Several insurers decide to treat marijuana users as non-smokers

By Andrew Rickard | June 13 2016 01:30PM

Five life insurers have recently announced that they will underwrite marijuana users as non-smokers.

Sun Life says it will treat all of those who consume marijuana but do not smoke tobacco as non-smokers. BMO Life Insurance is taking a more conservative approach, and will limit non-smoker status to those who only consumer two marijuana cigarettes per week.

As for Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life, they followed suit on June 8 when they issued a joint announcement saying that "clients who use marijuana will no longer be considered smokers, unless they use tobacco, e-cigarettes or nicotine products".

These last three insurers have yet to update their application forms, so until that time they say clients will still have to answer yes to smoking questions; advisors are to use the detail section on the application form to explain that the client uses marijuana and include information on how much he or she consumes. The family of insurers say that existing clients may also apply for non-smoker rates, subject to health and lifestyle underwriting review.