With the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana over the years, a huge societal attitude and those within the insurance industry have indeed changed. One of the key differences, however, is how life insurance companies view marijuana users compared to non-users. These, therefore, are important differences for actual and prospective policyholders who are currently engaging in the use of marijuana, be it for medicinal or otherwise.

This blog post brings out the main differences in life insurance of a marijuana user and a non-user, who qualifies for the insurance cover, the cost of premiums, and how one goes about to be insured.

1. Underwriting Criteria and Eligibility

Non-Smokers:   Underwriting life insurance for the non-smoker is, in fact, pretty simple. Factors to be considered by the insurer most of the time are age, health history, family medical history, and lifestyle choices. Generally, non-smokers rate under the best category, which is “Preferred Plus” or “Preferred Non-Tobacco,” assuming no other health or lifestyle criteria issues.

Marijuana Smokers:
Other aspects insurers consider include its frequency of use, the method of consumption (smoking, edibles, etc.), and if the marijuana is used for medical reasons. Those may consider a higher-rated class of “Smoker” for frequent marijuana smokers while continuing to leave occasional users eligible under the lower rate with “Non-Smoker.” Be honest: Lying on your application about marijuana use could cause your policy to be denied or canceled.

2. Premium Rates

In return, non-smokers enjoy reduced premium rates due to the reduced risks associated with their living standards. Life insurance, on the other side, means premiums generally are rated according to the risk that the insured will lose his or her life too soon. Statistically speaking, non-smokers really do tend to live longer and healthier lives, so this is reflected in their premiums.

Marijuana Smokers:
Marijuana users may see higher premiums, but this depends greatly on the insurer’s policies toward marijuana. Some have kept up with changing laws and social views; hence, they offer rates for marijuana users that rival those for non-smokers, especially if the use is infrequent or for medicinal purposes.

Others, however, may still view marijuana use as a risk factor, resulting in higher premiums.

3. The Application Process

Non-Smokers:   The process of application for a non-smoker is relatively easy. It requires answering a number of questions with regard to the medical questionnaire, physical examination, and review of the medical records where applicable. The habits questions are asked to the non-smokers about smoking and taking alcohol, but there will be no question about marijuana if they don’t take it. **Marijuana Smokers: * Marijuana users will be required to go through the same underwriting with some additional questions regarding the amount of marijuana being used, which could include the frequency, quantity of marijuana (recreational or medical), and some additional purpose. Some insurers may even conduct a drug test.

Therefore, honesty during the process is very key. Failure to disclose such use of marijuana can be constituted as fraud and in the end will, to either the denial of coverage or the denial of future claims.

4. Coverage Considerations The coverage should consider both the user and non-user and should be able to hold needs that depend on income, debt, and dependents. Life insurance remains indispensable in both the user’s and non-user’s financial planning, bearing in mind that in case one happens to die at an inopportune time, there is a need to take care of his respective loved one.     Conclusion As the legal landscape continues shifting regarding marijuana, the insurance industry is building its changing approach to policyholders using marijuana. Life insurance for marijuana smokers still differs from that of non-smokers, but the difference is beginning to narrow. The prospective policyholder should look into insurers that accommodate most, if not all, of the lifestyle choices to ensure he or she is covered when necessary and at the best rate. Always remember, this means that one should be very honest and open with the insurer on everything from the use of marijuana to all other health and lifestyle factors in order to get proper coverage.


Looking for life insurance free consultation


Tim Elenz