Although the recreational use of Marijuana has continued in popularity, especially in states that have legalized it, life insurance companies have typically denied or rated applicants that disclose any marijuana use on the application. For applicants who omit marijuana use on the application and then submit to a blood and urine specimen, if the test is positive for marijuana, coverage will likely be denied. There is, however, a great way to find the best life insurance rates for marijuana smokers,
As life insurers contend with our ever progressing society, there are some insurers that are considered to be “marijuana friendly.” In fact, because many states have legalized medical use of marijuana, and now more are legalizing recreational use, life insurance underwriters seem to be easing up on their opinions of how marijuana use might impact the risks they are accepting.
Certainly, things change, and even though federal law still considers marijuana use illegal, life insurers appear to be coming around slowly but surely.
What You Should Know
When it comes to purchasing life insurance when you are a marijuana user, the important thing is knowing which companies to shop with so you can get the best rates available. Although there are not a lot of marijuana friendly companies to choose from, there are methods you can employ that will allow you to purchase life insurance as a marijuana user. Your type of use will also come into play. If you use medical marijuana, your insurer will want to know a lot about the underlying condition that is being treated. If you are a recreational user, the insurer will want to know how often.
How to Choose a Life Insurance Company
The primary factor that life insurers consider when underwriting a case with medical marijuana disclosed, is the medical condition that it has been prescribed for. WebMD reports that the typical reason for which marijuana is prescribed is pain resulting from various conditions such as:
- Severe headaches
- Some cancers
- Nerve pain
- Muscle spasms caused by MS
- Nausea resulting from chemotherapy
- Weight loss caused by chronic illness
- Crohn’s disease
Since your marijuana use is related to an illness, your best bet is to look for a carrier that has the most favorable rates for your health condition, not just the marijuana that has been prescribed.
“Marijuana Friendly” Life Insurers
The following list of life insurance companies has published underwriting guidelines that allow for applicants with marijuana use to obtain the best rates currently available. Since this list is fluid because of frequent changes in the marketplace, they are not ranked in any particular order.
Metlife stands out amongst most life insurers because they will allow applicants to use marijuana up to four times a week and still be rated as standard non-smoker, and once a week use can earn preferred rates. As of this writing, we are not aware of any other carrier with such liberal underwriting guidelines. Metlife will also go as far as distinguishing between smoking and edibles, and the company is willing to offer preferred elite rates for applicants who use edibles.
Prudential is considered marijuana friendly because it will allow a standard rate for marijuana use up to three times a week. Prudential also receives high marks since they are preferred company for high-risk cases which is very important for medicinal users that are prescribed for a serious underlying condition.
Principal makes the short list because they will allow up to two uses per month and still qualify as standard non-smoker. This may not appear to be very liberal but remember, most carriers will assign a smoker rate for any use. They will consider better rates on a case by case basis if the applicant strictly uses edibles. This is a big advantage if you prefer edibles over smoking.
United of Omaha
With United of Omaha, marijuana users that limit their use to once per week can still get standard non-smoker rates. Even though they do not offer preferred rates when you list marijuana use on the application, they are still considered to have fairly liberal underwriting guidelines.
If you are an occasional social user, American General may offer preferred rates. If you are a three time per year user, you may still be offered some of the best rates in the marketplace. For applicants who use it a bit more such as twice per month. American General will still offer standard rates, which is considered pretty liberal underwriting.
What if I Go Elsewhere?
If you decide to apply to other companies, it’s likely you will receive smoker rates instead of the best rates for marijuana smokers right from the start. Smoker rates are much higher than non-smoker rates so why pay more than you have to? Remember, your rates will be set for the life of the policy and your out-of-pocket costs will be substantial.
Some companies will assign smoker rates and an additional table rating, making your policy even more expensive, and this will before they even begin to underwrite your medical history.
Although every situation is different and should be considered on an individual basis, this short list will give you a good starting place for you to pay less for your life insurance.
There are life insurers that offer policies with limited underwriting. Although you are more likely to qualify for coverage, you will pay much higher rates since the insurance company is doing less underwriting and thus accepting more risk.
Three Tips For Getting the Best Insurance Rates for Marijuana Smokers
- Always work with a reputable independent agent that represents the companies list above. Most reputable brokers have access to the top 100 carriers and so it’s highly likely that these five will be among their list of carriers.
- Be upfront with your agent about marijuana use. Why you use it and how often you use it is the barometer your agent will use for selecting the carrier which will best meet your individual needs.
- Be honest when answering questions and never omit your marijuana use. Even though the contestability period is usually only two years, why take the chance of having a claim denied for misrepresentation?