As the laws about marijuana in the U.S. change, the insurance industry is adjusting in each state. The National Conference of State Legislatures says that cannabis is legal in some way in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
But it doesn’t matter if you use marijuana for fun or as medicine; it is still against the law to make, own, or use a Schedule I substance. This confusing conflict is sure to cause problems for insurers and make it hard for policyholders to understand the law. Marcan Insurance can answer some key questions for you about cannabis and insurance.
If you are caught driving high it is the same as getting caught driving drunk. Even though there isn’t a test like a breathalyzer for cannabis, you could be charged with a DUI and have your auto insurance rate go up a lot or even get dropped.
Are you covered if your marijuana is stolen or damaged by fire or water in your home? The answer is not easy to find. In states where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use, some home insurance policies cover damage caused by marijuana. It can be treated like any other item, with coverage up to the limit of your policy for things like fire, theft, and strong winds.
You can even get insurance for the pot plants you grow, as long as you have a state license and don’t grow more than the law allows. But it’s not clear how much you can claim for lost or broken marijuana, so you might have to talk with your insurance company about it.
In states where you can only have a small amount of marijuana (like 2-3 ounces), insurers are less likely to fight claims for less than $1,000 that are related to marijuana.
If you have renters insurance and own marijuana, you’ll get the same kind of protection as if you had home insurance. As long as it’s legal, your personal belongings may be covered for policy perils up to your limits.
Health care coverage
If you use marijuana for medicinal purposes and want to put the cost on your health insurance or buy it with money from your HSA, you can’t. As we’ve already said, health insurers don’t pay for cannabis because it’s a Schedule I drug and hasn’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to the U.S. CDC cigarette smoking is responsible for one out of every five deaths in the U.S. each year. An insurance Quotes study found that smokers can pay up to three times as much for term life insurance as nonsmokers.
But some insurers look at people who use marijuana differently and might not think they are as risky as people who use tobacco. Since life insurance rates are mostly based on your age and health, insurers may give the most weight to the medical reasons why you use cannabis in the first place, such as to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis or cancer.
But some life insurance companies may treat smoking marijuana the same as smoking cigarettes. So how it affects your rate depends on the company and how often you smoke pot.