Will Marijuana Use Affect Life Insurance Rates?

Will Marijuana Use Affect Life Insurance Rates?  This question is just one that we receive often.  Consumers are unsure how their marijuana use will affect their ability to secure a life insurance policy.

The use of cannabis or marijuana is increasing in frequency and our society is changing its views on its use.

term life insurance goalsNo matter how some may view this topic, we must look at the issue of Cannabis and how it relates to life insurance.

Not only is Marijuana currently legal for recreation and medical use in many states, but it is expanding frequently.  

Some of the common questions life insurance for marijuana smokers ask are:

  • Does life insurance test for drugs?
  • Do you get drug tested for life insurance?
  • Can you get life insurance if you smoke weed?
  • Does life insurance test for THC?

So how does the life insurance industry look at THC, Cannabis or Marijuana?

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Will Marijuana Use Affect Life Insurance Rates?

You’re probably like most shoppers and wonder if Marijuana use will cause you some problems securing a life insurance policy.

Like we previously mentioned Marijuana is legal for medicinal and recreational use, but does that mean that life insurance companies will be ok with it during the underwriting process?

Let’s go over what Marijuana is and what you need to understand to get coverage.

What is Marijuana or Cannabis?

Cannabis is the most frequently used illegal drug in the U.S.A. and is used by more than 13% of the population.

Since it is becoming more accepted in our country’s culture and laws, its use is expected to grow.

life insurance lab resultsMarijuana is a psychoactive drug that is natural. Cannabis comes from the leaves and flowers of the Hemp plant.

The primary psychoactive and hallucinogenic ingredient in Marijuana is called Tetrahydrocannabinol (also referred to as THC).

The THC causes intoxication and euphoria as it binds to particular neuroreceptors in the human brain. There is only a portion of the THC that is absorbed into the brain. The maximum effects of Cannabis occur in the first fifteen to thirty minutes.

Marijuana is used most commonly by smoking it in a pipe or like a cigarette. Cannabis can also be ingested by using it as an ingredient and combining it with other foods.

Interestingly enough, Cannabis can be taken in the form of a pill and made into a beverage. Regardless of the way you take it, you will be looked at as a Marijuana user by the life insurance companies.

Marijuana intoxication can affect:

  • Attention and short term memory
  • Skilled activities
  • Reaction times

The effects of Cannabis are temporary and are similar to alcohol. Physiologically, the main risk from a life insurance underwriter is lung damage.

Some evidence has suggested that excessive Marijuana use may cause pharynx, lung, oral cavity, and esophageal cancers.

Due to these concerns, many life insurance companies will label Marijuana users will receive a tobacco/smoker rating.

Many…but not ALL.

With a tobacco rating, Marijuana users will pay approximately two times as much as non tobacco rates.

Will Marijuana Affect My Life Insurance?

For the most part, life insurance companies run a pretty conservative business and for good reason.

The life insurance industry’s focus is to evaluate how much of a risk a new applicant is to their company.

best life insurance companyThe life insurance company needs to implement a very thorough process before approving a policy.

They want to know if you are risky in several areas of your life.

  • Are you a health risk?
  • Are you a good driver?
  • Do you have risky hobbies or jobs?

These are just some general areas that life insurance companies will analyze very carefully during the application and underwriting process.

But what about medical marijuana and life insurance?  Is there a difference from recreational?

With life insurance, the companies are looking at health risk and frequency. They aren’t particularly concerned about playing the role of law enforcement.

More marijuana life insurance questions?

  • Is life insurance for pot smokers affordable? (Yes)
  • Does life insurance drug test? (Yes)
  • Does life insurance for marijuana smokers take longer to approve? (No)

term life insurance disadvantagesWill the life insurance companies deny you entirely?

Is it a waste of time even trying to apply for life insurance coverage because Cannabis is still illegal in some places?

No…It isn’t a waste of time.

Will they look more favorably now that it is legal in some states and new evidence is showing that it’s relatively safe?

In general, there are some Cannabis friendly life insurance companies.

We know of the life insurance carriers that may offer marijuana users up to a Preferred Plus rate.

There are other life insurance companies that are going to deny you coverage immediately.

