Life Insurance with Marijuana Use
In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance who use Marijuana regularly either for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Common questions for getting life insurance with marijuana use that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I regularly use Marijuana?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I use Marijuana?
- How will a life insurance company be able to determine if I use Marijuana?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
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Can I qualify for life insurance if I regularly use Marijuana?
Yes, most individuals who use Marijuana will qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
In fact, some may even be able to qualify for a Preferred health rating and qualify for the best life insurance rates.
The only problem is, like may other pre-existing medical conditions, not all life insurance companies are going to view one’s marijuana use in the same way.
Which means that…
While it is totally possible for an individual to be able to qualify for a superior life insurance health rating with one company, that same individual may be flat out denied coverage by another one.
Complicating matters even more, even some of the top life insurance companies may view those who simply use their Marijuana for “recreational” purposes completely differently from those who actually have a medical reason and prescription by a licensed doctor for their usage.
This is why…
Regardless of “why” you use Marijuana, it is important to let your life insurance agent know right away, so that he or she can help you narrow down which life insurance companies are more likely to be a better fit for you based on why you use your Marijuana (recreational vs medical) and how frequently you use it.
And be aware how long marijuana stays in your system. Insurance companies know how to discover your drug use, so please be honest from the start.
Best Marijuana Life Insurance Companies
Why should you be concerned with the best companies for marijuana users?
Well, certain companies will give you a better rate class, which means your life insurance premiums will be lower with these companies vs the competitors.
So, it pays to know which companies to apply with when you are looking for life insurance as a recreational or medical marijuana user.
Currently, the companies that cater to marijuana users include:
- American National
- John Hancock
- Lincoln Financial
- Minnesota Life
- Mutual of Omaha
- North American
Now, it is important to point out that just because these companies may offer marijuana users better rates than the competition, that does not mean that they are always the best marijuana life insurance companies to choose.
Tobacco vs Non Tobacco
On the list of companies for marijuana use above, some of the companies listed will offer a tobacco rate and some will offer a non tobacco rate.
The rating you get is important because, the difference in premiums between tobacco and non-tobacco users can vary depending on the specific insurance company and the type of policy being purchased.
In general, however, tobacco users can expect to pay significantly higher premiums for life insurance coverage than non-tobacco users.
Further, some will offer life insurance if your labs show THC (the psychoactive coumpound found within the bannabis plant), while others will deny you outright.
And then you have to take into consideration additional factors.
It’s important to understand that while marijuana use can play help determine whether or not you will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, it will not be the only factor being considered. Additional factors that may also come into play can (and will) include:
- Age: Insurance companies typically charge higher premiums for people who are older, as the risk of death increases with age.
- Gender: In general, men have a higher risk of premature death than women, so they may be charged higher premiums for life insurance coverage.
- Health: Insurance companies will consider your overall health when evaluating your application for life insurance. This may include any pre-existing medical conditions you have, such as diabetes or heart disease, as well as your family medical history.
- Lifestyle: Insurance companies may consider your lifestyle when setting premiums, including factors such as your diet, exercise habits, and whether you use tobacco products.
- Occupation: Your occupation may be a factor in the premiums you pay for life insurance. People who work in high-risk occupations, such as construction or law enforcement, may be charged higher premiums due to the increased risk of accidental death.
- Amount and length of coverage: The amount of coverage you need and the length of the policy term will also affect your premiums. Typically, the higher the coverage amount and the longer the policy term, the higher the premiums will be.
Which means that while one particular insurance company might be the “best” for those using marijuana, it’s quite possible some other factor such as your job or some type of pre-existing medical condition might not make it the right insurance company for you despite their tolerance of marijuana use.
This is why, one’s complete profile must be taken into consideration before choosing to apply for a particular insurance policy with a particular insurance company.
Life Insurance Policies You Can Qualify for with Marijuana Use
There are various types of life insurance policies available. The type of policy you can qualify for with marijuana use will vary based on your usage, the reason for your usage, and the type of policy you need or want.
