Are Your Clients Going Green?

Mia Dempsey – Manager, New Business


Something we are seeing more of in life insurance underwriting is marijuana use by applicants. Let us look at how the carriers view this risk.

For medical marijuana users, the insurance carriers will be more concerned with the underlying condition for which it was prescribed rather than the marijuana use itself. They will also be looking to see that the applicant has a ‘recommendation card’ (Rec) signed by physician. Click here to download our general health questionnaire to help uncover the applicants’ health risk(s).

For recreational users, the underwriters will consider a few things:

  • Are you in a state that has legalized the use of marijuana?
  • How old is the applicant?
    • The legal age for recreational marijuana use is 21. However, the carriers are underwriting applicants that are 25 and older. Any younger than that and they typically will not offer coverage.
  • How often does the client smoke? Or ingest edible marijuana?
    • A few times annually? Monthly? Daily?
    • The more often an applicant smoke/ingests, the bigger the risk
  • Will THC show up on their lab work?
    • THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. 1
    • Not all carriers will test for THC during the paramed exam

Some carriers consider any marijuana (medicinal or recreational) use as smoker/tobacco even if they do not smoke cigarettes or use any form of tobacco.  Fortunately, we do have a few carriers that will offer non-tobacco rating for marijuana users.

When filling out the application, make sure to disclose the marijuana use. You do not want the carrier to uncover it during the underwriting process.  Carriers do not look favorably on cases where it is not admitted up front and can result in a decline or smoker/tobacco health classes.

Contact your AMS dedicated case manager for any questions or to request a risk assessment for your client.

1 https://www.livescience.com/24553-what-is-thc.html