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With major corporations such as life insurance companies, one can never be too sure if a strange decision results from conspiracy or greed.
It came to our attention recently that most life insurance companies regard Vaping as the same risk as traditional smoking.
This is a very strange decision indeed.
So let’s try to understand the reasoning behind this
It would be fair and reasonable to ask ourselves how Life insurance companies arrive at such decisions in the first place.
Ok for this let’s keep it fairly basic.
Within the structure of a life insurance company they will have a department known as the actuarial office. Within his office people known as actuaries will operate. Actuaries are potentially interesting people. I say potentially because I am yet to meet one with whom I would want to be stuck in a lift. The job of an actuary is to analyse statistical information in order to asses risk.
They sit down at their computers and collate and analyse stats all day and sometimes all night. The problem with this, in regard to electronic cigarettes is that the E cigs are very new and no one has been using them long enough to show a statistical variation from a traditional smoker. So given that an actuary is not going to stick his neck out and come up with the obvious other side of that coin; which is that they haven’t been around long enough to show any measurable statistical variation from non smokers, It is understandable that they would tar all with the same brush.
The other people who would be potential information providers for such a decision will be those known as medical underwriters.
These medical underwriters are slightly less statistics driven and tend to have had some medical training.
It is therefore unlikely that they would not be advising insurance companies to do other than favour an ecig user over a traditional smoker in terms of risk.
Ok so we have these guys. The medical guys who we think are likely to consider vapers as lower risk. Then we have the actuaries, who we think are unlikely to believe they have enough information to suggest any difference. Albeit that this is because they consider vaping as a form of smoking. Don’t ask me to explain how that is, seeing as with vaping, no smoke is involved at all!
But who makes the final decision?
Well that’s an easy one. The first rule with all of these things is “Follow the money”
The people who will make the final decision will be accountants and Marketing people.
They will know from conversations with the other two groups that Vaping is vastly less risky to life than smoking. However they will not see any need to reduce premiums for vapers until a profit motive is recognised.
One day an insurance company will realise that there are several million vapers in the UK and that everyone is charging them the same risk rates. It will dawn on them that if they reduce the rate, consummate with the reality of the risk, they will benefit from the business uptake which will follow.
Until that day arrives vapers are stuck with being treated by life insurance companies, as if they were smokers.
Back to the original question. Is it Greed or conspiracy?
Well I think we can rule both out as a reason for the current status quo. The more likely culprit is apathy.
However I think it will be greed that will bring the premiums down, and I don’t think it is so far in the future.
Best way to bring it about is…….. You got it….. Keep vaping