. The health concerns about vaping have grown despite evidence showing e-cigarettes help smokers to quit, and has led to bans in some countries including India and Brazil.

Most insurers have long treated smokers and vapers the same, meaning they can pay close to double the premiums of non-smokers or non-vapers. But three major reinsurers have provided updated advice on vaping in the past three months, with new warnings, while others are considering their approach.

Stephen Cooley, Chief Medical Underwriter at PartnerRe Life & Health, said more research on the long-term effects of vaping was needed and that life insurance rates for vapers would be the same as smoker rates “at best.”


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