Canadian Insurance Companies Changing How They Treat Occasional Recreational Marijuana Smokers

Sun Life Insurance and BMO Insurance just announced new underwriting rules on how they treat occasional and recreational marijuana smokers.

In the past, marijuana (cannabis) smokers were treated similar to tobacco smokers and had to pay the higher smoker rates for life insurance.

Now both Sun Life and BMO Insurance have announced that they won’t be charging occasional, recreational marijuana smokers the higher smoker rates.

There are some caveats – heavy smokers won’t benefit from these lowered rates.  People with mental / nervous history, poly drug use, alcohol abuse, occupational hazards and other medical and lifestyle concerns will also have to go through a full underwriting and may not benefit from these lowered rates.

BMO defines “occasional marijuana use” as 2 marijuana cigarettes for recreational use per week (excludes medical marijuana use.)  Each company will have their own rules and definitions for “occasional” smoker so be sure to check with your advisor for clarification if you are unsure.  There are also some considerations on different types of cannabis / marijuana ingestion such as oils, vaping, edibles etc.

Not all of the details are out yet and information is still being released.  Here are 2 articles that give some additional detail into Canadian insurance companies changing how they treat occasional recreational marijuana smokers.

National Post article on Sun Life announcement

BMO Insurance announcement on marijuana

BMO Insurance extends consideration for Critical Illness insurance