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How Marijuana Affects Life Insurance Rates

how Marijuana affects life insurance ratesWithin the past few years, marijuana use has become much more widely accepted and legalized in many states. However, in the past, life insurance companies weren’t as accepting of its usage. So how has that changed in recent years?

Many people who use medical or recreational marijuana are afraid to apply for life insurance because they think they’ll be declined or receive a higher monthly premium. However, that may not be the case.

This simply is not true. There are plenty of life insurance companies that offer coverage for people who smoke marijuana, both recreationally and medicinally. Rates may be a bit higher, but if you only smoke on occasions, you can still qualify for the best rates in some situations.

Keep reading to learn about the evolving marijuana guidelines, which companies are best for users, and tips to get the best rates.

Quick Article Guide:

  1. How Life Insurance Companies Treat Marijuana Use
  2. Which Life Insurance Companies Are Best for Marijuana Smokers?
  3. Life Insurance Rates for Marijuana Smokers
  4. Marijuana Smokers Life Insurance FAQ
  5. Tips to Get the Best Rates
  6. Questions? We Can Help!

How Life Insurance Companies Treat Marijuana Use

Life insurance companies have recently changed their outlook on marijuana and what it means in regards to your health.

Do Companies See Marijuana as the Same or Worse Than Cigarettes? 

According to a survey conducted by the Munich American Reassurance Company in April 2015, out of 150 insurance underwriters, about one third of the companies do not consider occasional marijuana use as harmful as tobacco use.

If you’re not familiar with policy pricing, life insurance rates for smokers are much higher than normal rates (3-5x more expensive), so this is a big win for marijuana users!

evolving guidelinesNow keep in mind, this doesn’t apply to all life insurance companies.

Some still consider marijuana use to be similar to tobacco use, and will treat it as such.

 

How Frequently You Smoke Affects Rates 

It goes a little deeper than just the use of marijuana, however. When you apply for life insurance and undergo the underwriting process, they will ask how frequently you use marijuana. Companies typically tend to be the most lenient with clients who smoke or ingest it no more than twice a week.

If you are a daily marijuana user, the underwriter might classify you as a “heavy user,” and possibly result in you being placed in the “smoker” category, even with companies who are more lenient with marijuana users. If this is the case, having a medical recommendation/medical card for marijuana can help.

Medicinal vs. Recreational Use 

They’ll also look at what you’re using the medical marijuana for; companies are typically more lenient with a client using marijuana for medicinal purposes, for things like:

    • Glaucoma
    • Headaches
    • Insomnia
    • Menstrual pains

With a medical recommendation, clients may be able to qualify for preferred rates (which are way less expensive than smokers rates!). Keep in mind, however, that underwriters will take other things into account – like any other health issues you may have, your driving record, family history, etc. – before assigning you to a rate class.

If you are using marijuana for a more serious health condition, like cancer, the company is going to be more concerned with the cancer and the risk that comes with that versus the marijuana use. In addition, companies also consider the way the drug is being used – some are more lenient with applicants who ingest marijuana as edibles or use it as a topical medication.

Note: For people with more serious health conditions, no exam life insurance may be your most affordable option. To learn more about this type of policy, and where to find the best coverage, check out these comprehensive resources:

It is very important that you are upfront with your independent agent when discussing your use. Knowing the truth from the beginning can help the agent to match you with the right company, rather than finding out about the truth later on when your medical exam results come back.

Do you have a medical condition that you use medical marijuana to help treat, and are you not sure what life insurance options are available to you? These resources can help you find the right coverage:

How Can I Find the Life Insurance Companies That Don’t Charge More to Marijuana Users? 

This is why it’s so important to work with an independent agent who has access to dozens of life insurance companies, who can place you with the best-fitting company after hearing about your lifestyle and health.

If you are a cigar smoker or e-smoker, please read our article “Life Insurance for Cigar and E-Smokers.”

Which Life Insurance Companies are Best for Marijuana Users?

which companies are bestNot all companies are created equally when it comes to finding the best life insurance coverage for marijuana users. Recreational users won’t typically qualify for “preferred” rates, but there are more lenient companies that will give them a non-smoking/non-tobacco “standard” rating or better.

Remember, companies take more into account than just marijuana use. Things like:

… all come into play. You may only smoke marijuana occasionally, but if you are overweight, and have diabetes running in your family, your rates will be affected by these factors.

And even if a life insurance company is more lax with their marijuana guidelines, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you. Make sure you speak with an independent agent to ensure that you place your application with the right company.

