Philip Morris's life insurance arm to target Japan vapers

Firm to offer discounts for users of cigarette-alternative products

Philip Morris's life insurance arm to target Japan vapers

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Reviti, a UK-based life insurer under global tobacco company Philip Morris, is reportedly looking to bring its business model of providing premium discounts to users of electronic cigarettes or ‘vape’ devices.

The move, according to a report by Reuters, is spurred by the group’s cigarette alternative product iQOS holding an over 70% market share in Japan. The product heats tobacco instead of burning it, which, the company claims, reduces the amount of harmful chemicals released.

Reviti CEO Dan Pender said that the insurer is looking at the Japan market due to the high number of smokers and users of vaping products.

“We think the Reviti proposition would work extremely well for Japanese consumers,” he was quoted as saying by the report.

Many British insurers charge higher premiums for both smokers and vapers, usually lumping them in the same category, due to the risk of lung issues and other diseases. Reviti, on the other hand, offers up to a 15% discount on premiums for vapers in the UK. Meanwhile, customers who quit using tobacco and nicotine-based products can get a discount of up to 50%.

According to Pender, Reviti is in talks with several major Japanese insurers for partnerships to enter the Asian market. Unlike many other markets, Japanese life insurers do not differentiate smokers and non-smokers in terms of pricing.

However, health concerns about vaping have also grown, with 52 deaths in the US attributed with a respiratory disease associated with vaping. Several countries, including India and Brazil, have enforced bans on the products.

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