SSQ says Marijuana Users Now Considered Non Smokers

June 14, 2017

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Top insurance companies are changing how they look at recreational marijuana users; and on July 7, 2016, SSQ altered their underwriting process to stop treating all pot users the same.

SSQ – Now Considers Certain Marijuana Users as Non Smokers

Like their competitors, for years SSQ automatically classified anyone who disclosed that they used marijuana as a smoker. But current research has shown that the effect of infrequent marijuana usage on recreational smokers is quite different from the effect of tobacco on cigarette smokers.

One study found that occasional marijuana use was associated with slight increases in lung airflow rates and increases in lung volume. Thus, occasional marijuana smokers don’t share the same dangerous risk with respect to smoker impairments.

Cannabis smoke doesn’t contain as much of the carcinogens in tobacco smoke, and Canadian studies have concluded there’s little evidence that marijuana smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, even in habitual users.

Health Risks Associated With Smoking Cigarettes

As you’re probably aware, tobacco smoking is linked to numerous health conditions such as:

  • Coronary disease
  • Stroke
  • Lung cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

It’s important to note that this new underwriting doesn’t include all marijuana smokers and in fact, it doesn’t include those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes. It only applies to occasional smokers who don’t use other forms of tobacco or nicotine products.

More Than Life Insurance Products

SSQ includes more than life insurance products with this change. They also consider recreational marijuana smokers as non-smokers for critical illness insurance and disability insurance.

In all cases, SSQ underwriting approval is subject to the assessment of the overall health condition of the applicant as well as their smoking status. There are no age restrictions or insurance coverage amounts with respect to SSQ’s underwriting change.

The Best News About SSQ Treating Marijuana Users as Non Smokers

Let’s face it. Life insurance rates for smokers is double and sometimes triple the amount for non-smokers; so it has been unfair that recreational marijuana smokers have been penalized in the past. There are cases where cannabis smokers haven’t been able to afford life insurance premiums.

Before the changes, if you smoked marijuana within 12 months of applying for life insurance, the smoker rate was applied. This stopped many recreational users from even applying or getting too low of coverage to compensate for high premiums.

With this underwriting change, more people can get the amount of life insurance coverage they need, at a cost they can afford; which is always great news.

SSQ Life Insurance Policies in Force

The change to underwriting criteria doesn’t automatically apply to policies that are currently in force. But, if this change affects you, you can request to change your status from a smoker to a non-smoker. A life insurance professional can help you with this process.

If you smoke marijuana occasionally and want more information about SSQ insurance, we can help. At Shelter Bay Financial Corp., we are life insurance brokers and will answer any questions you have about occasional marijuana usage and life insurance.

Give us a call. We operate solely over the phone or online for your convenience.

To learn more, please call us toll free at 1.888.498.5288

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