Nearly 60% Would Lie About Marijuana Use To Get Better Life Insurance Quotes: Forbes Advisor

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A new Forbes Advisor poll found that 56% of people say they would lie about their marijuana use to avoid higher life insurance quotes. That could be a problem if the insurance company finds out; your policy is likely to go up in smoke if lies are discovered on your application.

Forbes Advisor asked 2,000 people about marijuana use and life insurance, including whether insurance companies should take cannabis use into account when pricing life insurance policies.

The findings come as lawmakers try to legalize marijuana across the country. 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 between marijuana use and life insurance.

tell me sweet little lies

Most 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 if they got lower rates, followed by those in the Midwest (62%).

If I used marijuana legally, I would lie about using marijuana to get better life insurance quotes

You should always tell the truth when completing a life insurance application. If you try to lie, your insurance company will likely find out the truth by looking into your medical history. And providing false information to an insurance company is fraud. The insurer will likely deny your application if they find fraud. Or, if her insurer finds out that she lied after selling her a policy, her policy may be voided.

Marijuana Use and Other Factors Affecting Life Insurance Rates

If you buy life insurance, you may have to answer questions about whether and how much you use marijuana. But only half of the people surveyed (50%) knew that smoking marijuana affects life insurance rates. Less than half of those surveyed 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 boat nine to 16 days per month could put you in a more expensive fare class. And use of marijuana more than 16 days a month could result in a denial.

But each life insurance company has its own rules, so it’s important to shop around and work with an insurance agent who knows which companies can offer you the best life insurance quotes.

And only 41% knew that the use of opioids (such as heroin) can affect the quotes of life insurance buyers.

Life insurance companies usually investigate details unrelated to your current health as well. And the biggest knowledge gaps were about these non-health factors in life insurance quotes. Less than one-third of people knew that credit history (29% knew), driving history (35% knew), and criminal history (33% knew), and a current bankruptcy (23% knew) are generally considered by life insurance companies when setting quotes. .

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

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

Hesitancy to buy: higher rates, fear of rejection

Nearly 60% of people said they would hesitate to apply for life insurance if they used marijuana legally.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Would you hesitate to apply for life insurance if you used marijuana legally?

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

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

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

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

Related: A life insurance guide for marijuana users

Why would you hesitate to apply for life insurance if you use marijuana legally? (Choose your main reason)

A touch (or many) will not affect the life insurance in force

Many people (44%) incorrectly think that life insurance rates can go up if you start using marijuana after purchasing the policy.

As long as you’ve been truthful in your application, life insurance companies can’t increase your rates for habits that start after the policy is issued. For example, let’s say you have life insurance and decide to participate in the unofficial “Weed Day” celebration every April 20th. You enjoy it, so you become a frequent user. Your life insurance rates would not increase.

The same applies to medical conditions you develop after purchasing life insurance. For example, if you develop cancer or a heart condition after you buy a policy, the insurer can’t 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 that person’s life insurance rates?

Recreational Marijuana: Many Agree It Should Affect Quotes

The 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 that recreational use of marijuana should not be part of underwriting life insurance policies cite legalization and privacy issues as their main 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 every state. A quarter of men (25%) say that because marijuana is already legal in some states, it shouldn’t affect life insurance costs, compared to 18% of women.

When broken down by region, more people in the Southwest and West (each 33%) than in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast (each 22%) say recreational marijuana shouldn’t affect life insurance quotes because it should be legal throughout the country.

Medical marijuana: Few think it should be priced out

More than half (57%) of people surveyed believe 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 American adults was commissioned by Forbes Advisor and conducted by the market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected from April 1-4, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 points at 95% confidence. This survey was overseen by the OnePoll research team, which is a member of MRS and has corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). For a complete survey methodology, including geographic and demographic sample sizes, please contact

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