Finding the Marijuana friendly life insurance companies at the beginning of your research is key.

Helpful Links:

High Risk Life Insurance

How Does Smoking Marijuana Affect Life Insurance?

Every Marijuana life insurance case is looked at differently on an individual basis.  

You need understand that there isn’t a universal guide that all life insurance companies use to approve or decline applications.

This is the case for marijuana users or any other potential risk (diabetes, heart disease, overweight, etc.).

You’re wanting to know the answers to the most common life insurance marijuana questions:

  • Do you get drug tested for life insurance?
  • Do life insurance companies test for marijuana?
  • Do life insurance companies test for THC?

Yes, most life insurance policies will have a life insurance medical exam drug test.

However…

life insurance tipEvery life insurance company has their own unique underwriting standards.

Some of these companies are more strict and others are more forgiving towards marijuana use.  

Your specific details will help determine which life insurance company to apply with.

Your agent should use a life insurance drug screening with you before they provide you quotes. This will allow them to find the best company for your situation.

Here are some questions that your agent should be asking you to research the best life insurance companies for marijuana users:

  • Do you use medical marijuana or recreational marijuana?
  • Do you use medical marijuana? What health condition is it used for and the severity?
  • Do you use any other drugs or alcohol?
  • What is your frequency of marijuana use?
  • How to you take marijuana? Ingested or inhaled?
  • Have you had any issues with law enforcement or your physician?

So if you smoke marijuana daily, your chances are not as good at securing a good life insurance rate as someone who uses twice a week.

It’s very common for a life insurance applicant to receive a Standard Tobacco rate as the best possible offer.

Getting an unfavorable rate class will often occur when you apply directly with a company without knowing how the company underwrites marijuana life insurance.

At LifeInsuranceBlog, we are aware of the companies that will look at your situation the best. Depending on your marijuana use frequency and if you use it for medical purposes – we have access to companies that can offer at Standard Non Tobacco and sometimes Preferred rate classes.

Digging Deeper into Marijuana Underwriting

Your life insurance agent will want to know your marijuana use details so they can focus on the companies that will provide you the best chance at affordable coverage.

life insurance tip and suggestionThe first area to look into is if you are using marijuana for a medical issue or recreationally?

If you have been prescribed cannabis, the life insurance underwriter will be looking into what health issue that the cannabis is used for.

Medical marijuana’s purpose is to treat a symptom and provide relief or a benefit.

Marijuana Medicinal Use

The use of marijuana can be prescribed by a physician in many states.

Medical marijuana may be prescribed to help with muscle spasms, pain, cancer, severe arthritis, HIV symptoms, glaucoma, seizures from epilepsy, weight loss and nausea.

See our infographic below to see some interesting facts on medical marijuana.

life insurance with medical marijuana use

Medical Marijuana Information

These associated health issues are extremely important and need to be explained to your agent.

The reason is because this information will also be factored into underwriting.

Your agent needs to find out if your condition that is being treated for marijuana an uninsurable condition.

When marijuana is prescribed by your physician, your life insurance health class rating is based on our underlying condition and not your actual use of medical cannabis.

Marijuana Recreational Use

Recreational marijuana use is also looked at by the life insurance underwriter.

Your current and past use of marijuana, your age and results from a urine test are all analyzed.

The underwriter will also be wanting to see how frequently you use cannabis.

 

For recreational marijuana users who are 20 years old or younger: DECLINED
For recreational marijuana users who are 21 years old or older WITH admission:
Marijuana use up to 3xs per week NO RATING
Use of marijuana 4-6xs per week TABLE B
Use of marijuana 7xs or more per week DECLINE
For recreational marijuana users who are 21 years old or older WITHOUT admission:
Urine test with a positive THC result DECLINE

 

Your frequency of marijuana use can be classified in a few ways.

  • Intermittent or Experimental Use
    • This is for marijuana users who have tried it but don’t use it anymore.
    • Using marijuana two times a month or less
  • Moderate Marijuana Use
    • If you use marijuana 8-16 times per month
  • Heavy Marijuana Use
    • Using marijuana 4xs or more per week.

 

Medical Marijuana Case Study

I was contacted recently from a 39 year old gentleman who was looking for a $1,500,000 30 year term.

