The Buzz on Marijuana and Life Insurance

Learn more how life insurance companies view marijuana usage and how it affects your life insurance policy

Your lifestyle plays a major role in buying life insurance. Everything from your diet, mental and physical health and your family medical history to your age, gender and occupation can be factors that impact life insurance quotes and the rates you receive. So what happens when you blend marijuana usage and life insurance? The answer isn’t always straightforward. Both the purpose and frequency of use, along with other factors, may matter more than marijuana itself when it comes to finding life insurance coverage.

How do life insurance companies view marijuana usage?

Just as the laws and opinions regarding marijuana usage in the United States are varied, so are the perspectives of life insurance companies. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to factor in marijuana use—whether it’s smoking, oils, edibles, or vapors—into their decisions, but the impact it has on rates can vary from company-to-company. Some insurance companies may allow marijuana users to qualify as nonsmokers, which in turn helps them become eligible for the lower rates, while other life insurance providers classify marijuana users as “smokers,” which means they’ll likely expect to pay more for the coverage they need.

Beyond the impact on your health, many life insurance companies also look into legal history to learn more about you. If you live in a place where marijuana usage is illegal and have been cited for a past violation, this could have an impact on your rates.

Will I be able to get life insurance coverage?

You should be able to find life insurance coverage if you use marijuana, but the type of coverage and how much you’ll pay will depend on a couple of factors.

Purpose of Use – Insurers will likely be more accepting toward medical marijuana use, but this too can lead to additional questions. If you use medical marijuana for an underlying health condition, this condition could have more of an impact on your opportunity for coverage than the use of marijuana itself. 

Frequency – If you’re a recreational marijuana user, life insurance companies might want to know how frequently you partake. This kind of information can help the carrier classify you as a smoker or nonsmoker, but it’s important to remember that these classifications are different from one company to another. 

How honest should I be when purchasing life insurance?

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to purchasing life insurance. Your life insurance policy is a legal contract between you and the insurance company, so it’s necessary to be as accurate as possible. Non-disclosure of medical conditions or lifestyle choices could potentially set you up for rejected claims or an increase in rates. It may feel uncomfortable to report marijuana usage, especially if you’re in a place where it isn’t legal, but it’s important to remember that your life insurance application is protected under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), meaning the company cannot share information with third parties without your consent. 

Is life insurance worth it?

For the majority of people, the purchase of life insurance is worth the return on investment. If you were to pass away, your life insurance payout is there to replace your income and support your loved ones financially with daily expenses, paying off the mortgage or other debts, paying for college, or planning for retirement. It also can help with end-of-life expenses such as a funeral or burial costs.

As the culture and laws regarding marijuana use constantly change, it’s likely that its impact on life insurance policies will continue evolving as well. If you’re worried about your ability to “pass” a medical exam, or have been denied in the past, you could consider a no medical exam life insurance policy. While these policies offer an alternative to traditional life insurance, they are often more expensive than a term policy. 

Find out which type of life insurance is right for you.

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