Getting high and buying life insurance

Getting high and buying life insurance

A lot of people smoke marijuana. About half of Americans say they've tried marijuana in the past, with 12% saying they've used in the last year and 7.3% saying they've used in the past month. Roughly, that adds up to 18.9 million monthly marijuana users in the U.S. While people across generational spectrums have tried marijuana, the heaviest users today are squarely in the 18 to 29 age bracket.

Besides smoking pot, people in their late twenties are also settling down, getting married, buying houses, and having kids. That means a lot of them are looking at life insurance, which is one of the best ways to protect your family and your investments in the event that you die before your time.

Despite the increasing legalization and decriminalization efforts around marijuana, it's still [marijuana usage might not affect your life insurance rates at all](>generally understood to be an illegal drug, especially when you're considering insurance companies that operate on a national scale.

How does that affect young marijuana users looking for life insurance? Can you still buy life insurance if you use marijuana? We answer these questions and more.


How life insurance companies see marijuana users

Here's a surprising bit of information: depending on how often you smoke, <a href=).

Most life insurance companies follow what we call a "2 X" rule. This rule stipulates that, as long as you smoke marijuana no more than two times per year, your marijuana usage won't affect your life insurance rates at all.

For a lot of casual users who treat spliffs like old men treat cigars – a once in a while celebratory treat – this is good news. But heavier users will want to look at companies that allow you to smoke more often.

We picked out the top three life insurance companies that heavy marijuana users are going to want to look at. All three of these companies offer non-smoking rates to marijuana users.

  1. MetLife. You can qualify for the best life insurance health classification if you smoke no more than once per week.

  2. Lincoln. You can qualify for a standard life insurance health classification if you smoke no more than twice per week.

  3. Mutual of Omaha. You can qualify for a standard life insurance health classification if you smoke no more than once per week.

As you can see, MetLife is the clear winner – if you're otherwise healthy, you can smoke up to once to per week and still qualify for the best life insurance rates. Lincoln and Mutual of Omaha are still competitive when it comes to how often they allow you to smoke, but top out at standard ratings, making their policies more expensive for otherwise healthy individuals.

None of this changes if you have a prescription for medical marijuana. However, your life insurance company will take a closer look at the medical condition that the marijuana was prescribed for, which may increase your rates.

How marijuana users see life insurance companies

We know how life insurance companies look at marijuana users. But how do marijuana users view life insurance companies and the life insurance shopping process? We talked to several marijuana users who had purchased or attempted to purchase life insurance in the past five years in order to get an answer to that question.

While most of the people we talked to used marijuana recreationally, we found that about a third of the recreational users we spoke to had a prescription for marijuana. This is potentially dangerous – as we mentioned above, if you have a prescription, your life insurance company will dig in deep on the medical condition it's prescribed for, even if you don't actually suffer from that condition.

No one that we talked to was turned from applying for life insurance because they used marijuana, and no one had an application rejected from a life insurance company. That's because the vast majority of them did not disclose their marijuana usage to their life insurance company. "I just delayed my application and stayed off weed for like a month," said one user we talked to.

We always suggest that marijuana users disclose, primarily because life insurance companies have a two-year "look back" period where they can deny a survivor's claim because of fraud on the initial life insurance application. If you die in the first two years of your policy and your life insurance company finds out that you were a marijuana user, they can refuse to pay out your death benefit to your survivors, even if marijuana had no part in your death.

Admittedly, this is an unlikely scenario, but it's not impossible. The whole point of buying life insurance is to be conservative and to protect yourself and your family. Buying life insurance and not disclosing you use marijuana is like buying a shield with a hole in it. Plus, as we showed above, there are plenty of life insurance companies that don't care that you smoke pot and are happy to insure you.