We went over the marijuana questionnaire and I provided him the best company he could qualify for.

helpful life insurance tipsHe qualified for Standard Plus NON SMOKER rates which he was extremely happy to hear.

My client could have qualified for Preferred rates, but unfortunately his cholesterol levels were a little elevated.

Before contacting LifeInsuranceBlog, he was actually quoted at a much more expensive Table 2!

He applied easily over the phone with me, completed his medical exam and went through underwriting. When all was said and done, his Standard Plus premium was $256 per month for a 30 year term!

This was a savings of $202 per month from the Table 2 rated company and an annual savings of $2,424.

Over the life of this 30 year term life policy, he will potentially save $72,720!

Life Insurance Approval with Marijuana Use

So now we know it’s possible to get life insurance with some life insurance companies when you use marijuana. We know what happens if you test positive for marijuana for life insurance. We know that using medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is a factor.

Using Medical Marijuana May Help… or Not

Most of the life insurance companies will consider a medical marijuana user by looking through medical records and searching for the health related reasons for the prescription.

You may still end up being rated as a tobacco user or smoker depending on the life insurance company. Remember that medical marijuana is typically used to treat the symptoms of a debilitating conditions.

life insurance tip and suggestionHere’s the Catch-22. If your medical condition is not going to be considered serious by the life insurance underwriter, you could be treated as a recreational marijuana user. This could actually result in a worse class rating.

Now if your health condition is significant, it could very well be an uninsurable health condition. Your health condition might be insurable, but the premium of your policy might be very high.

Marijuana Life Insurance Rate Class

How much is life insurance for marijuana users going to cost? This is one of the most asked questions once we get past if coverage is possible.

term life insurance rateLet’s look into what will determine what life insurance rate class you may fall into and how to make sure you get the best rate.

Depending on the life insurance company, marijuana users can get approved with:

  • Preferred Rates
  • Standard Rates
  • Non Tobacco and Tobacco Rates
  • Table Rates
  • and even Declined

How can Cannabis Users Get the Best Rates?

Make sure you are working closely with an independent life insurance agent or agency like LifeInsuranceBlog. You will need experts who have access to dozens of life insurance companies in order to shop your case and secure the best rates.

It doesn’t matter what your health is or what drugs you have or haven’t used. The absolute best way to make sure you’re getting the lowest life insurance rates is to work with an independent licensed broker.

LifeInsuranceBlog is an online broker that will make your life insurance shopping convenient, easy and fast. Don’t hesitate, because we’re experienced with getting marijuana users the best life insurance rates.

Many of the shoppers we speak to have already been declined life insurance because of their use of marijuana.

You’ll have options when you work directly with us. We have access to top rated life insurance companies that are tops in the niches that they rank for.

Don’t Lie on the Life Insurance Application

LIFE INSURANCE TIP: Whatever you decide to do and whichever life insurance company you decide to apply with – Never lie on your life insurance application. Whether you use marijuana or not, always provide the requested details on the life insurance application. You can be rejected if you lie about your use of cannabis.

life insurance tipsDo not lie when applying for life insurance. Even if you use marijuana recreationally and it is illegal in your state.

The life insurance underwriter is not really concerned about the legality of marijuana use in your state.

The life insurance company is more concerned about your use of marijuana and its impact on your health and risk. The life insurance company underwriter isn’t a narc. They simply want to calculate how much of a risk you are and charge you appropriately for your life insurance policy.

Hiding Your Marijuana Use Isn’t an Option

You typically will have to undergo a health exam before you are offered a life insurance policy. Part of this exam is a urine and blood sample.

term life insurance lab resultsIf you use marijuana, THC will typically show up in your results from between three and 14 days after you used cannabis.

The frequency of your marijuana use will also be a factor in your lab results. Cannabis can be detected in your urine up to a month depending on how often you use marijuana.

Marijuana Users Declined Life Insurance

Now you know that you shouldn’t lie on your life insurance application. However, you need to know the specifics why it’s very important to be truthful. If you are caught lying about your marijuana use, you can be declined by the life insurance company you applied with.

life insurance declinesYou can also be declined from other life insurance companies moving forward!