However, there are some top rated life insurance companies that are best for marijuana users, and really stick out from the herd in terms of rates, and coverage options. The table below shows a few of the best life insurance providers for marijuana users, and their rating policies depending on frequency of use:

Company

Marijuana Policy

North AmericanNon-tobacco rates for recreational use in applicants 21 or older.
Lincoln NationalPreferred plus non-tobacco rates for those who smoke marijuana 1-2 times each month socially.

Preferred non-tobacco rates for those who smoke marijuana 2x per week socially.

Minnesota LifePreferred non-tobacco rates for applicants who smoke marijuana 24 times or less annually.
PrudentialPlus non-tobacco rates for those who smoke marijuana up to 3 times per week. Only positive THC in blood test will render these prices.
MetLifeStandard non-tobacco rates for those who use marijuana up to 4 times per week.
Mutual of OmahaStandard non-tobacco rates for those who consume marijuana 3 times or less monthly.
AIGStandard non-tobacco rates for those who consume marijuana 2 times per month.

Those who use for medical reasons must verify a prescription.

TransamericaStandard non-tobacco rates for those who smoke no more than 12 times per year.
SBLINon-tobacco rates for rate marijuana use.

 

Atop these companies, there are also quite a few more that offer affordable life insurance coverage to marijuana users:

Accordia

This company doesn’t require a medical exam and gives a non-smoker rating to users regardless of frequency – but the applicant must live in a state that has legalized marijuana. Daily users can qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates, and those who use up to 3x/week can possibly qualify for Preferred rates (especially for those who are a bit older and are completely honest about their usage).

If you are a user in a state that hasn’t legalized marijuana, Accordia will allow a Standard Non-Smoker rating as long as there’s no more than 1 “dose”/day; any more than that would result in a decline. If you are using medicinal marijuana, your rating depends on the medical reason you’re using it, but it’s still possible to qualify for non-smoker rates.

American General (AIG)

At AIG, if you use marijuana 2x a year, you can still qualify for Preferred Best Non-Smoker rates. If you use up to twice a month, you can qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates.

Applicants who use marijuana more than twice a month will qualify for tobacco rates, and may be rated Table B or higher (the same applies to ingestibles). Unfortunately, daily users will be declined.

Medicinal marijuana users must be documented in the applicant’s APS with an underlying condition for the Rx, and they will be rated depending on what the underlying condition is.

Assurity

Marijuana users who use up to once per day can qualify for Standard Smoker rates with Assurity.

AXA

Those who use up to 2x a week can qualify for Standard Tobacco at AXA. Daily users (recreational or medicinal) will qualify for Table 2 ratings, although medicinal users will be individually considered.

Banner Life

Banner allows those who occasionally use marijuana (up to 2x/week) to qualify for a Standard Smoker rate – this includes ingestibles. Admitted and non-admitted daily users will qualify for Table 2 ratings, and medicinal users will qualify for Standard to Table 2 ratings, depending on the frequency.

Fidelity

Recreational users (up to 3x/month) can qualify for Standard Tobacco ratings at Fidelity. If the applicant has used marijuana any time in the past 12 months, they will also qualify for Standard Tobacco rates. Medicinal users will be individually considered; unfortunately, daily users will be declined.

Foresters

For any applicant who applies with Foresters, whether it be a fully underwritten or non-med application, he/she will receive a smoker rate for any marijuana use. If the applicant’s frequency is greater than 16x/month (4x/week), he/she will be declined.

Genworth

Applicants who use 8x/month will qualify for Standard Smoker; any more than that would be rated depending on frequency. However, use over 16x/month will result in a decline. With Genworth, it doesn’t matter if you have a medical card or not – both will be rated in the same context.

John Hancock

If an applicant uses up to 4x/month with negative lab results for THC, they can qualify for Preferred Non-Smoker rates. If the lab results come back positive, the applicant will likely qualify for Standard Smoker at best. Daily users will be rated very low, if an offer is given at all. Similar to Genworth, Rx users will be treated no differently than recreational users.

Lincoln National

For applicants who only use marijuana once a month, they may still possibly qualify for Preferred Best Non-Smoker rates. Up to 2x/week users can qualify for Preferred Non-Smoker; up to 3-4x/week results in Standard Non-Smoker (at best). Use of 4-6x/week results in a Table 2-4 rating, and daily use will result in Table 4-6 rating at best, with a possibility of a decline.

If the applicant sells or grows marijuana at all, it will result in a decline. Medicinal users are determined on a case by case basis – their health concern must be a Standard risk.

MetLife

At Metlife, applicants who use up to 4x/week can possibly qualify for their ElitePlus rating; they do not test for marijuana on their labs. Daily users can qualify for Table 2 Non-Smoker rates, and medicinal users are typically Standard Smoker ratings unless their cause is rateable.

