If you’re a pot user and seeking non-smoker rates, no worries! Give us a call and we can assist you in finding affordable life insurance rates with your use of marijuana.
Remember in movies from the 80s and 90s when the stoner kids were referred to as “burnouts” and “losers” by the “Preps” and “Jocks?”
Clueless, Dazed and Confused, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, any Pauly Shore movie….there are no shortage of images in the media depicting marijuana users as slack-jawed wastrels. In the past few years, however, these images of the “degenerate stoner” began to fade into the background as marijuana lost its social stigma.
Now that roughly half of the states have authorized the use of medical marijuana and nearly as many have decriminalized it, smoking week or pot doesn’t seem so taboo anymore. Don’t believe us? Ask your neighbors!
According to findings from the 2013 Gallup Poll, roughly 51% of Americans now believe the drug should be legalized. Even the Drug Enforcement Administration is getting on board, ceasing its active pursuit of marijuana as an offense (admittedly, only in states where it is already legal, but this still is a step toward acceptance).
More shocking still: life insurance companies are beginning to come around to the idea of insuring pot smokers.
In fact, according to a Munich American Reassurance Company survey, 29% of life insurers classify marijuana users as non-smokers. This means that they look favorably upon marijuana use, and those who enjoy an occasional – frequent – toke don’t have to worry about the hefty premiums associated with their habit.
So the big question is?
Can Pot Users Get Non-Smoker Life Insurance?
Let’s discuss and review on what you can expect!
Underwriting Marijuana Use
Remember when underwriting marijuana was a “wait-and-see” kind of thing?
Well, not much has changed on that front.
There is still little-to-no scientific evidence to support that marijuana use is less harmful than cigarettes. Additionally, life insurance ratings are always going to be ambiguous because companies specialize in different areas.
What may be uninsurable to one carrier may be rated standard to another. It all depends on the company and the applicant.
This is why we stress finding an independent agent. Shopping for life insurance can be a daunting task, and life insurance agents are in a unique position: they build a network of carriers and are able to quickly and efficiently look up the carriers that will look favorably upon your risk. This saves you time and money.
A lot of companies have developed an underwriting policy for marijuana users to assess their risk. For marijuana users, this means that they will be able to know exactly how their use impacts their life insurance premiums. What’s more is that these life insurance companies providing underwritten coverage for marijuana users are underwriting them at non-smoking rates!
After all, marijuana doesn’t have to be smoked to be consumed, so it doesn’t necessarily make sense to lump all weed users in with the smokers. Not that we know anything about that or anything.
Anyway: this is a huge stride, particularly when you consider the federal government’s stance on marijuana (hint, hint: it’s in the same category as meth and heroin, so you’re basically Walter White if you use it).
This new underwriting policy means that life insurance companies are viewing marijuana separately from hard drugs – meaning: in a less risky category – and are even classifying it apart from tobacco.
And for those companies that still charge smokers premiums for marijuana users? This is still good news, so break out the brownies! It means that the general American psyche toward marijuana is changing. The previously-thought harmful effects of marijuana have been reduced from the risk classification of hard drugs to the status of cigarettes which, while still harmful, are viewed from a significantly different perspective by the federal government and society at large.
The Move Toward Marijuana Acceptance
Before you start the bong rips, there are a few things that this move toward marijuana acceptance will mean for life insurance underwriting.
The first thing this indicates is that traditionally conservative insurers are loosening their ties a bit, but only by a hair. You see, as more studies come out about marijuana’s use and risk impacts, you should prepare for some of your favorite insurance carriers to change their tune about how it is underwritten.
This may mean that you will still face expensive smoker’s premiums at some companies, or it could mean that premiums will be lowered. Say it with us, folks: it all depends on the company.
Despite the fact that some companies will still charge a smoker’s premium for candidates who smoke pot, another key change this new underwriting trend indicates is that marijuana users will, overall, have more options when it comes to life insurance carriers.
Smoker’s premiums aside, the fact that insurers are even putting marijuana on their radar is fantastic.
This means that the carriers that specialize in other areas – such as arthritis, certain cancers and diseases – can now be considered options for those who smoke marijuana with other medical conditions. This is especially beneficial for medical marijuana users, who often found themselves without coverage due to either strict marijuana underwriting, or their high-risk medical conditions.
As insurers make strides toward creating underwriting standards with marijuana users in mind, it is important to remember that America is also making strides toward the social acceptance of marijuana.
In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if marijuana use moved toward the same social acceptability that smoking enjoyed in earlier decades. We may be a long way off from seeing our favorite Mad Men characters holding joints instead of cigarettes, but marijuana use is becoming more widely received in mainstream society.
Think of life insurance like you would fashion trends: what was once cool (i.e.: smoking) is now something that very few companies look upon favorably, and vice-versa. As medical research continues to advance and more information surfaces about marijuana smoke, insurance underwriters will begin to look at marijuana smokers differently.
In the past, having certain forms of cancer or heart disease would result in an automatic decline. Now, thanks to innovations and breakthroughs in research and treatment options, there are carriers who will happily insure individuals with high-risk diseases.
Until more research is done, a good place to start your insurance search is by finding a reputable independent agent. These individuals have their fingers on the pulse of life insurance industry changes and breakthroughs, and will be able to help you determine what this means for you and your coverage. They will be able to determine if your pot usage can get you non-smoker rates.
Additionally, a life insurance agent can help you determine the best policy to suit the needs of you and your loved ones. The best policy, at the best price, every time. It’s as simple as that.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call today to see how we can help you find the best life insurance policy for your marijuana use!