Since marijuana use became legal in Canada in October 2018, insurers have adapted their life insurance eligibility questionnaire accordingly. Insurance companies have evolved with society and now see cannabis as any other risk.
Do you smoke a joint from time to time?
If you smoke cannabis, you will be considered a “smoker” and the rates for smokers will be applied when you apply. Your premiums will then be higher.
If you are an occasional marijuana smoker, your request will not be denied. It all depends on the frequency of consumption.
As with alcohol consumption, moderation is unlikely to have an impact on your life expectancy and insurers will ignore it. However, if your consumption exceeds the limits that are normally acceptable or that may involve the risk of illness or accident, the insurer may refuse your insurance request.
In terms of risks, there is a difference between smoking three joints a week for lovers or three joints a day before, during or after work.
Do you like pot muffins?
You don't smoke cannabis but you really like pot muffins? Although edible cannabis in candies and other treats is not yet legalized, you should still not hide your consumption when applying for insurance.
The effect of ingested cannabis is slower and the risk of overdose is higher. According to the director of the Canadian Public Health Association ” When you smoke, the effect is almost instant. When you eat it, it takes at least an hour. A typical case is someone who is a smoker who eats a first muffin and, feeling nothing, eats another, then another, and when the effect suddenly occurs, the person is overdosed. “1
If a person dies and is found to be consuming without having declared it when they took out their life insurance, the claim may be refused since they will have made a false declaration.
As with other harder drugs, you should not hide the fact that you are using it. Again, this is for the insurer to take a calculated risk and for you not to make false statements.
Did your doctor prescribe cannabis?
Do you have a medical condition and have your doctor prescribed medical cannabis to relieve a health condition? Whatever the reason, it's still consumption. When applying for life insurance, you must declare that you use medical cannabis and the frequency.
Do you already have a life insurance policy?
If you already have a life insurance policy and you pay premiums according to a non-smoking status, you do not have to notify your insurer.
Regarding your consumption, if you started consuming after your contract was issued and in force, you do not have to inform your insurer.
Your life insurance policy was accepted according to the risks of your situation at that time and your premiums will not change, regardless of your new health condition or lifestyle.
A word of advice: Don't hide the truth
Are you completing a life insurance application and are you afraid of not being accepted? Do not hide the truth. It is your beneficiaries who may have the unpleasant surprise because the money you have set aside for them will not be paid.
Every life insurance contract has a clause in the event of fraud or false declaration.
Be frank. It’s more reassuring to be sure you’re insured than to leave doubt for your heirs.
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1 Source: Le Devoir, July 24, 2017