A life insurance provider evaluates applications for policies and attempts to determine the risk of each applicant. The risk factors include age, medical condition, and, in certain cases, lifestyle choices. If an insurer discovers that your lifestyle choices could have a negative impact on your health (e.g. smoking or alcohol consumption), they might offer you a higher premium, or even deny your application. You could be denied if you are currently using illicit drugs.
Your provider could cancel your policy or increase your premium if you lie about your past drug use. You will likely have to go under medical examination. False statements could result in immediate denial. If you have had an addiction problem, it’s OK to tell the truth about it. Although most life insurance companies will require that you have been sober for a certain period of time, this varies from insurer to insurer.
Life insurance for drug users
Your life insurance provider will usually consider you a higher risk if you are a drug user. Insurers will consider drug use as a risk factor. According to the CDC, smoking tobacco reduces your life expectancy by at least 10 years. Alcohol use is linked to major diseases such as liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease, and an increased risk of fatal car accidents.
Because of the potential risks involved with this practice, it is understandable that insurance companies would ask about a prospective applicant’s drug use.
You may need to wait until you are able to qualify for coverage if you have been in rehab before or are still recovering from an addiction to apply for a Life Insurance Policy. Each insurance company has its own standards. However, you might need to wait at least a few more years between the time you were in rehab and when your application for life insurance is being processed.
While certain prescription medications will not affect your life insurance application in any way, there are other drugs that insurers consider to be a higher risk. Insurers may be particularly interested in:
- Addiction treatment drugs: Drugs that are used to treat opioid addiction (e.g. suboxone) may raise red flags on your application for life insurance and cause you to pay more.
- You might not be able to apply for these prescriptions if you are currently taking painkillers or muscle relaxers. These prescriptions can lead to addiction or death, so it may be a good idea to disclose your use. However, you will likely get a higher premium if you are honest about your application.
- Prescription marijuana: You will need to discuss the reasons for your prescription. Rates may be affected by the state where you live and the policies of the provider.
Your premium may be increased by prescriptions for mental health medication, diabetes medications, and HIV medication. These medications could cause early death or worsen existing conditions. If you are unsure, communicate with your provider and talk to an agent about the potential impact of your prescriptions on eligibility or rates.
You may still be eligible for the lowest rates at some marijuana-friendly life insurers even if you only use recreational cannabis a few times per year. You may be classified according to your use frequency. Even if you only smoke occasionally, you might still qualify for good rates. You may also be considered a tobacco smoker if you smoke daily marijuana. This will usually result in higher premiums.
The increased safety and health risks of using narcotics such as heroin and cocaine make them illegal. According to the National Institutes of Health, heroin addicts can live a shorter life expectancy even decades later. You will need to disclose any drug abuse history if you have spent time in rehab. This could lead to higher premiums. Some insurers will still cover you even if your drug use has been under control for a long time.
Most insurance companies won’t cover current users of illicit drugs. A life insurance company will likely deny you coverage if you are currently using illicit drugs or if you abuse therapeutic drugs that have not been prescribed to you.
What should you do if your life insurance is denied because of drug addiction?
You will need to stop using drugs and get clean for at least a few years before your insurance company will cover you. If you have been sober for years and are managing your addiction, every insurer will assess your risk differently. Some insurers may require that you abstain from drugs for five years while others might say that you must be clean for two years.
Even if your application was denied, it’s a good idea to get quotes from other providers of life insurance to lower your premium. Every insurance company has a different premium. Until you compare, it may be difficult for you to find the best rate for your situation.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best life-insurance company?
There are many factors that will determine the best life insurance company. These include your specific coverage requirements, your premium amount, and whether eligibility is a factor. To determine the best provider for your needs, it is helpful to first calculate your life insurance requirements and then select a few providers that can provide the coverage you need. You can also start by looking for insurers who will be more accommodating to your personal health needs, such as past addiction.
What happens if I overdose on drugs? Will my life insurance company pay me?
It all depends on which provider you choose, the type of insurance policy you have and the circumstances surrounding the overdose. Life insurance companies typically pay your beneficiaries if you are killed in an accident or from accidental drug overdoses. If your drug overdose was deliberate, however, your beneficiaries may not be eligible for the death benefit. Suicide is usually not covered for the first two years of purchasing a policy. Talk to an agent about how each provider handles these situations when searching for providers.