How Does Cannabis Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums? FAQs About Marijuana Use
As marijuana use is legalized in more states, more life insurance companies are receiving applications from marijuana users.
However, even though marijuana use is becoming more widespread, there are still no uniform underwriting policies in the life insurance industry when it comes to rates for a marijuana smoker or user. Some companies give marijuana users preferential non-smoker rates, while others charge them the same rates as tobacco smokers.
If you're looking for life insurance coverage but are unsure how high your rates will be if you use marijuana, keep reading. We'll answer everything you need to know about getting a life insurance policy as a marijuana user.
Will Recreational Use Of Marijuana Use Affect My Life Insurance Rates?
Yes. Depending on how often you consume marijuana – and its method of delivery – life insurance companies will assign you certain premium rates. Some will offer marijuana users the same rates as smokers regardless of the method of delivery, while others will lower their rates if you vape or consume marijuana edibles.
Here are two primary factors that will affect life insurance premiums for marijuana users:
Frequency Of Marijuana Use
Occasional marijuana smokers can still qualify for non-smoker rates. Occasional use is generally classified as one or two times per month. However, you should confirm each company's definition of occasional use via a life insurance agent before you choose a policy provider.
Method Of Delivery
Not all life insurance companies distinguish between the methods of consuming marijuana, but some do. Some companies are more likely to offer standard non-smoker (aka non-tobacco) rates if you consume marijuana edibles or oils. Other companies consider all forms of marijuana use as a liability and charge higher quotes, regardless of how you consume it.
What About Medicinal Use Of Marijuana?
For most companies, the use of medicinal marijuana has a negligible effect on your premiums. With that said, if your medical marijuana is being used to manage an illness with a high mortality rate, expect life insurance companies to charge you higher rates for a death benefit – in this case, the higher premiums are less to do with the marijuana itself and more to do with the illness it’s treating.
Does An Insurer's Medical Exam Screen Applicants For Marijuana Usage?
Yes. When a life insurance company asks you to take a medical examination, you will be required to take blood and urine tests. These tests will screen applicants for a variety of substances, including THC, the active compound in marijuana.
THC is detectable in your urine for up to a month after marijuana use, and in your blood for anywhere between three and 14 days after marijuana use. The more times per week you use marijuana, the longer it will stay in your system.
Even if this time period has already passed before your exam, it's better to disclose the frequency of your marijuana use.
Should You Be Honest To Life Insurers About Your Marijuana Use?
Refusing to disclose that you smoke marijuana can have serious consequences for your life insurance application. If you lie about recreational or medicinal use, your life insurance company can readily verify this information. Here are some of the ways that companies can find out that you misrepresented your usage habits when applying for life insurance.
Comparison of your past and present whole and term life insurance applications: This helps them see if there are inconsistencies in your answers to the same questions.
Medical records from your doctor: Insurance companies routinely request their applicants' health records to verify information about medical issues, so information about your marijuana use will be revealed.
Records of prescriptions, past or present: These will show any prescriptions for medical marijuana use, information about dosage, and potentially what condition it’s being used to treat.
Social media posts and accounts: Companies often check the accounts of their applicants for evidence of fraud or risky behavior.
Lying or concealing marijuana use is considered misrepresentation. Misrepresentation in a life insurance policy is considered a crime in fifty states. It can cause your application to be denied and may lead to you being denied coverage in the future if you apply for life insurance with other companies.
Even if you save now by getting lower quotes, if it's revealed later that you lied, your beneficiaries won't be able to claim the policy's death benefit. It's better to be honest from the outset if you use or smoke marijuana than to run these risks.
Can You Get Life Insurance Policies Without A THC Screening?
Yes, you can. Here are three kinds of life insurance policies that can give you coverage without a medical examination or THC screening.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance
Simplified issue life insurance investigates your medical history through a questionnaire instead of an exam. These policies give you coverage from the moment your application is accepted and a premium is set.
The rates are higher than those charged for traditional life insurance. However, this type of insurance offers higher death benefits than group or guaranteed issue policies.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Also known as a "no questions asked policy", guaranteed issue policies give coverage without requiring you to answer a medical questionnaire or undergo a medical exam. In a guaranteed life insurance policy, there is a set waiting period. If you die during that waiting period, your beneficiaries will not receive a death benefit.
These kinds of policies have lower death benefits, but they're one of the best ways to provide coverage for people who wouldn't get approved for traditional life insurance.
Group Life Insurance
Some employers offer discounted or free life insurance for employees as a workplace benefit. Known as group life insurance, this offers coverage to all employees without requiring a medical exam.
While this kind of policy is very affordable and easy to obtain, it has limited coverage ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. It's still a good option for those who would otherwise not get approved for life insurance. You can also opt to supplement this policy or increase its coverage.
The Best Life Insurance Companies For Marijuana Users
Different life insurance companies view marijuana use differently. While some may give marijuana users standard non-smoker rates, others charge the same premiums as they would for tobacco use. Some others distinguish between methods of delivery and will offer non-tobacco rates to marijuana users who vape or consume edibles.
Here are some of the best companies for getting life insurance coverage if you're using marijuana:
Lincoln's TermAccel insurance policies offer some of the most competitive quotes for marijuana users, especially for those who use it only one to two times per month. The application process will typically take two to three days and is conducted through a phone interview.
The best company for medical marijuana users, Transamerica can offer preferred rates to cancer patients, marijuana users, and tobacco smokers. While these quotes won't be as low as non-tobacco rates, they're still more affordable than quotes offered by other carriers.
This is one of the best companies for those who quit their marijuana use a year or more ago. Its Select-A-Term coverage allows for broad customization of term lengths and riders. While you may have to undergo a medical exam for a policy, AIG offers much more favorable rates to a marijuana user than other companies.
Mutual of Omaha
For those who smoke marijuana several times a week, Mutual of Omaha offers some of the most lenient underwritings and has a wide range of policies you can choose from. They also offer better rates for those with complicated medical histories, making them one of the best choices if you don't qualify for non-smoker rates.
If you smoke marijuana multiple times a week, it can be difficult to get fair coverage. Protective offers lower than average quotes across the board for a range of medical conditions and circumstances, including marijuana use.
They also offer rate reconsideration after the first year. If you reduce your marijuana usage or your health improves in the next few years, you may qualify for better life insurance rates with Protective.
FAQs About Marijuana And Life Insurance
What if I quit using or smoking marijuana after I get insured?
If you were a marijuana user when your life insurance application was granted, quitting may give you a chance to get your rates lowered to nonsmoker rates. Ask your life insurance agent about the rules for re-evaluation. Your company may require you to be smoke-free for at least a year, just like a tobacco user.
A re-evaluation will require you to undergo another medical exam for proof that you no longer smoke cigarettes or marijuana. Think carefully before you choose to get re-evaluated, as this exam will also uncover any medical conditions you may have developed since your last exam – causing your rates to increase instead!
What if I start using or smoking marijuana after getting life coverage?
If you start to smoke or use marijuana after your policy has been approved, insurance companies cannot increase your rates. However, if you are looking for additional coverage that may require a medical exam, this may reveal that you now use marijuana and you will be charged appropriately.
A whole or term life insurance death benefit is an excellent way to provide for your loved ones when you're gone. Don't be discouraged from applying if you use marijuana – talk to a financial expert to find the best life insurance policy for you and your budget!
If you need advice, Wesley Insurance, LLC can help you determine which insurance company will offer the most favorable rates for marijuana smokers. We'll answer all your questions and help you plan for your family's future!