Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2022

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There are a few misguided judgments about marijuana use and life insurance coverage.

Many people believe that if you use marijuana – you cannot get approved for life insurance or you must pay a smoker rate. This is not true.

We can help you get approved for life insurance if you use marijuana, at the lowest rates available and most likely at a nonsmoker rate.

With the ongoing push to legalize cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use, more insurance companies are providing life insurance policies to individuals who are occasional smokers.

Even if you live in a state that has yet to legalize marijuana for recreation or medicinal use.

An occasional smoker smokes cannabis two to three times a week. Non-smokers do not smoke cigarettes and occasionally smoke pot. We have assisted clients who smoke marijuana in obtaining life insurance; the majority at a non-smokers rate.

NOTE: If you are an occasional marijuana user and do not have significant health problems nor smoke cigarettes, use the following information to obtain an instant quote by using the life insurance quote tool on this page):

Check out our Table of Contents for everything you need to know:

Your Rights As A Marijuana User

A valid concern for cannabis users is privacy. There is a concern that admission to smoking cannabis can lead to exposure with the possibility of arrest.

Your insurance agent cannot report you to your family, employer, or law enforcement when you apply for life insurance. Smoking cannabis does not necessarily disqualify you for insurance.

Your rights are ensured by HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996) and enforced by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. You are personally guaranteed the “privacy of individually identifiable health information.”

HIPPA protects all medical information; no one can access another’s medical records without prior written consent from that person. Your insurance agent, medical professional, or anyone directly related to your health information cannot disclose your records.

Bottom line – You WILL NOT get in trouble for admitting marijuana use during the life insurance application process.

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Is a medical exam always required for life insurance?

Life insurance companies do not always require a medical exam. However, to obtain the lowest rates possible, obtaining a fully underwritten policy requiring a health exam is advised.

Life insurance rates are on average 4x greater for someone who smokes than a non-smoker. Remember, casual pot smokers may receive non-smoker rates. We have succeeded in getting our cannabis clients approved at non-smoker rates who do smoke marijuana 2-3 times per week.

We work with the leading life insurance companies in the country. Some require exams while others do not. Our agents are skilled at finding the right company to meet your needs and wants. Exams or no exams, lowest rates, and coverage.

Underwriting guidelines are always changing at life insurance companies. Contact us to see which companies will offer a no exam life insurance policy if that is your preference.

Do you need to disclose marijuana use?

If you prefer not to disclose marijuana use, there are a handful of companies that don’t ask about marijuana use. If the company does not ask – you do not need to disclose it. You will need to answer other potential medical questions regarding other health risks.

You do not have to disclose marijuana use. However, you should be aware part of a medical exam may include blood tests and a urine sample.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, is detected in both blood, urine, and hair samples. THC may be detected in blood and urine between 3 to 13 days, depending on how much is consumed.

Other factors may include the ratio of body fat (THC is fat-soluble), weight, and frequency you smoke.

When asked about marijuana use, do not lie. Remain honest with your insurance agent about your use, including the amount and frequency. There is no need to worry about negative repercussions. Lying on an insurance application is a fraud, you do not want to risk the loss of benefits.

The amount of marijuana you consume on a weekly basis is not generally taken into consideration. The majority of life insurers will consider you as a smoker regardless of how much or little you smoke to treat your condition. As mentioned above, it’s important to apply with a life insurance company that will offer nonsmoker rates for marijuana users. There are a handful of life insurers that will consider you for “non-smokers” rates if you consume 1-3 joints per week or less, even without a medical marijuana card.

Whether you are rated as a “smoker” or “non-smoker” can have a fairly large impact on what you are assessed for a premium. Some individuals who have a medical marijuana card do not smoke marijuana but consume it as an edible or a tincture.

Although you are not a smoker, the majority of life insurers still consider this form of marijuana consumption as smoking because they only look for evidence of THC. This may change in the future. If your medical marijuana condition is very minor, you might qualify for the best rating categories, regardless of the amount consumed.

Your insurance agent is equipped to advise you on how your cannabis use will affect your policy. Another reason why disclosure of smoking marijuana is necessary. As your insurance advisors, it is our job to get you approved for the lowest-priced policy that meets your needs.

Does life insurance for marijuana users cost more because it is illegal?

This is another misconception. Many marijuana users do not purchase life insurance because they believe it will be much more expensive than if they did not use it.

Whether marijuana use is legal in your state or not, is not an issue for life insurance companies.

Insurance companies vary in how conditions are rated. Some companies are more lenient than others. The rating system of each company determines its rates. With a medical marijuana card, you are eligible for the lowest non-smoker rate (with the right company).

Contact us today to discuss privacy and confidentiality concerns about your marijuana use. We are here to assist you in obtaining the best possible rates whether or not you use marijuana.

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How do life insurance companies view smoking marijuana?

As mentioned above, privacy laws protect you from being exposed because you admit to marijuana use. This applies to everyone regardless of their state’s laws.

