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Life insurance if you have used recreational drugs

Pete Mugleston, mortgage & insurance advisor
Pete is one of the insurance specialists

One of the not so common, but still important questions we are asked is “Do life insurance companies test for non-prescription drugs“, mostly by people looking for life insurance companies that consider drug users, whether still actively using drugs or not.

The answer in short is yes and no – insurers do ask the question, but will not necessarily demand you go for ‘testing’. Although many companies will turn them down, the following applicants can obtain cover depending on the date and extent of use:

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How do insurers look at drug use?

Many insurers will decline anyone who has used recreational / non-prescription drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine etc. Thankfully there are specialist insurers offering mainstream life and critical illness cover on normal terms for many who have used certain non-prescription drugs, it all depends on the type of drug and the last date of use.

>>> Below are tables showing approximate policy cross section of the most flexible insurers regarding drug use. Remember these are not specific for your situation and you’ll need to speak to a specialist to get the right advice for you.

How to get life insurance if you use cannabis (or have done in the past)

Whatever you call it – Cannabis / Weed / Marijuana life insurance applications are relatively common, and thankfully some insurers recognise that smoking it seldom damages health any more than smoking cigarettes, so policies can often offered on normal terms.

Anyone who has associated medical conditions, or perhaps a history of mental health / alcohol issues, may well have their postponed until the situation improves, have certain benefits excluded, have the monthly costs increase, or for heavy cannabis users policies can be declined.

Cannabis use

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How to get life insurance if you use cocaine (or have done in the past)

As an advisor, cocaine use and life insurance can be a difficult one to place, however there are insurers that accept applicants with a history of use depending on when their last use was and what type of policy they are looking for.

Cocaine use

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How to get life insurance if you use ecstasy (or have done in the past)

Being a relatively ‘clean’ drug for the most part, people who have used Ecstasy are not discredited by insurers as quickly as you might think, and the health risks of use, although potentially serious, don’t necessarily lead to a complete decline.

Ecstasy use

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How to get life insurance if you use heroine (or have done in the past)

Before getting into the industry I’d have thought no one that has EVER used heroine would be eligible for protection against their health / life. The underwriting tends to be stricter than for other Class A drug use, and generally anyone using within the last 6 years can struggle to get cover, although there are insurers out there willing to offer the cover to those who have a history of being clean.

Heroine use

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Life cover and recreational drug use FAQ

What would prevent me from getting insurance after drug use?

In general, the insurers that are happy to consider people that have used drugs will also be looking at other areas of health and well-being. Anyone who has a history of alcohol abuse, drinks more than usual levels, or has a history of mental health issues, is likely to have more difficulty / have their monthly premiums increased more than someone with an otherwise clean medical history.

Do life insurance companies test for prescription drugs?

Typically if you are on a prescription for treatment/medication of any kind, then you will need to declare this to the insurer. The insurance company won’t necessarily test you specifically, but based on answers to your application they may request further information from your GP. If you don’t declare things on your application and simply answer ‘no’ to all questions, you may be offered standard terms on the policy, but it may not pay out at claim time.

Do I need to declare use of drugs on life insurance applications?

The application will usually ask if applicants have ‘ever’ used recreational drugs, however some insurers only ask about activity in the last 5 years. Regardless, more flexible insurers can still accommodate you if you have used drugs in the past, however recent, depending on the type of drug and severity of use.

Applicants need to be an open book on their application or risk the policy not paying out, but it is a temptation of many arranging their own policies or completing questionnaires with their advisor to not disclose use of recreation drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, or even about the volume of alcohol consumed per week. Even if you go to one of the right insurers by pure accident, if you still don’t disclose the correct information on application it can cause issues at the time of claim.

Insurers are very advanced these days and tests can be really specific, establishing the last time someone used drugs or smoked almost to the day. You have to ask yourself if you want your policy to pay out or not. If you don’t disclose something (anything really not just use of drugs), your policy may not pay out when you and your family need it most, so it is advisable that you are ALWAYS open, honest and truthful on your application.

 

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About Lucy James

Lucy has been the backbone of Online Mortgage Advisors' success. Having started out as our tea and coffee expert, Lucy has worked her way through the ranks and is now in charge of our general admin, PR and marketing, and is the crucial link between our customers and the right advice.

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