When you’re declined life insurance, the company can report you to the MIB. The MIB is the Medical Information Bureau which is like your health credit report.

Every life insurance company you apply with has access to your MIB report. If they see that you’ve been declined due to lying, they may see you a a high risk and reject your application.

Marijuana and Tobacco

Many times, marijuana use is grouped together with tobacco, cigarette, and cigar use.

Many life insurance companies will lump marijuana users together with cigarette smokers and tobacco users.

This may not sit well with you and you may be justified because there are studies suggesting cannabis use isn’t as risky as cigarette use.

life insurance underwriting resultsUnfortunately the government hasn’t allowed proper studies of marijuana which made underwriting difficult for the life insurance industry.

The life insurance underwriters don’t have a huge pool of research to look into like they do with other potential risks.

The future is looking brighter, but until more scientific evidence is provided, most life insurance companies are going to look at marijuana use as a risk similar to smoking cigarettes.

Similarly to tobacco rates, the frequency of marijuana use will be a factor in what you’ll ultimately pay for your life insurance premium. The more marijuana you smoke, the more you’ll pay.

Cigar smokers are another great example of this.

Some life insurance companies will provide non smoker rates to cigar smokers depending on how often they smoke.

Tips to Getting the Best Life Insurance Policy

Let’s look at how you can get organized before you contact a licensed life insurance broker.

These tips will help you provide your life insurance agent with important details about your marijuana use.

TIP #1: Be Upfront

Do you use marijuana? You need to let your life insurance agent know right away that you use cannabis.

Withholding your marijuana usage can be disastrous in your attempt to get life insurance. Your agent is here to help you find the companies that you can qualify for and get the best rate available.

If you don’t disclose your cannabis use, you can be denied when the life insurance company detects THC levels from your medical exam results. Remember: Life insurance test for drugs and test for THC in the urine.

Don’t risk being rejected life insurance because you use marijuana. Your agent is here to help you.

TIP #2: Why You Use Marijuana

Are you using marijuana to treat a medical condition? Are you using marijuana recreationally? Every life insurance company will want to know the reason for your use of marijuana.

If you’re using recreational marijuana, make sure you explain that to your agent and don’t be afraid to explain. Your agent and the life insurance company aren’t reporting you to law enforcement. Your information is confidential and covered under HIPPA.

If you use medical marijuana, your agent will need to know what it was prescribed for. You will also need to provide details of any and all health conditions in order for proper life insurance company selection to occur.

Tip #3: Marijuana Frequency

Your life insurance agent will need to know how often you use marijuana in order to recommend the best life insurance companies available to you.

No matter if you are an infrequent or frequent marijuana user, your agent can find the life insurance agencies that give you the best chance at affordable coverage.

Best Life Insurance Companies for Marijuana

best life insurance companiesRemember that every life insurance company will look at you and every applicant differently.

Each company will look at your marijuana use and other factors before offering you a life insurance policy.

With that said, here are the life insurance companies that we’ve found to be the best toward marijuana users.

Prudential

American General

Banner

Lincoln

MetLife

Transamerica

Voya ING

Life Insurance Tip: Not only will your life insurance agent need to know about your marijuana use, but also other factors.

In order for your agent to shop your case and find the best life insurance companies that you’ll qualify for they will need details on your:

Shopping for Life Insurance

You will always need to shop around when buying life insurance, especially if you use marijuana or cannabis.

Just know that affordable life insurance and marijuana use is possible.

Regardless of your situation, reach out to an independent life insurance broker like LifeInsuranceBlog.

fast life insurance approvalWhen you work with LifeInsuranceBlog we’ll save you time and money.

We will simply shop your case from the dozens of top rated life insurance companies available in the market.

You can get started today by comparing multiple life insurance quotes on our site.

However, in order to get customized quotes, you should give us a call at 888-411-1329 for a quote specifically for you.

Life insurance rates can vary up to 73% depending on the company!

Thanks for reading our post, Will Marijuana Use Affect Life Insurance Rates?. Please leave a comment or question down below.

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Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn is the founder of LifeInsuranceBlog. If you have specific questions or face challenges getting coverage. Please email or call me a call at 888-411-1329 - Either way, I'm happy to help you.

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