Minnesota Life

Marijuana users who use occasionally/recreationally can qualify for Preferred Non-Smoker rates. If the applicant’s lab results come back positive for THC, they will qualify for Table 3 Smoker rates; Rx users will also generally qualify for Table 3 rates. Daily users will usually result in a decline.

Mutual of Omaha

Applicants who use marijuana up to once a week can qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates (as long as their HOS/THC results reflect the same). If they use more frequently, or their HOS level indicates more frequent use, then Smoker rates will apply. Daily users will unfortunately result in a decline. Medicinal users will be rated for cause, but generally will qualify for Table 4 rates at best.

Nationwide

Applicants who apply with Nationwide can qualify for Preferred Smoker rates with use up to 5x/month. Heavy recreational use (4x/week or more) will likely result in a decline, as will daily use. Medicinal users can qualify for Standard Tobacco rates (based on cause), if the health cause is serious, the rating could be lower.

North American

For applicants 21-years-old and up, they can qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates for up to 2-3x/week of use, as long as their HOS results come back negative for nicotine; depending on the reason for usage, there won’t be testing for THC.

If the applicant is under the age of 21, they will qualify for Tobacco rates. Daily users will be declined, and medicinal users will qualify for Standard rates and up. Any involvement in the industry will also result in a decline.

Principal

If someone applies with Principal and uses marijuana 1-2x/month recreationally (at max), he/she may qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates. If otherwise, it will result in a Standard Tobacco rating.

Their guidelines allows up to 8-10x/month at Standard rates; more than 8x/month would be rated individually. Daily recreational users will be declined, and daily Rx users will likely be rated for the health issue more so than the marijuana use.

Protective Life

With Protective, Standard Tobacco rates apply for all recreational users, including ingestibles. Daily users will unfortunately be declined.

Prudential

Marijuana users who partake up to 3x/week – with negative or positive HOS results – can qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates and up. For up to 4-6x/week of use, Prudential can offer Non-Smoker Table B rates. Daily users will be declined.

Marijuana use does not allow for the inclusion of the Waiver of Premium or Additional Death Benefit in the policy; rateable marijuana use does not allow for the Benefit Access Rider. Medicinal use is rated for cause – if no other narcotics are used, the applicant can possibly qualify for Preferred Best Non-Smoker rates, depending on the cause.

RBC Liberty

Marijuana users will qualify for Standard Smoker rates.

Sagicor

Recreational users who undergo a fully underwritten application can qualify for Standard Smoker rates with Sagicor. Daily users will be declined. Medicinal users will most likely qualify for Table 4 rates, but will be rated for cause (with a fully underwritten application). If applying for a Simplified Issue policy with Sagicor, no marijuana use is allowed, otherwise it will result in a decline.

SBLI

Marijuana users who apply with SBLI will typically get Standard Smoker to Table 3 rates. For non-smoker consideration, the applicant’s use must be determined to be very rare – meaning once or twice a year. Daily users will be declined, and Rx users will be rated based on their health condition on smoker rates.

Transamerica

Transamerica differentiates between ingestibles and smoking marijuana. For ingested use, up to 12x/year is okay to qualify for Standard Non-Smoker rates, while 13x or more a year would get smoker rates.

For users that smoke, the same applies, but it also includes any cigar use in that count. Daily users will be declined, and Rx users are under the same guidelines as above, individually considered for cause.

Voya

If applicants are 25-years-old or older, they can receive a Preferred Smoker rate with marijuana use up to 8x/month; 8-16x/month will result in a Table 2 rating, and daily use will likely result in Table 6, if an offer is possible.

Medicinal users usually qualify for Table 4 rating, and it is only allowable with chronic pain, Epilepsy or MS – but again, they will be considered on an individual basis, depending on the health condition.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for People Who Smoke Marijuana? 

Life insurance rates for marijuana users all really depend on the health rating that you receive from the company you are applying to. As you saw in the previous section, some companies allow you to qualify as Preferred, while others will allow you a Standard rating, and others may give users a Smoker’s rating, or even decline coverage entirely.

These tables below compare life insurance rates for marijuana smokers in the Preferred class vs. the Standard Smoker class.

Rates for Marijuana Users in Preferred Health 

The rates in this chart are for someone who is otherwise in excellent health, and has no health conditions.

AgePolicy Type$100,000 Male $100,000 Female $500,000 Male $500,000 Female 
3010 Year Term$7$6$13$12
3020 Year Term$9$8$20$17
3030 Year Term$13$11$34$28
30Whole Life$72$64$160$136
4010 Year Term$8$8$19$17
4020 Year Term$11$10$31$27
4030 Year Term$19$16$58$45
40Whole Life$88$80$248$216
5010 Year Term$15$13$46$37
5020 Year Term$24$19$82$61
5030 Year Term$41$31$140$107
50Whole Life$209$165$682$484

 

Rates for Marijuana Users in Standard Health 

The rates in this chart are for someone who is otherwise in excellent health, and has no health conditions.

