Can I Get Life Insurance If I Smoke Marijuana?
Yes! You can get life insurance even if you use marijuana. Many people think that just because they use a drug that is considered an illegal substance (in most states) means they cannot qualify for any life insurance. This is a common misconception. You are still eligible for coverage.
How Does Marijuana Affect My Rates for Life Insurance?
With many carriers, marijuana smokers are typically treated the same way as a cigarette smoker (or other nicotine product). You would be underwritten for smoker rates.
For those who smoke marijuana on a recreational basis and usage is very rare (e.g. once or twice in a year), you may be able to qualify for a non-smoker risk class – some, but not many carriers, may be able to consider this.
For those who smoke marijuana on a limited basis, you would be looking at a standard to substandard (table 2) risk classlification under smoker rates. If you are a heavy marijuana user, you are likely looking at a range of standard to substandard (table 6) risk classification, depending on frequency of usage, how much is used, and related factors.
As each carrier has their own underwriting guidelines that they follow, one carrier may be able to offer a much more favorable rate that others. Insurance companies can offer different risk classes (and different rates) for the same medical profile. This is another reason why you should get your policy through an independent agent like us because we can discuss your specific medical background and shop the case for you to determine which carrier will be able to offer you the coverage at the lowest possible cost.
What If My Doctor Prescribes Me Medical Marijuana?
Some states allow the use of medical marijuana to treat a variety of health conditions. If your doctor prescribes you medical marijuana and you are applying for life insurance, the insurance company is going to ask for more information regarding the medical condition the marijuana is being used to treat.
The risk classification you qualify for with a carrier (your rating) may or may not be impacted by the use of medical marijuana because a number of conditions may not be considered to have a large affect on your life expectancy. Shopping the case through an independent agent is critical when you take medical marijuana because this is an item that many carriers have different persepctives on.
What Kinds of Questions Will an Insurance Company Ask Me Regarding My Marijuana Usage?
Each carrier may ask different questions about the usage of marijuana, but, typically, these are some of the common ones that they will want clarification on:
- When did you start using marijuana?
- How often do you smoke marijuana?
- Do you use other drugs in addition to the use of marijuana? If so, what kinds, when did you start using other drugs, and how often do you use them?
- Have you ever sought medical treatment because of drug usage?
- Are you employed?
- Have you ever had any legal problems (e.g. arrested for possessing marijuana, driving under the influence, etc.)? If so, what was the result?
Can My Information Be Shared If I Admit to Using Marijuana on a Life Insurance Application?
No. Your statements on an application for life insurance benefits is protected under HIPPA laws. HIPPA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and guarantees the privacy of individually identifiable health information. This means that the information you disclose to an insurance agent, an insurance company, or a health provider who is giving your medical exam for life insurance is kept strictly private and confidential. Any medical information you provide, including the use of marijuana, cannot be given to other parties such as your spouse, employer, etc.
Do I Need to Take a Medical Exam When I Apply for Life Insurance?
Yes and No. It ultimately depends on what type of program you’re applying for as well as the face amount of the coverage and the term length of the program. If you want to secure the lowest possible cost for your life insurance policy, then you will need to take an exam.
Non-medical life insurance is available, but the premiums are typically quite higher than the cost of a program with an exam – due to the insurance company taking on a higher risk by not having a more complete medical background for the underwriting process. Please note, the face amount a carrier will issue under a no-exam life insurance policy is typically limited to about $250,000 with most carriers (some will go higher) and only available until a certain age.
What Does a Medical Exam Consist Of?
A medical exam for life insurance typically consists of an examiner asking you if you’ve been treated for certain health conditions, checking your height/weight profile, reading your pulse rate, a blood test, and a urine test.
For older individuals (usually over 50 or 60) a carrier may request an EKG also be completed. If you’re a senior over the age of 70, a cognitive function test may also be asked.
An exam typically takes about 30 minutes or so and can be completed where you are most comfortable – this can include having it done at the privacy of your own home, having the examiner come to your workplace, or going to an approved clinic.
What If I Just Lie On The Application?
In every life insurance policy, there is a 2-year contestability period where if it’s discovered that you have intentionally misrepresented (known as material misrepresentation) information to the carrier, the insurance company has the right to rescind the policy and refund the premiums you paid up until that point. The point being you should never lie on an application for life insurance. Always be up front and honest about any usage so you do not put your policy at risk of being terminated (and therefore putting your beneficiary to receive the proceeds at risk of not getting anything).
If you have any questions about life insurance and marijuana usage or any other insurance questions, please give us a call at 1-800-571-2980 or click on the “contact us” tab at the top of the page. We do not charge any fees for our services – there is no extra cost to buying your insurance through an independent agent. We look forward to working with you and finding you the best life insurance rates for your coverage!