With the rise of legal marijuana use has caused the life insurance companies to evaluate how to rate life insurance for marijuana smokers.
When an individual applies for life insurance, the underwriters at the insurance carrier will want to know a great deal of information about that person so that they can get a good idea of the amount of risk that they are taking on.
That way, they can get a clear picture of how to classify the policy, as well as the amount of premium to charge.
Some of the information that this is based upon is the applicant’s age and gender, as well as the person’s overall health condition. In addition, one of the biggest factors can be whether or not the individual smokes.
While the smoking of tobacco cigarettes can play a role in the price of life insurance coverage, since life insurance coverage for smokers is more expensive, other substances such as marijuana can also make a difference.
How Smoking Marijuana Can Affect Your Life Insurance Application for Coverage
Although smoking marijuana is not considered to be as harmful as the taking of hard drugs such as cocaine, someone who tests positive for the smoking of this particular substance will likely need to pay more for their life insurance coverage.
This is because they will typically be considered as a smoker – and smoking has an effect on a person’s overall life expectancy.
Therefore, even if the individual is considered to be healthy in all other aspects, he or she may not qualify for a Standard life insurance policy and will likewise oftentimes receive the same premium rate as someone who has gotten a life insurance policy as a cigar smoker.
This is often higher – in fact, sometimes three or four times greater – than that of a non-smoker, with all other factors being equal.
It is also important to note that all of the classifications for those who use marijuana are not the same for all life insurance carriers. For example, just as with other life insurance qualification factors, while all insurance carrier have some criteria that they follow for reviewing their applicants, not all insurers will use identical parameters.
Therefore, if an individual applies at one carrier, he or she could qualify as a Standard policyholder. But, if they apply at another insurance carrier – even with the same information on the application paperwork and medical examination – they may qualify only as a Substandard policyholder.
This is why it is imperative to shop around with more than just one insurance company before making your final determination when purchasing coverage – as it could make a big difference in the amount of premium that you pay.
This is especially the case if you will be paying these premiums over an extended period of time. For example, even just a difference in premium of $50 per year, over a 20-year period is a difference of $1,000.
In the case of marijuana usage, each life insurance company may also have a differing stance on how this item is used. For instance, the individual may use marijuana either medicinally or recreationally.
With this in mind, it will be significant to understand the life insurance carrier’s stance on how each is viewed, as this too can make a big difference in the amount of premium that is charged.
What Will the Underwriters Want to Know If You Smoke Marijuana
When applying for coverage, it will be important that you disclose all information regarding yourself, your health, and your use of marijuana to the life insurance underwriters.
This is because if you omit any information, it could negate your coverage in the future if it were to be discovered. This could put your beneficiaries in an unfortunate position – especially if you would be unable to obtain coverage at that time due to your age or an adverse health condition.
In most cases, it will be necessary to complete a life insurance application for coverage. Here, you will be asked basic information about yourself, as well as about your health condition and health history.
Questions on this portion of the insurance application will include details such as your age, gender, height and weight, marital status, occupation and income, and health.
The application will also inquire about your smoking status. Today, life insurance applications do not typically differentiate between smoking marijuana, ingesting it, or using a vaporizer.
Therefore, regardless of how you may ingest it, it will be important to let the underwriters know that you use this substance if it is the case.
The underwriters will also want to know your reason for using marijuana. This will be an important factor – especially if you have been prescribed the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
This is because there is a big difference in the eyes of the life insurance underwriters when someone is using marijuana for medical reasons as versus for recreational reasons. There is also a big difference in various medical reasons for the use of marijuana.
For example, someone may use this substance for cancer while another individual may use it to help them with their glaucoma. (In this example, one issue can be life threatening and can have a big effect on life insurance coverage, while the other is not).
Therefore, if you do use marijuana, you may be asked some or all of the following additional questions when applying for life insurance coverage:
- Do you use marijuana for medicinal purposes?
- If you use marijuana for medicinal purposes, what are / is the purpose?
- How often do you use marijuana?
- How do you ingest marijuana?
In most cases, applicants for life insurance coverage will need to undergo a medical examination. During this exam – which typically takes about 30 minutes – you will meet with a paramedical professional who will take a blood pressure and a heart rate reading.
You will also be asked for a blood and a urine sample. These samples will be tested – and during these tests, the use of marijuana will typically show up. Therefore, it is always best to note your use of marijuana on the application for coverage, as it will be detected during the medical exam.
How Much Will Coverage Cost for Those Who Use Marijuana
For those who use marijuana, the cost of life insurance coverage can depend on several factors. These will be depending upon how often marijuana is used, as well as the reasons why it is being used.
For example, if you are using marijuana due to a health condition such as cancer, then it may be that you will qualify for a Substandard rate. (This may also be due to other factors, such as your adverse health condition).
However, if you are in excellent health, and you only use marijuana a couple of times per year – such as one or two times in total – then you may be able to qualify for a Preferred rate by the insurance company. This means that you would pay less in premium than even the Standard, or average, policyholder.