Life Insurance has always been a passion of mine. I have been selling it for almost 25 years and have never swayed from my interest in providing my clients with the best I can do for them. Whether the Life Insurance Policy is based on price only or building equity, (yes you can do that like a savings account) I have enjoyed the challenges because no two policies are ever the same.
Interestingly, over the last 12 to 18 months something of a phenomenon has bubbled to the surface in the insurance industry, presenting new challenges. It seems while nicotine smoking has diminished, the use of cannabidiol (CBD) has increased. I am not going to go into the health benefits of CBD because most users already know the positive takeaways. However, in the world of Life Insurance, CBD has forced some to look beyond standard underwriting procedure.
What is underwriting?
Underwriting determines if you are approved or unapproved for an insurance policy. There also is a rating assigned to you as well. It is a snapshot of who you are: your personal characteristics, what your health status is, and ultimately how much of a risk is being taken by the insurance company to insure your life.
For example you could be 29 years old, a female, a non smoker and stamped with a preferred rating, which for the record, is almost perfect in our business. If another person had all of the same characteristics, but got a standard rating, they would pay a higher cost or premium for the policy because their rating was only ‘standard’.
Now, with regard to CBD use, I have found it interesting that underwriters have not fully standardized the use of CBD on the current rating system. They are getting there, but not quite just yet. In a nutshell, every single person I asked (from new business case managers to marketing reps to underwriters), had varying opinions on how to rate CBD users.
Insuring CBD Users
So what does this mean for the casual user of CBD? Probably not a whole lot. Most people who use CBD will probably get, worst case scenario, a standard non-smoking rate, which isn’t all that terrible.
It will most likely come down to the reason or reasons why the person is using CBD. Here is the latest I was able to uncover about the yet-to-be-written “CBD rule book,” so to speak:
“Using CBD oil only, meaning no use of THC or cannabis should be ok. But the reason for use could be an issue. For example, if there is a chronic pain history, that may need to be underwritten differently than if it is being used preventatively, like a multivitamin. Insurance companies may also ask CBD users to take a drug and alcohol questionnaire.”
Don’t let the drug and alcohol form scare you. It’s just standard procedure in some cases. I have written Life Insurance policies for former marijuana smokers.
Furthermore, underwriters may simply request more detail about the reasons CBD is being used. This again is normal, and remember that CBD usage is so new that not all the rules have been written yet. Using CBD does not mean you will be disqualified for the approval of any other type of insurance as well.
CBD Legitimate Medicine
In my opinion, the more medical professionals, yes medical doctors, that take this seriously the better things will be for the future of CBD and related products. The more physicians who embrace some of the benefits that CBD can provide to patients will only add to its credibility. The more physical and occupational therapists who are able to use the products with patients in recovery obviously won’t hurt the growth of CBD as an alternative to more addictive pharmaceutical medications.
The more information shared by public companies and industry leaders will only make the subject matter easier to understand by the average person who is simply looking for an alternative to current modalities.
I can’t stress how important it is for a person to insure their life, and I believe over time CBD users will be completely accepted the same as those who take a daily vitamin. So if you have thought about getting Life Insurance but were afraid to apply due to your CBD use, you have nothing to fear.
After all, knowledge is power and in this scenario the more knowledge all parties have, the better it is for everyone, and it is probably healthier too!
This article was contributed to MassRoots by Harris M. Simkovitz, CES, of Simkovitz & Associates, LLC.
This post was originally published on March 21, 2019, it was updated on May 13, 2019.