AgePolicy Type$100,000 Male $100,000 Female $500,000 Male $500,000 Female 
3010 Year Term$17$15$52$40
3020 Year Term$20$17$72$58
3030 Year Term$29$22$115$85
30Whole Life$160$136$576$464
4010 Year Term$26$23$81$65
4020 Year Term$37$33$133$105
4030 Year Term$52$41$216$156
40Whole Life$296$264$1,064$840
5010 Year Term$50$41$198$149
5020 Year Term$80$62$327$239
5030 Year Term$116$94$530$398
50Whole Life$660$550$2,783$2,156

 

As you can see, finding a life insurance company that rates you in Preferred as opposed to Standard or Smoker can save you thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime.

Life Insurance for Marijuana Users FAQ

At JRC, we have helped hundreds of marijuana users – both medical and recreational – find affordable life insurance coverage that fits their needs. When speaking with our clients who smoke marijuana, there are a few questions that often surface:

Can I get life insurance if I smoke marijuana?

Yes you can still get life insurance. It is important to find companies that offer favorable smoker rates or will not punish you financially if you use marijuana alone, given that it does not reap the same level of harm physically as cigarette consumption.

Do I have to pay smoker rates if I just smoke marijuana?

Some companies will categorize any and all smoking (cigarettes, marijuana, cigars) as “smokers” and all frequencies (daily, monthly) as “smokers”. Others are more favorable and will offer cheaper rates or better health class ratings for marijuana users. See our table for the best companies above.

Will life insurance companies test for marijuana?

Yes. When you apply for life insurance you have to take a free medical exam which requires a blood and urine test. These tests will reveal THC in your blood for up to 14 days, depending on how frequently you use marijuana. It will reveal THC in urine for up to one month depending on frequency of use.

What about medical marijuana use?

For insurance, medical marijuana use must be verified with a prescription and some companies will still give favorable, non-tobacco rates once verified.

Do companies charge the same for marijuana as they do cigarettes?

In many cases, yes, but some life insurance companies don’t which is why you should only use companies on our “best” list. The tide is slowly changing when it comes to how life insurance view marijuana, but not all companies have changed their policies yet. This is why working with an independent agent is so important – to help find the companies that offer the best rates and policies for marijuana smokers. 

3 Quick Tips to Help Marijuana Smokers Get the Best Life Insurance Rates

If you are a regular marijuana user, here are a few simple tips you can use to save tons of money on your life insurance policy!

1. Work With an Independent Life Insurance Agent

Work with an experienced, independent life insurance agent who works with multiple carriers. Just because a certain company is more lenient with marijuana use does not mean that they are the right fit for you. When you work with an independent agent, they will look at your overall health and lifestyle to make sure you are matched with the best company for your specific situation.

Often times, independent agents can help you compare rates for marijuana users from hundreds of life insurance companies at once. This makes the process of finding the best coverage extremely easy compared to trying to find this information on your own – and it’s entirely free!

2. Never Lie About Your Marijuana Use During the Application Process

Be honest! It is always important to be honest and upfront with your agent when talking about your lifestyle, and that includes your marijuana usage. Many life insurance policies require you to undergo a medical exam when applying, in which the lab work will test for cannabis use.

If you lie on your application and test positive in your lab work, the life insurance company may deny you coverage. It can also disqualify you from getting coverage in the future, as other life insurance companies are less likely to provide coverage for people who have lied in the past. 

3. Shop Around to Find the Best Rates 

Ask your agent to pull quotes from multiple life insurance carriers, so you can compare and receive the best price available. When you work with a local insurance agent, they typically only work with one life insurance company, so you can’t compare rates.

Independent agents have access to dozens of companies, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best deal out there. You will be surprised at how much this simple step can save you over the course of a life insurance policy.

Questions? We Can Help!

independent agentIf you currently use marijuana or if you recently quit, JRC Insurance Group can help you find the most affordable life insurance option available. Whether it’s for medical purposes or recreational use, give us a call.

At JRC Insurance Group, our agents are experts with multiple years of experience. We are appointed by dozens of top-rated life insurance companies and our agents are not pushy salespeople. Our agents do not have quotas; we’re here to help. We have helped hundreds of clients, and we can help you too. Our passion is finding our clients affordable life insurance coverage to protect their families.

Give us a call today we would love to help! Toll free: 855-247-9555, or request a free quote here.

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Cliff Pendell

VP of Marketing at JRC Insurance Group
Cliff is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder at JRC. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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