Marijuana Usage & Life Insurance

Critical Advice (5 Minute Read)

The goal for every marijuana user should be to get “non-smoker” rates.  We’ll explain how in this article.

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First and foremost, life insurance companies won’t automatically decline you for marijuana use – in fact, you can get some of the best rates.  You just have to use the right life insurance company and let your life insurance agent know the details of your usage.  ie.  how many times you smoke per month? recreational or medicinal? etc.

The best advice I can give to marijuana users looking to find low cost life insurance is not to do it on your own.

Always use an independent life insurance agent. Taking this approach will ensure you not only find approval but an affordable policy at the lowest possible rates. Marijuana use and life insurance is a tricky subject and we will help you save time and money.

There are over 850 life insurance companies in the United States. Many of these companies will automatically decline your application if you use marijuana.

Marijuana is now legal for both recreational and medical use in many U.S. States. (see image on the right)

The Federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 illegal drug. This is the main reason why many life insurers are still reluctant to accept life insurance applications from marijuana users.

The good news is that there is a growing number of life insurers who are more proactive when it comes approving those who use marijuana.

It is also important to know that any information you provide about using marijuana is completely confidential and private.

This applies at every stage of the application and approval process. Your confidentiality is guaranteed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

Another reason for using an independent life insurance agent is because marijuana use falls into 2 categories including:

– Recreational marijuana users
– Medical marijuana users

Cannabis users in each of these 2 categories are underwritten differently.

Recreational Marijuana Users and Life Insurance

Most marijuana friendly life insurers will underwrite recreational users the same as any other individual applying for life insurance.

The only challenge is to ensure your application is being submitted to an insurer which is marijuana friendly. This is where an independent life insurance agent can be most helpful. These agents know the best companies for recreational marijuana use.

Your rating as a recreational marijuana user will be based on a variety of factors. These underwriting factors include your age, gender, smoking, family history, height/weight ratio, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and any existing medical conditions.
The big difference is that most recreational marijuana users generally smoke the product.

Smoking marijuana can also greatly impact your rating and what you pay for a policy. You will likely be rated for either:

1) Non-Smokers Rates
2) Smokers Rates

Those of you who are underwritten as a “Smoker” can expect to pay as much as 3 X more than the same policy as a “Non-Smoker”.

Because life insurance is a long term investment, the difference in what you pay can be in the thousands of dollars.

Even if you smoke cannabis only a couple times per month or daily, most life insurers will assess you with a “Smoker’s” rating.
But, there are a very small handful of life insurers which are much more lenient. If you smoke marijuana 5 times or less per week, these more lenient companies may underwrite you as a “Non-Smoker.”

These marijuana-friendly life insurance companies look at the frequency of marijuana use to determine your health class rating and therefore the premium you pay.

If you use marijuana 2x per year versus 2x per week, then you will get a better rating and pay a lower premium for your coverage. Contact us with questions and your usage to get an idea of rates and which company to apply with.

Most of these marijuana-friendly life insurance companies don’t test for THC during the underwriting process. They will go off of what you put down on the application. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need to abstain from bud.

You will only find these more lenient companies for occasional marijuana use by using an independent life insurance agent.

Medical Marijuana Users and Life Insurance

Underwriting approaches for those who have a medical marijuana card is different than recreational users.

The reason is because it’s not the marijuana use that is being considered, but the medical condition itself.

Just because you have a medical condition, this does not necessarily mean you will have to pay an arm and a leg for a policy.
There are 2 vital points to keep in mind.

The first point is that there are a number of medical conditions which are minor in nature. Many medical conditions will have no impact on your life expectancy.

Also, with the rapid advancement of highly successful medical treatments, many more serious conditions can be either curable or are very treatable.

The most important underwriting concern for a life insurer is that your condition is medically stable and under control.
The longer you have been in remission without a relapse, the more favorable your rating.

The second point is that each and every life insurer has its own underwriting guidelines. This applies to a vast variety of individual medical conditions.

Many life insurance companies are slow to adjust their underwriting approaches with these new medical advances. Other companies are more adept in adjusting their underwriting guidelines.

One company might give you a “Standard” rating, while many other companies might give you a “Table” rating.
Each change in a health rating can affect what you pay for a premium by as much as 25%.

An independent life insurance agent has access to several dozens of life insurance companies. These agents know which companies are better than others when it comes to a range of individual health conditions.
Knowing these differences can save you a lot of money.

Independent life insurance agents also work strictly for you and not a particular life insurance company. They understand and know the underwriting guidelines for each company. They keep track of any changes each company makes for these underwriting guidelines.

Life Insurance Solutions for Marijuana Users

Whether you use marijuana recreationally or for medical purposes, there is a life insurance solution for any situation.
Although there are hundreds of life insurance companies, they do not offer the same policies.

Many companies specialize in only offering specific policies. Some only offer Term and others only offer Permanent policies. Some offer both but do not offer Simplified Issue (No-Medical) or Guaranteed Issue.

Even those companies which offer Term may not necessarily offer the Term length you need. Some may offer a 10 or 20-year term, but not a 30-year term.

These differences also apply to Permanent polices such as Whole or Universal life policies.

Some policies are much more flexible than others. Age limits, face amounts of coverage, riders, length of coverage can vary from insurer to insurer for each of these policies.

Finding the right policy that specifically meets your particular needs can be more easily found when using an independent life insurance agent to guide you.

Essentially there are 4 basic types of life insurance options for marijuana users. These options include:

– Term Life Insurance
– Permanent Life Insurance (Includes Whole Life and Universal Life)
– No-Medical or Simplified Life Insurance
– Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Let’s explain what each of these coverage types entail.

Term Life Insurance

Standard term life insurance requires you to take a medical exam. Term is the most affordable form of life insurance which you can purchase.

Term is a very basic form of life insurance. It offers death benefits only and is sold in periods of time. Term policies can be 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years of time. A few companies offer age specific terms such as age 65 or to customize your term such as for 23 or 29 years.

Face amounts of coverage can range anywhere from $100,000 to as high as $10 million or more.

The drawback to term is that if you need longer coverage, you will have to renew the policy. A policy can become much more expensive as you get older.

Most term policies come with a conversion rider. This allows you to convert your policy to a permanent policy at certain anniversary dates specified in the policy. You can do so without having to take a medical exam.

Permanent Life Insurance

These policies also require a medical exam. Permanent policies last your entire lifespan.

Permanent policies not only offer death benefits but they also may provide a cash value accumulation feature. The cash value accumulation portion grows during the duration of the policy.

These policies are much more expensive than term policies.

You can also borrow against the cash value accumulation portion. Any funds that are owed at the time of your death will be deducted from the death benefits plus any accumulated interest.

No Medical Life Insurance

Also know as Simplified Issue, these policies do not ask that you take a medical exam. All you have to do is answer a few health questions.

Policies generally offer a lower amount of coverage. No medical coverage is available as both term and permanent policies. They are slightly more expensive than equivalent coverage amounts which require a medical exam.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

These policies should only be considered by those who have a serious life-threatening health condition. There is no medical exam and many companies do not ask any health questions.

Coverage amounts generally do not exceed $25,000. They are also more expensive for equivalent amounts than the policies above.

Bottom Line
Marijuana users should always use an independent agent when it comes to finding the right policy and at the lowest rates. These agents can save you a lot of time and money will guide you to the best life insurance company for your particular situation.