Would I get denied life insurance if I test positive for marijuana usage?

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Asked June 9, 2014

1 Answer


When you purchase a life insurance policy, the insurance company needs to know the risks associated with insuring you. Part of this evaluation is a standard medical exam which includes, among things, a urinalysis or hair follicle test. Generally, the urinalysis is given, and if you test positive for certain substances you will asked to submit to a more in-depth test to gauge the frequency and amount of use of the substances.

The substances you are tested for include legal and illicit drugs such as Amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs. If you test positive for drugs that are illegal in your state of residence, you can be denied coverage outright. If you test positive for controlled substances that are available by doctor's orders, you will be asked to present a prescription to verify that you are supposed to be using them.

The reason life insurance companies test for substances is because drugs that have the potential for abuse can also entail risks to your life and health. Overdose and violent injury, for example, can both arise from the use of some substances, increasing the risk of insuring you in unpredictable ways such as overdose or health conditions related to the usage.

For marijuana, the situation is a bit more complicated, because that drug is legal in some locations but not everywhere. If it is legal in your state of residence or if you have recently moved away from a state where it is decriminalized, the insurance may accept the application but charge you higher rates along with requiring a follow up exam and a later date. Testing positive again at that time would indicate that you are still using the drug and could lead to a denial of coverage.

Since marijuana laws are currently being challenged in many states, you will have to consult your chosen insurance company to find out how they respond to testing positive for marijuana use. You can do this by making an anonymous call to customer service if you want to know what you are facing before you actually take the medical exam.

Answered June 9, 2014 by Anonymous

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