This isn’t a cut and dry question. Even marijuana-friendly life insurance companies have different approaches to both medical and recreational use.
Because marijuana is still illegal under Federal law, it’s near impossible for researchers to get details on the overall health benefits or detriments.
Life insurance companies lean conservative in their views of cannabis. Mostly because scientists have little conclusive evidence about the effects on lifespan.
With the cannabis-friendly companies, the two main factors that determine your health class are:
- Recreational vs. medical use
- Frequency of use
You can use the following tips to make sure you’re paying as little as possible for life insurance.
There are a ton of variables when looking for life insurance. Recreational cannabis (regardless of the legal status in your state) presents another complication.
There are about a dozen companies who won't automatically decline you. However, their underwriting guidelines vary depending on how frequently you smoke.
The tips below will help you find the right company for your needs.
Tip 1: Use An Independent Agent To Shop For Life Insurance
There are two types of life insurance agents, captive and independent.
The agents you see who have the sign of a big company over their door can only sell products from that company. They’re captive agents.
Whatever your needs are, they’ll find some product in their lineup that fits as closely as possible. The problem is that it may not be the ideal life insurance for your situation, just the closest match available.
Call center agents can go either way. However, even the independent ones are on a sales quota and have a limited number of companies to work with. If they don’t make their quota, they’re fired. It’s not a good situation for finding the best (and most affordable) policy for your family.
Every company has different underwriting guidelines. For example, if you have high blood pressure, one company might not care at all. Another company might lower your health class, which raises your rates by 25%. Same is true for cannabis use, or even your weight.
With over 850 life insurance companies in the United States, you have an overwhelming number of options to choose from. An independent agent can help you narrow down your options to only the best.
Because independent agents work for their clients, they take the time to talk to you, get you to know, and find the best policy for your family.
They will also be your point of contact every time you need something. Whether it’s updating a policy, or looking into changing needs, you won’t have to call up a stranger and start the whole process over.
Medical Marijuana And Life Insurance Rates
Life insurance companies treat medical marijuana differently than recreational consumption. They’re only interested in the condition you’re managing with medical marijuana.
What you pay for your policy will depend on the prognosis of your condition and the degree to which it may affect your lifespan. You can still expect low rates with many diseases. Check with your insurance agent before worrying.
Ratings for the same condition will vary wildly between companies. Some companies are more conservative, charging more for any health condition. Others hold more lenient underwriting guidelines.
Underwriting guidelines also change over time. Some companies are slow to respond to new medical advancements. On the other hand, more progressive insurance companies respond faster. You can take advantage of the different dynamics by shopping around and being open about any medical conditions with your agent.
Tip 2: Never Lie About Cannabis Use
Even though many people learn at a young age that lying can get you out of trouble sometimes, the consequences for lying on a life insurance application follow you forever.
The lowest cost policies always require a medical exam. Part of the medical exam includes a drug screen, sometimes including THC. If you say on your application that you do not consume cannabis, then it shows up on the drug screen, they will decline you as a “moral hazard.”
Moral hazard means that the insurance company can’t trust you as a person. Not only are they allowed to decline your application, but that goes into the Medical Information Bureau database where every other insurance company can also see that you lied on an application.
If you’re using cannabis to treat a medical condition, it may show up in your medical records.
Finally, insurance companies check with the DMV and check your driving record. If you have a DUI from r marijuana or alcohol, the insurance company will find out. This can either increase your rates or get you declined altogether.
Recreational Cannabis Use And Life Insurance Ratings
Every cannabis-friendly life insurance company takes a different approach to issuing health classes for recreational use.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to finding a policy:
- Although most companies don’t see a difference between smoking cannabis and edibles, there are some who will give you non-tobacco rates if you only use edibles.
- Most companies will decline your application for daily use. However, there are one or two who aren’t as concerned with frequency.
- If your lab tests come back positive for THC, most companies will issue tobacco rates.
- Tobacco rates are double if not 3x more than non-tobacco rates.
Tip 3: How To Get A Non-Tobacco Rating For Recreational Cannabis Use
The best way to ensure you get a non-tobacco rating is to test negative for THC on your life insurance medical exam. Some insurance companies do not test for THC. Contact us to discuss the specifics of your situation. We'll point you in the right direction.
THC can remain in your body for up to six weeks after you’ve smoked. This can vary based on how frequently you’ve smoked. If you refrain for at least six weeks before the medical exam, it can help ensure that you test negative and don’t get unfairly penalized.
The general rule is the less you smoke, the better your life insurance rating.
Tip 4: The Best Kind Of Life Insurance With Cannabis
The best and least expensive form of life insurance is a term policy with a medical exam. These basic policies only provide death benefits.