No Pre-existing Medical Conditoions
If you have no pre-existing medical issues and you simply smoke marijuana for recreational use, then you will most likely have the option of any type of policy that you want, including traditional fully underwritten term and whole life, including no medical exam options.
Some Health Issues
If you do have some health issues, then you will most likely still qualify for life insurance with marijuana use, but you will have to settle for a rate class below preferred or preferred plus.
For example, someone applying for life insurance with a history of depression that uses marijuana for medicinal purposes may still qualify for a typical term or whole life policy, but at a standard or substandard rate class.
Major Health Issues
If you use marijuana and you have major medical issues, such as cancer, you may need to consider an alternative to a traditional fully underwritten life insurance policy, such as simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance.
Each Case is Unique
The bottom line is, each marijuana life insurance case is different.
The key is finding the right life insurance agent that understands the various nuances of the different companies so you can apply for coverage with the right company from the start and avoid getting declined for coverage because you chose the wrong life insurance company to apply with.
Why do life insurance companies care if I use Marijuana?
There are several reasons why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual uses Marijuana.
The first reason is because even though Marijuana has become “legal” in many states (medical vs recreational use will vary), Federally, it still remains classified as a controlled substance and is therefore still considered illegal by the Federal government.
Which means that from a life insurance companies perspective, insuring someone that uses Marijuana remains a bit “risky” on the legal side.
Why life insurance companies tend to “care” if an individual uses Marijuana is because most folks who use Marijuana are going to be smoking it.
And even though many folks will argue that Marijuana is good for you, few people will argue that breathing smoke into your lungs is a good thing.
This is why many (but not all) life insurance companies who will be willing to insure someone that frequently uses Marijuana will only be willing to insure them at a “tobacco rate” which tends to be two to three times more expensive than a “non-tobacco rate”.
The last reason…
Why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual uses Marijuana is because for some, it is being used as a medication to treat some type of pre-existing medical condition.
You see, in some cases, this pre-existing medical condition will ultimately be what determines whether or not an individual will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy.
In other words, certain medical conditions are associated with medical marijuana use.
Conditions commonly treated by medical Marijuana may include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease,
- Chron’s disease,
- Eating disorders,
- Mental health disorders,
- Multiple sclerosis,
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
How will a life insurance company be able to determine if I use Marijuana?
The quick answer is life insurance medical exams test for drugs, such as marijuana.
But let’s just assume that one is asking this question out of curiosity and not because they are hoping to not have disclose the fact that they either do use Marijuana regularly or have recently used Marijuana for a “special occasion”.
We’ve already made it pretty clear that there are some life insurance companies out there that will be willing to insure an individual who does use Marijuana somewhat regularly at a Preferred, Non-tobacco rate.
So, there really isn’t any reason for someone to try and “hide” the fact that they use Marijuana other than maybe they don’t want someone like an employer, a spouse, or a parent to see that they have disclosed this information on an application.
The good news…
Is that in cases like these, provided that you don’t show one of these “uninvolved parties” your application, they won’t have any idea that you have disclosed this fact.
That said however, if you choose not to disclose your Marijuana usage and you do get denied because of this “non-disclosure,” having to explain “why” you couldn’t qualify for a life insurance policy could put you in a rather awkward situation.
Now that we’ve got all of that behind us, let’s just highlight a few ways that a life insurance company might learn that you do use Marijuana other than by simply asking you if you do on a life insurance application questionnaire.
Ways a life insurance company can determine you do use Marijuana may include:
- Detection of THC in your urine during a life insurance paramedical exam (if required).
- Previous disclosures made by you to your primary care physician which may become available should a life insurance company decide to order your medical records (after receiving your approval to do so).
- Prescription database check. If you have been issued a medical Marijuana card, this approval will be recorded and accessible to insurance companies.
- Previous life insurance applications. If you have previously applied for life insurance and it was discovered that you do use Marijuana then, this information will be available to other insurance companies via the Medical Information Bureau or MIB.
