How Marijuana Use Impacts Life Insurance Rates

With the 2016 election behind us, California has officially become the eighth state in the nation to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. This allows adults in California, 21 and older, the ability to legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for non-medical purposes, with certain restrictions. (Source:  We are hoping that through this article, we can provide some clarity with regards to life insurance underwriting vis a vis this recent change.

How Will Carriers Underwrite Marijuana Use?

Since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, carriers have been underwriting individuals in these two states no differently than individuals in the other 48 states, and we don’t foresee this to change anytime soon.  For those individuals that use marijuana recreationally, we will still need additional information such as how often they use marijuana, the approximate amount they use on a weekly/monthly basis, and in what form they consume it (smoke methods, vaporizers, edibles, oils, capsules, etc.).  Additionally, if the individual uses marijuana for medical reasons, we need information about the underlying medical condition to determine if this would cause an additional rating.  Nonsmoker rates are still possible with several carriers and Preferred rates are even attainable in certain circumstances.

Will This Change How Individuals That Grow or Sell Marijuana are Underwritten?

At this time, carriers are declining those individuals that legally grow or sell marijuana, even if they don’t personally use it.  This is partially due to the federal Anti-MoneyLaundering guidelines and the Controlled Substances Act.  With California being only the eighth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, changes to these guidelines may change in the future so we recommend reaching out to your Field Support Representative (FSR) for the latest information as underwriting of each case will vary based on specific details.

Have any other questions about how the 2016 election results may impact your business and the financial services industry as a whole?  LifePro is here to keep you informed, so you can continue to do business.

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About Greg Horak

Greg Horak is the Case Underwriter at LifePro. He builds close relationships with senior underwriting executives to help financial professionals overcome some of the most common medical issues so rated or declined cases turn into paid cases.


This information is meant for educational purposes only.

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