A major U.S. insurance company is planning to increase life insurance premiums for its customers who vape. The move by Prudential will bring rates for customers who use e-cigarettes into alignment with those charged smokers, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
“Prudential will reclassify users of e-cigarettes to treat them as smokers and in line with our cigarette smoking guidelines,” a company spokesman said. “Smokers typically will have higher-priced policies.”
The change will go into effect for customers applying for individual life insurance policies. Smokers typically pay about 50% more per year than nonsmokers, according to quotes from online insurance sites. The difference could add up to an additional $350 to $800 per year, depending on the health of the applicant and other factors.
The move by Prudential, a Fortune 500 company that provides insurance and other financial services in more than 40 countries, comes in the midst of the ongoing bout of serious lung injuries that have been linked to the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. As of this week, at least 1,100 cases of the severe lung illnesses associated with vaping and 23 deaths have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and