Term Life Insurance and Marijuana

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What You Need To Know About Marijuana Use And Term Life Insurance Before You Apply

The influence of marijuana use on life insurance premiums and coverage is an important topic.  The increasing acceptance and legalization of marijuana in many parts of the world has sparked a significant debate within the insurance industry. Insurers are grappling with the challenge of assessing risk factors associated with cannabis use and determining appropriate coverage and pricing strategies.

Notably, insurers recognize that marijuana use does not inherently equate to increased risk for policyholders. Instead, evaluating various factors such as frequency of use, consumption methods, overall health, and responsible usage patterns is crucial when assessing an individual’s insurability. Some insurers will test for the presence of cannabis as part of the application process, and others may not.  

Individuals seeking life insurance coverage should consider working with an experienced broker specializing in term life insurance.  One with a deep understanding surrounding cannabis use and its impact on policy premiums and insurability with various insurance companies. Expert agents with years of experience can provide valuable insights into which insurers are more cannabis-friendly and can find an optimal policy for their clients. 

Most life insurance applications begin with talking to an agent.  After the agent understands your underwriting risks and marijuana use, they can determine the company that will likely give you the most favorable rates.  Then the agent will collect basic information like personal demographics and submit your data on a ticket or abbreviated application.  

The second part is usually done by you directly with the insurance company. You can complete the second part (sometimes called the interview) online or over the phone with the company.  Some companies offer the choice of how you do it, while others have only one option.  During this portion of the application process, you’re asked about any substance or drug use. 


Your answers to the interview are recorded on the application as if you were filling out a paper application.  If you are declined or offered a rate class lower than “Standard,” the action and reason become part of your record.  Don’t take a chance on what could be your only shot at getting the policy you want!  

What Difference Does It Make If You Smoke, Vape, Or Use Edible Marijuana?

Cannabis leaf illustration

There are notable differences in life insurance underwriting and premiums for individuals who smoke, vape, or consume edibles. These habits are considered by insurance companies when assessing risk and determining the cost of coverage. Individuals should disclose honest information during the application process to ensure transparency and avoid potential issues in the future. Insurance companies consider these habits to assess the risk of insuring an individual’s life. 

Marijuana smokers may face higher premiums than those who use edibles. Insurance companies consider the increased likelihood of health complications and mortality associated with smoking when determining the cost of coverage.

Vaping marijuana has recently gained popularity as an alternative to traditional marijuana smoking. However, life insurance companies still view vaping as a higher risk factor due to potential health concerns still being studied. Premiums for marijuana vapers are typically higher than for edible marijuana consumers and even marijuana smokers.  If you vape marijuana, you’ll likely get tobacco rates like a cigarette smoker, regardless of how often you do it.

Consuming edibles refers to consuming cannabis-infused products such as brownies or gummies. Insurance companies may classify this habit differently depending on the company’s underwriting guidelines. In most cases, individuals who consume edibles are treated similarly to marijuana smokers.  

Types of Marijuana Use and How It can Effect your Insurability

When it comes to life insurance, the use of marijuana can impact you when you apply for coverage. Insurance companies assess risk factors when determining premiums and coverage eligibility, and marijuana use is one factor they consider.

Different types of marijuana use can affect your insurance. Recreational use refers to using marijuana for personal enjoyment or relaxation purposes. Medical use involves the consumption of marijuana for therapeutic reasons, as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Insurance companies may view medical marijuana use more negatively than recreational use because it’s supposed to be used due to a health condition. But, recreational users may not purchase the substance from a state-regulated store or combine it with other substances, which could also increase health risks.

Insurability for marijuana users varies among insurance providers. Some insurers may offer coverage at Preferred Plus, while others could flat-out decline your application or impose Standard Tobacco rates. 

It’s imperative to disclose your marijuana usage accurately and honestly when applying for life insurance. Failure to do so could result in policy cancellation or future claims denial.

Ultimately, each insurance company has its underwriting guidelines regarding insuring individuals who use marijuana. It’s best to consult an independent insurance agent with experience evaluating risk before you apply. They can guide you through the process to help you find the best company to offer coverage options based on your specific circumstances.  Suppose you apply for a policy without advice from an agent familiar with marijuana use. In that case, you’re taking the risk that you could be applying for a company that will decline any applicant who uses marijuana or too much marijuana,  tests positive for marijuana, or have a combined risk with other factors that make them uninsurable.

Life Insurance For Marijuana Users And The Impact On Premiums

It is important to note that each insurance provider has its stance on evaluating applicants who disclose marijuana usage. Some insurers may categorize occasional users differently or differentiate between vaping, smoking, or edibles.

In recent years, several progressive insurance providers have adopted a more accommodating approach toward marijuana users. They acknowledge that responsible cannabis consumption can coexist with a healthy lifestyle, just like moderate alcohol consumption or tobacco usage. Such insurers understand that individuals who utilize marijuana for medical purposes or recreational enjoyment should not be penalized unfairly or denied access to affordable life insurance coverage.

While marijuana use can impact your life insurance rates, it does not necessarily mean you can’t get Preferred class rates. It’s important to note that not all life insurance companies deny coverage to marijuana users or automatically exclude you from Preferred Plus rate. However, the specific requirements and rates vary between insurers.

When determining rates for marijuana users, life insurance companies typically consider factors such as frequency of use, method of consumption (smoking or edibles), overall health history, and any underlying medical conditions related to cannabis use.

Independent insurance agents can shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers. Working with an experienced agent who knows the life insurance and marijuana risk help navigate the complexities of securing coverage as a cannabis user.

Marijuana Use Disclosure

Ultimately, while being a marijuana user can impact your life insurance rates, obtaining coverage that suits your needs is still possible.  And getting the best rate class is possible if you don’t use it.  It’s crucial to disclose your usage honestly during the application process and work with professionals who understand the unique considerations surrounding life insurance for cannabis users. When applying for life insurance, providing accurate and truthful information is crucial. Honest answers on a life insurance application are essential.  It can affect your policy and potential claims in the future.

Failing to disclose marijuana use during application can lead to severe consequences. Insurance companies typically ask about drug use, including marijuana, as part of their underwriting process. Suppose an applicant fails to disclose this information and dies. In that case, it can result in policy cancellation or denial of a claim.

Insurance companies assess risk based on various factors, including health habits and lifestyle choices. Marijuana use may be a risk factor due to its potential impact on overall health and well-being. Therefore, withholding this information from the insurer can be seen as misrepresentation or fraud. In the event of a death claim, if an individual had been using marijuana but did not disclose it during the application process, the insurance company may deny the claim based on non-disclosure or misrepresentation. 

It is essential for individuals who use marijuana to be transparent with their agent during the application process. Many insurers offer policies to marijuana users or those who have used it. By providing accurate information upfront, applicants can ensure that they are applying with an appropriate company and avoid any potential issues with policy cancellation or claim denial down the line.

Marijuana and the Insurance Industry

As societal attitudes continue to evolve regarding marijuana use, more comprehensive studies will start to emerge, clarifying the precise effects of cannabis consumption on mortality rates and overall life expectancy. As this knowledge grows, insurers will likely refine their underwriting processes further, leading to fairer premiums and broader coverage options for marijuana users.

The impact of marijuana use on life insurance premiums and coverage is a multifaceted subject that requires careful consideration. It is encouraging to witness the insurance industry adapting to changing times by adopting more inclusive policies toward cannabis users. As research continues to unfold, individuals need to stay informed and work with knowledgeable professionals who can guide them toward securing the most suitable life insurance coverage tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.

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