Sometimes it takes the law a significant period of time to catch up with changes in society or public opinion. Such has been the case with the issue of legalization of marijuana and/or medical marijuana use. Though surveys and studies have shown for years that the majority of people are in favor of decriminalization of marijuana, at least to some extent, the laws across the United States are just beginning to reflect those opinions. Just as the laws have taken some time to catch up, insurance companies are also now trying to catch up with the new laws relating to medical marijuana.
Although the use of marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, 18 states and the District of Columbia now allow the use of medical marijuana to some extent. Recreational use of marijuana was even legalized in Washington and Colorado during the last election. Life insurance companies are now wrestling with how premiums should reflect an applicant’s use of marijuana. Some companies are significantly raising premiums on the theory that a marijuana user presents the same risk as a tobacco smoker. Other companies, however, are not raising rates at all for marijuana users.
If you are a medical marijuana user and are shopping for a life insurance policy, be sure that you are honest on the application. Companies often require a blood test prior to underwriting a policy, meaning that your use of THC will ultimately be detected. Even if it doesn’t, you do not want to risk the company refusing to pay out to your beneficiaries because of your omission on the original application. In addition, be sure to shop around and compare premiums before selecting a policy to ensure that you receive the best rate possible.
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