Term policies often offer the option to convert it to a permanent policy. The best part of this option is if your health declines during your term policy, converting it doesn’t require any underwriting. You’ll keep your same health class and skip the medical exam.
Talk with your agent about this option. Sometimes you have to add a rider to make this a part of your policy.
Permanent life insurance has extra features beyond a death benefit. The cash value accumulation allows you to use your policy while you’re alive. As it grows, you can use it as a no-questions-asked loan or even to supplement your retirement income.
No-Exam Life Insurance Policies
We discussed how policies requiring the medical exam make your life insurance cheaper, providing the exam doesn’t contradict what you state in your application.
No-exam policies skip the medical exam altogether. However, it will still ask medical questions. The life insurance companies will also check the MIB, Rx, and DMV databases to confirm your answers on your application.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
If you are taking medical cannabis for a life-threatening illness, you may not qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. A guaranteed issue policy doesn’t ask medical questions. Everyone gets accepted. Plus, you won't need an exam.
Now, you might be thinking this sounds too good to be true. It is.
Guaranteed issue policies offer drastically lower benefits and charge much more for the policy. It’s a last resort style policy when you can’t get accepted for a traditional one that offers more coverage for less premium.
The benefits also don’t pay out in their entirety if the insured passes away within the first couple years of holding the policy. If death is from an accident, the insurance company will pay the full death benefit from day 1.
The grading usually looks something like the following table.
110% of premiums paid
110% of premiums paid
100% of death benefits
Sample Rates With Cannabis Use
Two of the more progressive companies for insuring recreational cannabis are Prudential and Lincoln Life Insurance.
If you have no other factors preventing you from qualifying for the preferred health class with Lincoln or standard plus with Prudential, you should be able to qualify for the rates below.
In summary, if your usage is 2 times per week, look at the Lincoln rates below. If your usage is 3 times per week, look at the Prudential rates below.
If you have any questions about which company will offer you the lowest rates, contact us. We know the guidelines for each company. We'll guide you to the best and least expensive company for your particular situation.
The charts below represent term rates for both men and women for a 20-year term life insurance at the best health classes these companies offer for recreational cannabis use. You can use the Instant Quotes tool on the left to get rates for your specific age.
Sample Term Rates for Men - Age 30
Male - Age 30
$33 / month
$370 / year
$58 / month
$655 / year
$88 / month
$1,005 / year
$17 / month
$191 / year
$27 / month
$309 / year
$47 / month
$527 / year
Sample Term Rates for Women - Age 30
FEMale - Age 30
$25 / month
$285 / year
$43 / month
$485 / year
$71 / month
$805 / year
$15 / month
$163 / year
$22 / month
$245 / year
$38 / month
$423 / year
Sample Term Rates for Men - Age 45
Male - Age 45
$62 / month
$705 / year
$116 / month
$1,325 / year
$212 / month
$2,415 / year
$35 / month
$391 / year
$60 / month
$682 / year
$112 / month
$1,274 / year
Sample Term Rates for Women - Age 45
FEMale - Age 45
$61 / month
$688 / year
$113 / month
$1,290 / year
$203 / month
$2,315 / year
$28 / month
$310 / year
$48 / month
$540 / year
$85 / month
$964 / year
Sample Term Rates for Men - Age 60
Male - Age 60
$241 / month
$2,658 / year
$474 / month
$5,415 / year
$858 / month
$134 / month
$1,524 / year
$242 / month
$2,758 / year
$475 / month
$5,426 / year
Sample Term Rates for Women - Age 60
feMale - Age 60
$182 / month
$2,075 / year
$356 / month
$4,065 / year
$699 / month
$7,985 / year
$93 / month
$1,062 / year
$169 / month
$1,922 / year
$329 / month
$3,754 / year
You probably noticed that the monthly amount times 12 doesn't necessarily add up to the yearly premium. Most life insurance companies offer a discount if you pay in one annual installment. However, it does increase the risk of forgetting to pay and letting your policy lapse.
These rates are based on smoking two or three times a week for fun. If you smoke more frequently, other insurance companies might offer better prices than these two.
As long as you use one of the 12 cannabis-friendly life insurance companies what you do for recreational won't affect your rates nearly as much as the traditional life insurance factors.
Whatever you do, don't lie on your application. Be open with your life insurance agent. Everything you share about your life falls under HIPAA which means they are legally obligated to keep everything confidential.
How MJ Life Insurance Can Help
As an independent agency, we have access to over 70 of the best life insurance companies in the United States. Even with the 12 cannabis-friendly ones, there might be other options to fit your needs. It’s our goal to pair you with the company offering the best rates.
We also specialize in helping medical marijuana patients find the most affordable life insurance possible.
If you have any questions, give us a call at (888) 987-8447. Your information is kept confidential, and there is never any obligation to buy. We’re just here to help.