Due to the conflicting studies about marijuana use and its impact on health, many life insurance companies regard marijuana users the same as cigarette and nicotine users.

Occasional recreational users do qualify for the “Standard Non-Smoker Rates,” with a few life insurance carriers.

There are life insurance companies that provide non-smoker rates to the smoker whose marijuana usage isn’t more than a couple of times a week or month. The key is to use a marijuana-friendly company that will offer non-smoker rates to marijuana users.

Medical Marijuana Versus Recreational Marijuana

Medical prescriptions for marijuana are allowed in a few states. Medicinal marijuana use is common for several medical and psychological conditions.

You should know that if you are prescribed marijuana, the insurer will want further information about your medical condition.

There is no need to be overly concerned as many medical conditions are treatable and not life-threatening. Your rating may not be affected. However, if your condition is considered serious, you will need to be evaluated accordingly in order to answer any potential health questions.

For those who have a medical marijuana card, you should be aware that it’s not the marijuana use that they look at; it’s the reason why the medical marijuana was prescribed.

It’s important to understand that many medical marijuana card users can be approved for a standard life insurance policy. A small portion of medical marijuana users can even be approved for a “Preferred Best Non-Smoking” rating.

Getting approved for this rating would apply in very specific circumstances. If you are using marijuana to treat a minor condition and are otherwise healthy, you can get a very competitive rate for your coverage.

Another major factor in finding approval is to be able to apply to a marijuana-friendly life insurance company. The best way to achieve this is to use an independent life insurance agent. Independent agents represent multiple companies.

An independent life insurance agent that focuses on marijuana users will know which ones will consider your application with a marijuana medical card.

There are 2 main factors that an underwriter looks at when someone with a medical marijuana card applies for life insurance;

  • The Medical Condition Being Treated
  • Other Health Conditions

What is the most affordable life insurance policy for marijuana users?

Term Life Insurance is the most affordable life insurance policy you can obtain. This is a basic policy that pays out on death benefits only.

You do receive coverage for life. However, you purchase coverage in term periods. For example, 10, 20, or 30 years.

Most term policies contain a conversion feature, allowing you to convert your term policy, for example, to a Whole Life, Universal Life, or Indexed Universal Life policy.

Term conversion is a way to get coverage for a longer duration than the original term without any additional health underwriting or questions.

To begin your term life policy, select a beneficiary, this person or persons would receive a tax-deferred settlement in a lump sum should you pass away while the policy is in force. Your successor may use the money in any way he or she chooses.

Next, select the length of the policy term. You may choose the maximum length of time to ensure your loved ones are financially protected and to provide you with the necessary amount of death benefits.

This can be a bit trickier. Many Americans with life insurance are underinsured, increasing their risk.

It is important to choose your term wisely because renewal will cost you more due to age and health changes.

Where does a marijuana user find the best life insurance policy?

How do you find the lenient life insurers with the lowest prices? An easy question to answer.

Independent agents have access to various life insurance companies. Always select a life insurance agent with knowledge of which insurers offer the best non-smoker rates to marijuana users.

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5 Best Life Insurance Companies for Marijuana

#5 – American General

For the occasional social marijuana users, preferred rates may be available. If you smoke up to 3 times a year you will get some of the best rates offered by the American General.

For those that use marijuana a bit more using it twice a month can get you standard rates. Standard rates are what an average person will qualify for so they are still great rates.

#4 – Principal

To qualify for standard non-smoker rates Principal will allow up to 2 uses per month with negative lab results. I know what you are thinking, “Twice a month? That’s not enough!”

But when most other carriers give you smoker ratings right away, we will take it. Principal will consider better rates on a case-by-case basis if the applicant only uses edibles. For those edible loves, this is a big advantage.

#3 – United of Omaha

For the more frequent user, United of Omaha will allow marijuana use once a week to get standard non-smoker rates.

Although United of Omaha does not offer preferred rates they let you get high twice as often without letting your rates get high. Almost to the number one spot!

#2 – Prudential

Coming in at number two Prudential will let you use marijuana three times a week and get standard rates! If that is not enough, Prudential is also a great company for high-risk cases.

This is especially important for those medicinal users that are treating a health condition, with Prudential you can be sure you are getting some of the best rates available to you.

With one of the highest frequencies allowed Prudential shows, they are a more progressive insurance company.

#1 – Metlife

Showing everyone how it is done Metlife will allow marijuana use 4 times a week to get standard non-smoker rates. If you use marijuana once a week you could even get preferred rates.

This is something no other company on the list allows. Metlife will even distinguish between smoking and edibles.

For the more avid user, this may be the company for you. If you use edibles you could even qualify for Preferred Elite rates depending on how often and how much you consume.

Metlife is truly at the forefront of the marijuana movement in life insurance.

There you have it, the 5 best life insurance companies for marijuana. As the marijuana movement grows so will life insurance companies’ rules on how they view marijuana.