Drug Use & Life Insurance

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Drug Use & Life Insurance

We understand that being an active drug user is not always a conscious choice and in many cases, people have the desire to stop and will seek professional help.

For some people, using drugs is a way to escape the stresses of life. For others, it was associated with the crazier days of youth and trying to be cool with friends.

Whether you’re an active drug user, or it’s something in your past, we can support you through the insurance journey.

And although it’s easier to get cover if you are no longer taking drugs, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible if you are an active drug user. You just need to be selective over the choice of insurers.

Some insurers are ok if you have had marijuana. It tends to be the more serious stuff like ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and speed that will cause a red flag.

But our job is to obtain a full picture of your circumstances and look into the best possible option for you, we’d just need to know a few things to get started:

  • Details of the drugs that were being taken
  • How often they were used
  • Any long-term complications that have developed
  • The length of time since you last took drugs

You will probably have asked yourself if getting life insurance is even possible, if you have been dependent on drugs now or in the past. The answer is that it could be and we can work through the options with you.

It is quite normal for insurers to ask to speak with your GP to establish how much your health has been affected by the drugs. This is nothing to worry about and it isn’t always needed.

The insurer is just looking for confirmation around any professional advice you may have received to reduce your drug use, the length of time you were dependent on drugs and any signs of lasting complications or related mental health conditions.

The outcomes of this report could be positive for your life insurance. If you have been drug free for a number of years and have not experienced serious side effects as a result of the drugs, then it is possible that life insurance could be available on standard terms.

If you have any long lasting complications and/or mental health conditions, you may find that your policy comes at an increased premium.

There are also some cases where life insurance with mainstream insurers may be declined. We are here to do the research for you so that you do not hear that decline. We will find you the an insurer that is able to support you with your insurance needs.

Any application for life insurance from someone who has taken drugs will be looked at individually ,because no two cases are the same. Each one is considered on individual merit.

A marijuana user for example, can apply for life insurance, but it’s important to pick the right one, so that you don’t hear a no.

The life insurance might be offered at standard rates. Depending upon how you have used the marijuana, you may be classed as a smoker. Being a smoker will increased your premiums (it does for anybody that has used nicotine within the previous 12 months).

Stronger drug use, such as cocaine, heroin or steroids will need to have been stopped for a number of years before life insurance can be applied for on the standard market.

The life insurance you are able to secure will depend upon your the drugs you used, how often you used them, as well as how long you’ve been clean.

If the drug that you used can be injected, there is the additional consideration that you may be asked to undergo an HIV test which is a simple blood screen.

You may find that your application for life insurance may be declined by standard insurers, if your drug use has been quite signficiant or recent. Please do not worry though, our experienced advisers can work through specialist options with you.  

 

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.

Similarly to life insurance, critical illness cover for people actively using drugs such as cocaine, heroin or steroids is not currently available on the standard insurance market. But there are options for us to explore with you.

If this is the case, our experts will take the time to understand your current situation and talk through critical illness insurance options with our specialist providers. It may mean that your policy has exclusions for any claims relating to your drug use.

If you smoke marijuana, you will be classed as a smoker when you apply for the cover. This means that you will likely receive the same premium rates on for the critical illness cover as a tobacco user.

The longer you have been clean of drug use  the better chance you have of obtaining critical illness cover. It is likely that this will be with a specialist insurer.

Even after you have been clean for number of drug-free years, the insurer might ask your permission to see a report from your GP about your overall health. 

Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

If you are an active recreational drug user and are looking for income protection cover, you will need to speak with a specialist insurer.

For people that have used cocaine, heroin and steroids, all drug use must have stopped before making an application. You will find that the longer the time period since the drug use ended, the better the terms are likely to be on the income protection offered.

Our expert advisers have years of experience, building their knowledge in this area and can guide you through the different options available. once they have a full understanding of your current situation.

As with life insurance and critical illness cover, marijuana users can have their applications considered by a few select insurers. This might restrict your policy options slightly. If you have been smoking the marijuana, your premiums will reflect that of a smoker (which means more expensive).

Get an Income Protection Quote

There is also the option that we can look into arranging Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover for you instead. The benefit is that it will provide a short-term monthly income replacement if you are unable to work due to illness, injury or unemployment for between 12 and 24 months.

Policies are not medically underwritten which means that you won’t have to disclose any past or current drug use but it is likely that pre-existing conditions will not be covered. This means that you wouldn’t be able to claim for any loss of earnings as a result of anything related to your drug dependency.

Our experts can go through all of the options with you and advise on the best route for you.

What is Drug Use?

Drug use in this context involves the use of any drug that has not been prescribed for you by your GP, or has been a valid prescription for yourself but there has been instance of dosage misuse. When we think of drug users we often think of the more hardcore drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and heroin. However individuals who use non-prescribed steroids, or overmedicate on prescription medicines, also need to consider the implication of the drug use upon their insurance applications.

Also: Stimulants, depressants, analgesics, hallucinogens (psychedelics), anabolic steroids

Linked with: Mental health problems, kidney failure (rhabdomyolysis), heart attackstroke, permanent lung damage, ulcers

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have used drugs include:

    • Anxiety
    • Confusion
    • Jitters
    • Loss of fine motor skills
    • Memory loss
    • Nasal perforation
    • Paranoia
    • Perforation of the stomach or intestines
    • Restlessness (akathisia)
    • Slurred speech
  • Counselling (solo and/or group)
  • Drug replacement therapy
  • Going cold turkey (this should be discussed with your GP first)
  • Professionally managed withdrawal

 

Common Questions

‘Drug use’ in this context refers to the use of any drug that has not been prescribed for you by your GP, or has been prescribed for you but there has been an instance of dosage misuse. This not only includes people using the more hardcore drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and heroin but those using non-prescribed steroids, or overmedicating on prescription medicines. Regardless of the category, drug misuse can have a negative implication on insurance applications.

It is likely that you will have to because insurers need to obtain a full picture of your situation, even if you no longer take drugs. They will also be interested in whether you have ever been advised to reduce your drug consumption, even if this was a brief comment from a GP or other medical professional during a routine appointment. This is likely to be recorded on your medical notes and so not declaring it to an insurer could affect the value of any claim you make in the future.

Yes there are a number of options that we can look at because we have access to a range of specialist insurers. It may be that the one you have approached is not the most suitable because you are unable to meet certain elements of their acceptance criteria at this point.

I know it won’t have been nice to have been declined life insurance due to drug use. I was declined life insurance for different reasons and it wasn’t easy to hear. That is why our company is dedicated to helping people that have been told no.

You may not have been drug free for long enough or your drug test readings may be outside of their limits. But every provider is different and, with a full understanding of your situation, we can look into the best one to meet your needs.

 

Client Reviews

The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 374 reviews.

Review by Susan on 13th November 2019

Superb service, highly recommended. If only all businesses were as good as these guys. - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

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Drug Use & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

Author
This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Drug Use & Life Insurance

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