By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
One of the most asked questions received at NORML over the years has been 'I smoke cannabis and I want to purchase or increase my life insurance, what companies provide underwriting?'
A very informative news piece from LifeHealthPro provides an excellent overview of life insurance companies and their current policies regarding offering coverage to cannabis consumers-be them recreational consumers or medical patients:
Ratings for the Marijuana User
Marijuana usage is not viewed as other drugs such as cocaine, for example. Testing positive for THC will not lead to a flat rejection of a life insurance policy. However, the use of this substance can result in receiving a cigarette smoker's rates, which are substantially higher than those of a non-smoker.
Life insurance classifications for a marijuana user are guidelines and are not set in stone; they can change at any time per the company consideration. Also other health conditions could change consideration.
- American General: Smoking marijuana more than twice monthly could result in the rates of a smoker with the possibility of a table rating. Smoking two times per month will set the rating as a standard non-smoker. Applicants who smoke two times a year or less could be rated as a preferred best non-smoker.
- Banner Life: Applicants could be considered a standard smoker with occasional use. They could be rated as a substandard table B smoker with daily use.
- Columbus Life: Applicants over 25 years old who smoke pot experimentally to intermittently might get standard smoker rates. Moderate use could be a table 2 rating. Heavy use will be declined. Other drug use will also be a factor.
- Fidelity: A standard smoker classification will be given if there is any marijuana use in the past 12 months. However, an applicant be classified as a sub-standard smoker if medical marijuana is prescribed.
- Genworth Financial: Applicants who use marijuana eight times a month or less could be classified as a standard smoker. Users who smoke more than eight times may be considered a sub-standard smoker. Also, this company does not recognize prescription use of marijuana.
- ING Reliastar: If marijuana is prescribed, users could be classified as a Table 4 Smoker. With daily use, they could be classified as a preferred smoker.
- Lincoln Benefit: If a prescription is shown on one's medical records and usage is stated on the application, applicants could be classified as a non-smoker. Occasional users without a prescription can be classified as a standard smoker.
- Lincoln National: Applicants can use marijuana up to two times per week and be classified as a standard non-smoker. Usage of 3-4 times a week will result in a sub-standard Table B non-smoker rating. Applicants will be declined if they use marijuana more than four times per week.
- Met Life: Applicants who otherwise would merit a preferred plus rating and uses marijuana occasionally (once a month to once a week) could get a preferred plus non-smoker rating. (More than once a week is equivalent to a smoker's rate.) Daily use could be a table 4 rating. Heavy users could be declined.
- Mutual of Omaha: Applicants will rate as a standard nons-moker with up to weekly use. If lab results indicate more frequent usage, then smoker rates will apply.
- Minnesota Life: Applicants who test positive for THC could be given a smoker table 3 rating. Occasional or recreational users will be given preferred non-smoker rates but will have to test negative for THC.
- North American: Applicants over 25 years old who use marijuana 3-8 times per month could be rated a standard smoker. If they use 8-16 times a month they could be rated as high as a table 2 smoker. More than 16 times a month will be declined.
- Protective Life: Marijuana use could result in a standard smoker rating.
- Prudential Financial: Using marijuana up to two times per month and testing negative for THC will qualify applicants as a standard plus non-smoker. A Table B non-smoker (even with THC positive lab tests) rating will be applied if usage is up to four times per week. Usage over four times weekly will be declined.
- Transamerica - Marijuana smokers could be considered a standard smoker rate class with no other health issues.
Final advice from LifeHealthPro: Applicants who already have a life insurance policy in force may be paying unnecessarily high rates. Each company's insurance underwriters view the use of marijuana differently. Don't let your clients pay high life insurance premiums if less expensive alternatives are available.
Read entire article @ LifeHealthPro