Nearly 60% would lie about using marijuana to get better life insurance quotes – Forbes Advisor

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A new Forbes Advisor survey found that 56% of respondents say they would lie about their marijuana use to avoid higher life insurance quotes. It could be a buzzkill if the insurance company finds out – your policy could probably go up in smoke if lies are discovered on your claim.

Forbes Advisor surveyed 2,000 people about marijuana use and life insurance, including whether insurance companies should consider cannabis use when pricing life insurance policies.

The findings come as lawmakers trying to legalize marijuana nationwide. Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states and Washington, DC, and recreational use is legal in 18 states and Washington, DC

Here’s a look at how Americans view the intersection of marijuana use and life insurance.

Tell me sweet little lies

A majority of people (56%) say they would lie about using marijuana to get better life insurance quotes. When broken down by region, residents of the Northeast (64%) lead the nation in saying they would lie to get lower rates, followed by those in the Midwest (62%).

If I Used Marijuana Legally I’d Lie About Marijuana Use To Get Better Life Insurance Quotes

You must always tell the truth when completing a life insurance application. If you try to lie, your insurance company will likely find out the truth when researching your medical history. And providing false information to an insurance company is fraud. The insurer will likely deny your claim if it discovers fraud. Or, if your insurer finds out you lied after selling you a policy, your policy may be void.

Marijuana Use and Other Factors That Affect Life Insurance Rates

If you buy life insurance, you’ll probably have to answer questions about whether and how much you use marijuana. But only half of those surveyed (50%) knew that smoking pot affects life insurance rates. Less than half of respondents knew that other types of marijuana use can affect life insurance quotes, such as vaping (46%) and edibles (44%).

In fact, marijuana use can affect life insurance quotes, and the frequency of use can further determine the increase in rates. For example, if you use marijuana eight days or less per month, you may still qualify for good rates. Using the new pot 16 days a month could put you in a more expensive fare class. And using marijuana more than 16 days a month could result in a denial.

But every life insurance company has its own rules, which is why it’s important to shop around and work with an insurance agent who will know which companies are likely to give you the best life insurance quotes. .

And only 41% knew that opioid use (like heroin) could affect life insurance buyers’ quotes.

Life insurance companies also generally look for details that are unrelated to your current medical condition. And the biggest knowledge gaps were around these non-health factors in life insurance quotes. Less than a third of people knew that credit history (29% knew), driving record (35% knew) and criminal history (33% knew) and current bankruptcy (23% knew) are generally taken taken into account by life insurance companies when drawing up quotes.

All of the factors below are commonly considered in life insurance pricing, but survey results show that many people are unaware of the factors that affect life insurance rates.

To the best of your knowledge, check all the factors that could affect life insurance quotes

Reluctance to buy: higher rates, fear of rejection

Nearly 60% of people said they would be hesitant to buy life insurance if they legally used marijuana.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I would hesitate to buy life insurance if I used marijuana legally

Among people who would hesitate to buy life insurance, the main reason is that they assume that life insurance would be too expensive. And it’s true that marijuana users will generally pay more for their life insurance:

  • A 30-year-old man who uses marijuana occasionally (twice or less per month) pays an average of 23% more than those who don’t.
  • A 30-year-old woman can expect to pay 22% more for occasional marijuana use.
  • Quotes can be even higher for those who use it more than twice a month: 47% higher for men and 34% for women.

Almost a quarter of people (24%) say they did not want to be denied coverage for marijuana use.

Frequent marijuana use could result in rejection by a life insurance company. But if you’re an occasional user — and the definition of occasional user varies by insurance company — you can usually still purchase a policy.

Related: Marijuana User’s Guide to Life Insurance

Why would you hesitate to buy life insurance if you used marijuana legally? (Choose your main reason)

One puff (or more) will not affect in-force life insurance

Many people (44%) mistakenly believe that life insurance premiums can increase if you start using marijuana after purchasing the policy.

As long as you’ve been honest about the claim, life insurance companies can’t raise your rates for habits you start after the policy is issued. For example, let’s say you have life insurance and decide to participate in the “weed day» Celebration every April 20th. You enjoy it, so you become a frequent user. Your life insurance rates would not increase.

The same goes for medical conditions you develop after purchasing life insurance. For example, if you develop cancer or heart disease after purchasing a policy, an insurer cannot start charging you more.

To the best of your knowledge, if someone already has life insurance and starts using marijuana, can the insurance company increase the person’s life insurance rates?

Recreational Marijuana: Many Agree This Should Affect Quotes

A majority (60%) of respondents agree that recreational marijuana use should influence life insurance rates, while only 13% disagree.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Recreational marijuana use should affect someone’s life insurance quotes

Those who think recreational use of marijuana shouldn’t be part of underwriting life insurance policies cite legalization and privacy issues as their top reasons.

Why do you think recreational marijuana use shouldn’t affect life insurance quotes? (Choose your main reason)

More men (30%) than women (24%) think recreational use should not be used in life insurance pricing because it should be legal in all states. A quarter of men (25%) say pot is already legal in some states, so it shouldn’t affect life insurance costs, compared to 18% of women.

Breaking down by region, more people in the Southwest and West (each 33%) than in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast (each 22%) say recreational marijuana should not affect life insurance quotes because it should be legal nationwide.

Medical Marijuana: Few Think It Should Be Priced Out

More than half (57%) of respondents think medical marijuana should be considered when setting life insurance rates. Only 14% disagree.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Medical marijuana use should affect someone’s life insurance quotes

Survey methodology

This online survey of 2,000 US adults was commissioned by Forbes Advisor and conducted by market research firm OnePoll in accordance with the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct. Data was collected April 1-4, 2022. Margin of error is +/- 2.2 points with 95% confidence. This survey was overseen by the OnePoll research team, a member of the MRS and a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). For full survey methodology, including geographic and demographic sample sizes, contact

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