- Previous encounters with the law. If you have ever been issued a ticket for possession of Marijuana, most life insurance companies will use this “type” of information as a reason to infer that around the period of time you were ticketed, you did use Marijuana.
We should also point out that…
While many life insurance companies will differ with regards to how then handle certain underwriting conditions, such as the existence of certain pre-existing medical conditions, or the use of Marijuana, one thing that most companies will share in common is their disdain for individuals not being truthful during an application process.
Being caught not disclosing your Marijuana usage on a life insurance application may not prevent you from being able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, it will almost certainly complicate the rest of your application process, and most likely prevent you from being able to qualify for the best rate that you would have otherwise been able to qualify for.
This is why, when in doubt, always be as completely honest and allow your life insurance agent to determine what does and doesn’t need to be disclosed (ie: “50 years ago, during Woodstock I got a little wild”).
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in regarding my marijuana use?
When applying for life insurance, you may be asked to provide detailed information about your marijuana use.
The insurance company may ask you to provide the following information:
- Frequency of use: The insurance company will want to know how often you use marijuana and how much you consume.
- Method of use: The insurance company will want to know how you consume marijuana, whether it is by smoking, vaping, or consuming edibles.
- Reason for use: The insurance company may ask why you use marijuana, whether it is for recreational or medicinal purposes.
- Any related health issues: The insurance company may ask if you have experienced any health problems as a result of your marijuana use.
It’s important to be honest and transparent when providing this information to the insurance company, as providing false or misleading information on your application could result in your policy being denied or terminated.
What will my life insurance premium be if I use marijuana?
As you can see, there are a lot of variables that can come into play when trying to determine what rates an individual who frequently uses Marijuana will be able to qualify for.
This is why it’s impossible to know what life insurance rates you might be able to qualify for without first speaking with you directly.
3 Different Categories of Marijuana Users
You see, individuals who do use Marijuana will usually fall into one of three different categories that we can make some “assumptions” about that will generally hold true.
Will consist of those who only rarely use Marijuana and are worried that because they used some a few weeks ago, there may still be some in their “system” during their life insurance application.
These “types” of folks probably only partake in Marijuana several times a year and just want to be sure that it’s not going to affect the outcome of their life insurance application.
In cases like these…
What you’re usually going to find is that there are a few highly reputable life insurance companies who will still consider you eligible for a Preferred, Non-tobacco rate even if you test “positive” for HTC, assuming that you are able to meet all the other necessary requirement to meet such a rate.
The second group of folks that we’ll commonly encounter will be those who somewhat regularly use Marijuana for recreational purposes and have not applied for any type of Medical Marijuana designation.
In cases like these…
What we’re generally going to find is that it may still be possible to qualify for a Preferred Non-tobacco rate, however we may have to settle for a Standard or Standard Plus depending on just how often you use Marijuana and/or just how much THC is found within your system should you choose to take a medical exam.
The good news…
Is that insurance companies aren’t necessarily going to consider the “legality” of Marijuana in your home state, so you need not be worried about that consideration.
The last group that we’ll commonly encounter will be those who frequently use Marijuana and have applied of a Medical Marijuana license or card.
Ironically, these folks will often be the most difficult to help because in addition to having to account for one’s Marijuana use, we’re now going to have to consider the pre-existing medical condition which warranted your prescription in the first place.
In cases like these…
The underlying pre-existing medical condition which warranted one’s Medical Marijuana ID will ultimately be what determines whether someone will or won’t be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
For more information about your pre-existing medical condition, we would invite you to take a look at our Pre-existing Medical Condition page.
Now at this point…
We’ll often have applicants tell us know that their pre-existing medical condition (which warranted their Medical Marijuana ID card) isn’t all that serious, which is all fine and dandy, but it’s important to remember that a life insurance company is going to consider your diagnosis a serious one until they’re able to determine otherwise.
Regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with all sorts of pre-existing medical conditions like yours and are committed to helping all of our clients find the “best” life insurance policy that they can qualify for.
Which brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that usually the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
And seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions, but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call today to experience the IBUSA difference.