In this article, we aim to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from people who regularly use Marijuana, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes and are applying for life insurance.
We’ll address common questions such as:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I use Marijuana regularly?
- Why do life insurance companies care about marijuana use?
- How do life insurance companies determine if I use Marijuana?
- What information will insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What kind of rates can I qualify for?
- How can I get the best life insurance policy for my needs?
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. Some may even be eligible for a preferred health rating and the best life insurance rates.
The only problem is, like many other “pre-existing medical conditions,” not all life insurance companies are going to view one’s marijuana use in the same way. This is why someone can qualify for a superior life insurance health rating with one company but be denied entirely coverage by another company.
Complicating matters even more…
Some of the top life insurance companies may view those who use their Marijuana for “recreational” purposes entirely differently from those who have a medical reason and prescription by a licensed doctor for their usage.
So, regardless of “why” you use Marijuana, it is important to let your life insurance agent know right away so that they 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.
Best Marijuana Life Insurance Companies
Why should you be concerned with the best companies for marijuana users? 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 to 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, we should 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
The list of marijuana life insurance companies we’ve compiled includes some providers that offer tobacco rates and others that provide non-tobacco rates. The rating you receive is vital because the premium difference between the two can vary depending on the insurer and the type of policy you choose.
In general, tobacco users can expect to pay significantly higher premiums for life insurance coverage than non-tobacco users. Additionally, some insurers may offer coverage even if your labs show THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, while others may deny coverage outright.
It’s critical to consider other factors as well, such as the insurer’s underwriting policies, coverage limits, and customer service, when choosing the best life insurance provider for your needs as a marijuana user.
One needs to understand that while marijuana use can 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 elements that may also come into play can (and will) include:
- Age: Insurance companies typically charge higher premiums for older people as the risk of death increases.
- Gender: In general, men have a higher risk of premature death than women so that 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 your diet, exercise habits, and whether you use tobacco products.
- Occupation: Your occupation may factor in your life insurance premiums. 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.
This means that while one particular insurance company might be the “best” for those using Marijuana, it’s entirely possible some other factor, such as your job or some 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 considered before applying for a particular insurance policy with a specific insurance company.
Life Insurance Policies You Can Qualify for with Marijuana Use
There are various types of life insurance policies available. The kind 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 Conditions
Suppose you have no pre-existing medical issues and you smoke Marijuana for recreational use. In that case, you will most likely have the option of any policy 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 who 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
Suppose you use Marijuana and you have significant medical issues, such as cancer. In that case, 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 who 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 one 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 that even though Marijuana has become “legal” in many states (medical vs recreational use will vary), it is still considered a controlled substance at the federal level. There is ongoing debate about its long-term health effects. Some studies suggest that regular marijuana use may increase the risk of specific health problems, such as respiratory issues, cognitive impairment, and mental health disorders.
These potential health risks could affect your life expectancy, affecting the insurer’s risk of paying out a death benefit. Therefore, insurers take into consideration the frequency and method of marijuana use, as well as your overall health and lifestyle, to determine the level of risk you pose and the premium you should pay.
Life insurance companies tend to be concerned if an individual uses Marijuana because smoking is the most common method of consumption. While some argue that Marijuana has health benefits, few would argue that inhaling smoke is good for your lungs.
That’s why many life insurance companies only offer coverage to frequent marijuana users at a “tobacco rate,” which can be two to three times more expensive than a “non-tobacco rate.” This is because smoking Marijuana has some similar health risks to smoking tobacco, and insurers need to assess the risk of insuring someone who uses it. However, it’s helpful to remember that not all insurers have the same policies, and some may offer more favorable rates to marijuana users than others.
The last reason…
Life insurance companies may “care” if an individual uses Marijuana because it can be used as a medication to treat a pre-existing medical condition. In some cases, the medical condition that requires marijuana treatment may affect an individual’s ability to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy.
Certain medical conditions are associated with medical marijuana use, and insurers need to assess the risk of insuring someone with a pre-existing medical condition. This is why some insurers may require more medical information or higher premiums for individuals who use Marijuana as a medication. However, not all insurers have the same policies, and some may be more lenient towards individuals who use Marijuana for medical purposes.
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 assume that one is asking this question out of curiosity and not because they are hoping not to 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 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” in 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 somewhat awkward situation.
Now that we’ve got all of that behind us, let’s 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. Suppose you have previously applied for life insurance, and it was discovered that you do use Marijuana. This information will be available to other insurance companies via the Medical Information Bureau or MIB.
- Previous encounters with the law. Suppose you have ever been issued a ticket for possession of Marijuana. In that case, most life insurance companies will use this “type” of information as a reason to infer that around the period you were ticketed, you did use Marijuana.
We should also point out that…
While many life insurance companies will differ about how they 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 it’s important always to be completely honest and allow your life insurance agent to determine what does and doesn’t need to be disclosed (i.e., “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 crucial 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. For this reason, it’s pretty much 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.
It 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 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 can meet all the other requirements 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 Medical Marijuana designation.
In cases like these…
We’re generally going to find that qualifying for a Preferred Non-tobacco rate may still be possible. 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 most 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 for 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 that warranted your prescription in the first place.
In cases like these…
The underlying pre-existing medical condition that warranted one’s Medical Marijuana ID will ultimately determine whether someone will or won’t be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
We invite you to look at our Pre-existing Medical Condition page for more information about your pre-existing medical condition.
Now, at this point…
We’ll often have applicants tell us that their pre-existing medical condition (which warranted their Medical Marijuana ID card) isn’t all that serious, which is all fine and dandy. Still, it’s important to remember that a life insurance company will consider your diagnosis seriously until they can determine otherwise.
Regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like yours. We are committed to helping all our clients find the “best” life insurance policy they can qualify for. This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…
How can I help ensure I get the “best life insurance”?
If you use Marijuana and want to ensure that you get the best life insurance policy for you, here are some tips to follow:
- Be honest about your marijuana use: Be sure to answer any questions about your marijuana use as truthfully as possible. If you lie and the insurer discovers that you use Marijuana, your policy may be canceled, or your claim may be denied.
- Shop around: Different life insurance companies have different policies regarding marijuana use. Some may be more lenient and offer lower premiums, while others may have strict policies and higher premiums.
- Consider quitting or reducing your marijuana use: If you are a frequent marijuana user, stopping or reducing your use can help you qualify for lower premiums or even a non-tobacco rate with some insurers. This is because regular marijuana use can be associated with health risks and can increase your risk of developing certain medical conditions.
- Improve your overall health: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking tobacco, can improve your overall health and help you qualify for lower premiums.
- Work with an experienced insurance agent: An experienced insurance agent knowledgeable about the policies of different insurers and how they handle marijuana use can help you find the best approach for you. They can also help you prepare for the application process and provide guidance on improving your chances of qualifying for a lower premium.