Can you still get life insurance with a history of recreational drug use?

Life does not get easier or more forgiving. We get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli Life does not get easier or more forgiving. We get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli

Can you still get life insurance with a history of drug use?

Life is complicated.

Getting on with life is even more complicated; so it's important to talk about what matters most and know where we stand.

  • In 2019, around 3.4 million Australians reported using an illicit (recreational) drug in the last 12 months.1

So how does having a history of personal drug use affect your ability to create a safety net for yourself and your family?

Here's what you need to know ahead of time when you're needing to get your life insurances sorted.

Jump Ahead

Here's another question we get asked a lot

  • "If you have used recreational drugs in the past, how does this affect your ability to get life insurances and set up a safety net for yourself or your family?"

The most important thing to understand when it comes to recreational drugs and applying for life insurances is that for the most part it really does depend upon your individual situation, your occupation, your overall health and whether your drug use was intravenous or otherwise.

Understand it's Chemical; not Moral

Underwriting life insurance applications is all about understanding the big data behind all of life's activities, and not so much the reasons for the decisions we make.

  • This means that if there is not yet a lot of available actuarial grade big data available about a particular drug/activity/occupation and its predictable outcomes, it's either off limits or very hard to work with.
  • Understanding the underlying increased chemical risks of drug use, is the driving force here.

A past drug use history of past recreational drug use, when understood better and its context explained in detail, can often be disregarded if the use is in the past.

How long is 'in the past' you ask?

Well that goes back to my earlier comment about it depends your individual situation, your occupation, your overall health and whether your drug use was intravenous or otherwise

  • As a rule of thumb, at least three years of being drug free is usually needed when working with a single type of drug use, might mean a person's medical and health history has become predictable to the point where their life insurance options are within reach.
  • A five year drug free period is usually needed when we’re working with repetitive drug use, depending upon; your individual situation, your occupation, your overall health and whether your drug use was intravenous or otherwise

Current drug use brings additional unknowable health risks into play, one of which is you simply have no control over the composition (purity) of an non-prescribed drug and how it might affect you and any associated health issues that you may or may not know about.

You do need to be aware that some particular types of drug are statistically seen as leading on to ‘harder’ drugs or might be showing significant health risks in emerging big data studies and bring a combination risk that is usually too difficult to clearly understand so would trigger an automatic decline in an application for cover.

How does the growing legalisation of Cannabis (Marijuana) affect the question of recreational drug use?

As Cannabis/marijuana use becomes decriminalised in more and more Australian states, some life insurance companies have started to soften their underwriting attitude towards current cannabis use.

  • But, along with Vaping and smoking eCigarettes, you should be prepared to have to pay smokers rates on their life insurance policy premiums.

Here are eight sample questions you'll need to be prepared to answer during a life insurance application.

  1. What are the types of recreational drugs you have used?
  2. What was the period of use (approximate dates from and to etc.)
  3. Have you ever had any health condition or impairment relating to the use of drugs (e.g. Hepatitis, HIV infection, mental illness)?
  4. Have you ever sought medical treatment or advice or been referred for drug counselling?
  5. Have you ever been treated on a methadone or other controlled withdrawal program?
  6. Have you ever taken time off work because of your alcohol or drug use or have your working duties ever been affected or restricted in any way?
  7. Are you now drug-free?
  8. When did you stop?

The important message is, Take Action Today

While it's impossible to provide a one-answer-fits-all-insurance-companies statement here about the effect of past drug use will have on a life insurance application - the important message is this:

Don't ignore an opportunity to understand your position and begin to get your insurance sorted today, just because you don't yet know all your options.

Give us a call and we can do a confidential pre assessment for you to test the water, before we both jump in together.Drew Browne

Send us an email and start up a conversation with us today and see if we're the type of people you'd like to work with?

[1]Data Source: National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019.

Drew Browne

Drew specialises in empowering people to better protect, plan and provide for what matters most in their lives.
He's an award-winning Writer, Speaker, Financial Adviser and business strategy Mentor. His company Sapience Financial is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 his company certified as a B Corp., In 2017 Drew was recognised in the inaugural national business awards, Australian Businesses of Tomorrow. His articles are often reprinted by industry publications and he writes for successful Small Business Owners & their Families, Entrepreneurs and D&I Leaders. His blogs can be read on Amazon.com and you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Any advice provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

Fast Site Search

drew browne (he/him)

Drew Browne (he/him)

Senior Adviser Unusualrisks
& Director Sapience Financial

 

Download Our Latest Free eGuide

Download our latest free eGuide for Queer Families, Gay Dads, Lesbian Mums, Parenst & Co-parents and Rainbow Families

Download Our Free Helpful eGuide - 7 Financial Decisions for Same-sex Newlyweds

Download the female cover version of 7 Financial Decisions Same-sex Newlyweds need to make

 

Download the male cover version of 7 Financial Decisions Same-sex Newlyweds need to make

Take Our Anonymous Pre‑assessment

Find out in 60 seconds if your personal situation is one we can work with.

No contact info required

Start!

Use your mobile device to take a pre-assessment

Read Our Case Studies

Click below to browse through over a dozen different case studies and see how we've helped different people all feel safer and more secure in their love, life and work.Have a read through over a dozen individual Case Studies



Take Our Anonymous Online Pre‑assessment

Find out in 60 seconds if your personal situation is one we can work with.

Take Our Pre-assessment

Take Our Anonymous Pre-assessment

Whatever your situation, we can help you

  • Single

    Age is no indicator of relationship status or financial responsibility.

    • You can be young and starting out or older and established; and both enjoying living the single life.
    • You might be single, single again, sometimes single, single with kids, single with pets or perhaps something a little more complicated.

    When it comes to being single in the LGBTQI+ community, there's really no such thing as average.

    And it's your single life, so live it your way.

    Read more...
  • Partnered

    Sharing life and love with someone can be twice as exciting.

    • You might be partnered, partnered with pets, officially de facto, officially married (yay!), splitting expenses but sharing life, or joining incomes and combining financial lives too.
    • You might be together but living apart, working towards a future with kids, thinking about fostering, adopting, IVF or surrogacy; or perhaps something a little more complicated.

    When it comes to being partnered in the LGBTQI+ community, there's really no such thing as average.

    There's no right or wrong way to live a purposeful life, just what works for you both.

    Read more...
  • Parenting

    For today's LGBTQI+ families, there are no accidental families.

    • You might be parenting and single with kids, parenting solo with kids, parenting and partnered with kids, (yours, theirs and ours), dual parents with kids, co-parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, or even adoptive parents of kids with additional needs (just beautiful!).
    • You might be a lesbian co-parenting couple or super involved 'Guncles' or Aunties. You might not even identify with the broader LGBTQI+ community but find yourself a parent in a same-sex relationship, or perhaps something a little more complicated.

    When it comes to parenting in the LGBTQI+ community, there's really no such thing as average.

    However you're doing it, Love makes a family.

    Read more...