Lower insurance rates for marijuana users

No longer will cannabis users be deemed smokers – at least not when it comes to applying for life and critical illness insurance.

No longer will cannabis users be deemed smokers – at least not when it comes to applying for life and critical illness insurance.

Regardless of how the marijuana is imbibed – be it smoked, ingested or inhaled through a vaporizer – a number of major insurers have changed their policy on the drug and are now assessing marijuana users at non-smoker rates. The change, says a local independent insurance broker, will slash the cost of life and critical illness insurance for marijuana users at least in half.

“This is a pretty big deal,” says Adam Duncan, owner of Comox-based ADI Benefits. “Like marijuana users themselves, insurance companies aren’t exactly known for their quick reactions. The change reflects research about the health benefits of marijuana, and recent shifts in government and public opinion regarding legalization.”

While Duncan acknowledges that marijuana users who already have insurance policies in place should be eligible for a reassessment at less than half their current rate, he says the bigger win is for people whose marijuana use has excluded them from the insurance market.

“I think this will make a big difference to a lot of people,” he says. “Some people who have avoided getting insurance because of prohibitive cost or fear of being denied suddenly don’t have to worry. Application forms are changing, so marijuana use isn’t even something they’ll be asked about anymore.”

In the past, insurance applications required people to answer questions about their use of marijuana; sometimes urine or blood tests were even required to back up an applicant’s statements. Though questions will still be asked about tobacco and harder recreational drugs, no longer will cannabis users be put under scrutiny.

While not all insurance providers are yet on board with the new policy, major insurers such as Wawanesa have already made the change. It’s just a matter of time, says Duncan, before other companies fall in step.

“As an independent broker I work with numerous insurers, and I’ve seen that when one company does something the rest eventually follow suit. It’s not like this is a gamble for them. They all have their actuaries come up with their underwriting guidelines. They’ve done their research.

“If you’re a marijuana user and your provider hasn’t contacted you about this change in policy,” he adds, “give them a call. It will make a huge difference to your bank account. And if you don’t yet have life or critical illness coverage, it just got a whole lot cheaper and easier to get into a policy.”

To find out more about this change in risk class, or for more information about life or critical illness coverage, visit www.adibenefits.ca or call 250-244-1962.

Just Posted

Courtenay petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Comox residents question redevelopment at emotionally-charged meeting

About 40 people filled the d’Esterre House in response to a community consultation meeting.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Courtenay receives second application for cannabis shop

Just one resident spoke at a Tuesday public hearing in Courtenay council… Continue reading

Most Read