It’s fairly obvious that consumers in the U.S. are taking a more liberal view on marijuana use. In fact, more than 50% of the states have legalized its use in some manner. Although life insurance companies are conservative in nature, many of them today are opening up to the idea of insuring the lives of marijuana users. This change in attitude may be attributed to new information about the lifelong effects of marijuana use, or it could be that competition has forced many insurers to liberalize their underwriting standards and guidelines. For consumers trying to understand insurance products, there are marijuana questions to ask before you buy.
What Type of Insurance is Most Affordable for Marijuana Users?
Term Life insurance continues to be the most affordable type of life insurance for all consumers. Since the insurance coverage is temporary and the mortality rate is considerably low, insurers offer term life insurance at remarkably low rates compared to Universal Life and Whole Life insurance. Although Term provides temporary coverage, most insurance companies offer a conversion privilege that allows the policyholder to convert a portion or all of the death benefit to permanent insurance without having to prove insurability.
Will I be Declined If I Use Marijuana?
In most cases, marijuana users are not automatically declined. In fact, many insurers have liberalized their underwriting guidelines to allow marijuana users to obtain very favorable rates. Although most will not allow a standard rating, some will if your use is limited to just a few times a month.
What About Medical Marijuana Prescribed by my Doctor?
In cases where marijuana is prescribed by a doctor, the insurance company will be more concerned about the condition marijuana is being used to treat. For example, if you are prescribed medical marijuana for severe headaches, your underwriter will want all the information available about the illness that is causing the headaches. Typically the underwriter will request your medical information from your doctor and any facilities where you received treatment before making a decision on offering coverage and the rates that will be charged.
Will I Have to Take a Medical Exam?
If you are applying for a standard insurance policy and looking at the most affordable rates, then yes, you will be required to undergo a medical exam and offer a blood and urine sample.
By doing so, your insurer will be able to determine your risk properly and then offer the appropriate rates. The medical exam is not like a complete physical you would get in a doctor’s office. It is typically done in your home or at work and only involves verifying your weight, your height, your blood pressure, answering additional medical questions, and then providing a blood and urine sample for testing.
What Drugs Will They Test For?
Typically, your underwriter will order a full drug panel which tests for:
- Amphetamine and Methamphetamine
The marijuana and nicotine won’t be a problem if you’ve already admitted to using them on the application.
Will the Insurer Report Me if I Test Positive for Other Drugs?
No, they will not report you. The HIPPA laws prevent your insurer, agent, or their vendors from sharing information on your application or test results with anyone other than you or your doctor (if you give them permission). They can report if they decline your application to the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), but they cannot state medical reasons why you were declined.
What if I Don’t Want to Undergo a Medical Exam?
If you prefer not to undergo a medical exam, you can purchase your life insurance through the various companies that do not require it. Although this may be more convenient for you, you will likely pay higher rates since the insurance company is assuming an unknown risk and will certainly charge more for doing so. You can find insurance companies that do not require a medical exam here.
What if I Have Health Issues that are Considered Uninsurable?
Many consumers wait too long to buy life insurance and end up with a chronic illness or disease that makes them uninsurable. For those people, the industry has responded with “guaranteed issue” life insurance. This type of policy has little to no medical underwriting questions and never requires a medical exam. The guaranteed issue policy has a two or three-year waiting period before they will pay the full death benefit if you die during the waiting period. If death occurs during the waiting period, the insurer will typically just return the premiums paid on the policy. Some companies will add a small percentage to the premiums you’ve paid in, but all of them will pay the full benefit from day one if death is the result of an accident.
Will I automatically be Rated as a Smoker even if I Don’t Smoke?
In many cases yes, you will be rated as a smoker. There are, however, some insurance companies that are less stringent if you some marijuana infrequently. For example, MetLife will offer non-smoker rates if you use marijuana four or fewer times per week. The company is in most cases, the most liberal insurer in the market and offers very affordable rates if you qualify.
Certainly, you want to get the most affordable life insurance rates possible. You know you need it, and so it makes excellent sense to ask the right questions before you get locked into a policy that’s not right for you. Your first step should be to contact the insurance professionals at MarijuanaLife Insurance360 to get answers to all your questions and then get the most affordable rates possible.