By Byron Udell
A recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “FDA Will Not Fight Ruling on E-Smokes,” explained how the Food and Drug Administration said it wouldn't appeal a January federal court ruling stating that electronic cigarettes should be regulated as tobacco products, not drug delivery devices.
If these devices are deemed nicotine delivery devices, they will, if not already, be treated the same as nicotine patches and/or nicotine gum, for purposes of life insurance rates. Also, life insurance companies have always considered regular users of nicotine delivery devices as nicotine users, but it’s up to each carrier whether or not to treat these individuals the same as cigarette smokers. For instance, at some companies you must test negative for nicotine in order to qualify for non-smoker rates. While at others, testing positive for nicotine is acceptable.
I stress that e-cigarette users must be aware that costly mistakes could be made if they buy a life insurance policy from the wrong company. Whether someone smokes two packs of cigarettes a day, or has an occasional cigar or pipe, many insurance companies are going to offer SMOKER rates - typically about triple the price they offer non-tobacco users! An e-cigarette user should keep that in mind when purchasing life insurance because if a carrier treats them as a cigarette smoker, they will experience the same triple rate increase as cigar and cigarette smokers.
To eliminate overpaying for life insurance, e-cigarette users must realize that there are deals in the marketplace. The key is finding the right company that will offer certain (typically non-cigarette) nicotine users more favorable rates – sometimes, even non-smoker rates (depending on the type of tobacco used and the frequency). For example, some companies simply disregard the fact you smoke an occasional cigar for purposes of pricing. Other companies do not. Bottom line: it pays to buy your coverage from a multi-carrier broker that knows the rules at multiple companies