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Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 16 years of experience in the industry. ...
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How Cannabis Use Impacts Life Insurance & Mortgage Protection


High there

So, I guess you’re here because you (or a friend) smoke weed or have done so in the past.

And you’re wondering whether you should disclose this on your application form.

Am I right?

Here are the most frequently asked questions about life insurance and cannabis use:

Do you need to tell your life insurance company about cannabis use?

If the life insurance application form asks about cannabis use, then you must disclose cannabis use.

Do all life insurers ask about previous drug use?

Yes, they all ask something like:

Have you ever taken cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin or any other non-prescribed drugs?

So you can’t avoid the question by choosing one particular insurer.

Does life insurance for marijuana users cost more?

Generally, if you’ve smoked pot in the past, or even if you’re a current light user, you won’t pay more for that pleasure, but you will be classed as a smoker.

However, if you’re a frequent stoner (every 2 to 3 days), you’ll likely get a loading (price increase) of around +50%.

Do I have to pay smoker rates if I use cannabis?

The insurers will class you as a smoker even if you take your cannabis straight up (no tobacco) because cannabis contains carcinogens, and evidence suggests that heavy cannabis use may be associated with oral cavity, pharynx, oesophageal and lung cancers.

Sorry to ruin your buzz.

Other research shows cannabis is much less dangerous than tobacco, but insurers are conservative, so take the stricter view.

Is a medical required if you disclose cannabis use?

A blood test can detect cannabis anywhere between 3 and 14 days after use, depending on how frequently the user partakes.

Whereas a urine test can show cannabis use for up to a month!

But you won’t need to do a medical for life insurance.

Usually, the insurer is satisfied with a drugs questionnaire noting cannabis use, at worst they will write to your GP for a medical report.

What questions do life insurance companies ask about smoking cannabis?

In general, when it comes to life insurance and any type of recreational drugs, the insurers are concerned with:

  • Nature of drug/substance
  • Frequency of usage
  • Severity of dependence
  • Relevant dates, including the last usage
  • Treatment, if any, and response
  • Whether there is a history of mental illness
  • Whether any other habit

Where can a cannabis user find the best mortgage protection or life insurance policy?

Whether you still enjoy getting baked or did so just a few times at college, the best way to shop for insurance is through a broker who deals with all five insurance companies (and won’t judge you)

What about cannabis for therapeutic use?

The issue around therapeutic use will come up more in future, but the underwriters generally look at the underlying condition that the person is using cannabis to treat.

But because this type of cannabis use is taken to be regular and ongoing, a price increase of +50% is normal, in line with moderate use.

Can I get life insurance as a cannabis user?

As you can see from the above, the answer is 100% yes.

Life Insurance and CBD

What is CBD?

CBD (Cannabidiol) products are derived from cannabis plants and have been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and seizures.

They don’t produce the high associated with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).

CBD was recently in the news when a shop in Kilkenny was raided and shut down due to the presence of THC in some of the products they were selling

The owner argued:

Cannabis could be 0.01% THC or 1,000%, and it’s the same product to them.

The products he was selling contained trace amounts of the psychoactive THC, under 0.2%.

The European Court of Justice ruled last year this level of THC does not appear to have any negative health impact, stating CBD products that contain THC of under 0.2% should not be treated as narcotics.

However, in Ireland, if CBD products contain THC in any quantities, they are considered controlled drugs, meaning they are effectively banned.

In a recent statement, An Garda Síochána said:

Whilst there is no legal exemption for CBD products containing any amount of THC, it is envisaged legislation will be amended in the future to exempt CBD-based products containing trace amounts of THC at levels not greater than 0.3%.

Does CBD use affect life insurance?

The underwriters generally look at the underlying condition that the person is using CBD products to treat (e.g. mental health, joint pain etc) before making a decision.

Over to you…

If you smoked cannabis in the past or are even still an occasional user, don’t worry.

Make sure you go through a broker who knows which insurer is best to apply to.

Some insurers will increase your premium due to any cannabis use.

Please don’t go through your bank or directly – they rarely have a clue, so you’ll pay a lot more than you need to.

If you’d like help, call me on 05793 20836 or complete this questionnaire.

Thanks for reading

Nick

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