Cannabis consumers continue to suffer for their lifestyle choices—even when buying insurance. Marijuana sales taxes have risen in states with legalized marijuana and insurance can be up to five times higher for pot smokers. But why should insurance companies expect pot smokers to pay more for the same services as their non-pot smoking counterparts?
Higher Prices for Higher People
Depending on your provider, a policy can be up to five times higher for cannabis users. Certain companies will treat anyone that consumes medical or recreational marijuana like cigarette smokers.
The reason insurance companies charge cigarette smokers much more than their non-smoking counterparts is that there has been more than enough data illustrating the harm cigarette smoke causes. However, this isn’t the case with cannabis so why are pot smokers getting shafted?
There is no consistency in policies between companies. Some don’t factor in your weed habit, while others will charge you a little more than non-users or the same as cigarette smokers. When asked about marijuana rules, Jack Dolan of the American Council of Life Insurance told the New York Post, “we don’t get into that side of things, that is something for individual company operations.”
During the life insurance medical exam, there’s usually a urine or blood test. Either would expose any weed in an individual’s system. There isn’t any news about a life or health insurance company rejecting an application over marijuana use. However, there is evidence that some companies will hike up prices on cannabis consumers.
In fact, Mark Maurer, president of LLIS, an independent insurance agency in Florida, recommended asking clients about their weed usage. He made the suggestion at a conference for the National Association of Professional Financial Advisors.
Maurer also shared the story of a 36-year-old New Jersey woman who vapes cannabis. One life insurance issuer offered her an annual premium of $3,772—which is the type of plan a tobacco user sees. A different issuer offered her an annual rate of only $677, which is about what non-tobacco users pay.
Final Hit: Higher Premiums
You may need to take a break from bud unless you want to drastically limit your options for affordable life insurance. We recommend taking a tolerance break before applying for a policy. However, by doing so, you could risk raising your premiums if your cannabis consumption is ever discovered later on.
Many companies are price gouging marijuana users so you really need to be vigilant when shopping for insurance. If you’re a regular medical user and can’t take a break we recommend shopping for a policy that does not let cannabis use factor into your premium. You can be upfront about it like the woman from New Jersey. Since she kept no secrets from her issuer, she won’t have to worry about her $677 policy raising later because of her weed vaping.