Good News For Former Smokers Applying For Life Insurance



Most insurance companies will offer non-smoker life insurance rates to people who quit smoking and have not used any tobacco products or tobacco substitutes for 12 months. Marijuana users can now also qualify for non-smoker rates.

When the Canadian government decriminalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, two major life insurance companies decided to treat marijuana users as non-smokers. This decision reverses a long-standing policy and allows these people to qualify for much lower premiums.

The following is how some of the top life insurance companies in Canada treat marijuana use:

Assumption Life

Assumption Life‘s guaranteed issue policy, Golden Protection, isn’t an underwritten product. Since there is no question on drug usage in the Declaration of insurability, they do not underwrite the quantity of marijuana taken, of any form. The only relevant question in terms of marijuana usage is for the smoker/non-smoker status:

  • In the past twelve (12) months, have you used any substance or product containing tobacco, nicotine, or marijuana mixed with nicotine or used ecigarettes?

If the client can answer NO to the smoker status question, then the non smoker rate applies. Otherwise, if the answer is YES, then the smoker rate applies.

BMO Insurance

Normally, BMO Insurance would consider 2 “cigarettes” ‎per week as a non-smoker. Or equivalent usage in other forms. They do not have any types of usage ‎as prohibited and would underwrite the case based on the facts as declared in the application.

Canada Protection Plan

Up to their Simplified Elite plans, clients that are smoking (or vaping) marijuana more than 4 times a week are considered smokers. For edible users, they do not ask about ingestion of marijuana. Clients eating marijuana are considered non-smokers for all their non-medical plans.

Canada Life

Marijuana use is considered at non-smoker rates. It depends on the quantity that may warrant a rating, for example 150% of non-smoker rates.


An individual vaping in general is considered as a smoker rates; therefore, vaping marijuana is subject to smoker rates.

Equitable Life

In their Guide to Individual Underwriting, Equitable Life suggests that marijuana users that smoke up to two times per week and “occasional marijuana users” will be considered for Standard Non-smoker rates. Applicants who use marijuana daily will be given individual consideration.


Any amount of smoked or otherwise inhaled marijuana on a regular basis will result in a smoker rate. Ingested marijuana is considered on a non-smoker basis.

Industrial Alliance

Marijuana usage is considered at non-smoker rates, regardless of frequency or how it is used. Whether there will be a rating will depend on applicant’s age, frequency of use, and whether or not any other recreational drugs used now (or in past).

The final decision may be the same, less favourable or more favourable than the tentative assessment given in this inquiry. All underwriting inquires are subject to review of a fully completed application, routine age and amount requirements, proof of income (if applicable), as well as any other requirements deemed necessary by Industrial Alliance Underwriting Department.

ivari (formerly Transamerica)

ivari rates marijuana users as standard non smoker with a negative urine.


Manulife states, “Marijuana smokers have been classified as HS3 for approx. 1yr now. The underwriter will be looking at other areas of the application such as driving, alcohol, drugs, etc…which all-in-all might warrant a rating. The outcome also depends on volume of usage.”

RBC Insurance

If an applicant uses up to 8 joints a month, a tentative standard may be considered.

SSQ Insurance

SSQ considers vaping equal to smoking, therefore smoker rates apply. As for ingested marijuana, it depends on the amount consumed. If consumption is equivalent to 2 or less joints per week, then non-smoker rates apply.

Sun Life

Sun Life’s policy is that once you vape, irrespective of frequency, you are a smoker.

Letting Your Body Heal

According to Medical Expert Dr. Michael Greger, “Your body wants to regain its health if you let it. But if you keep reinjuring yourself three times a day, you interrupt the healing process. Consider smoking and lung cancer risk: One of the most amazing things I learned in medical school was that within about fifteen years of stopping smoking, your lung cancer risk approaches that of a lifelong non-smoker. Your lungs can clear out all that tar buildup and, eventually, it’s almost as if you never smoked at all.”

Under the right conditions, your body can heal itself. Cuts scab over and heal and bruises go away after awhile. But if you keep opening the cut or whacking yourself in the same spot, you’ll never heal. You have to sit back and let your body work its magic. Pain medicines can often take your mind off the injury long enough for the natural healing process to take effect.

Your body wants to be healthy and that is why it works so hard to fix all of your cuts and bruises. As a smoker, your body starts the healing process every night. Then, when you wake in the morning and have that first cigarette – bam! All that hard work goes up in a puff of smoke. The same is true for clogging your arteries. Some people believe moderation may help, but that is like hitting yourself with a smaller hammer. Why beat yourself up at all? Choosing a healthy lifestyle and stopping the damage is the only way your body can heal. Let your body heal and you can save a bundle on life insurance – plus live a longer, healthier life!

Another great way to improve your health and save on your life insurance is to take advantage of the incentive programs some insurance companies are now offering. Even if you are in perfect health today, you could become ill tomorrow or your fitness level could drop, especially if you live a sedentary life. People generally become less active when they get older. New incentive programs to help keep Canadians fit and healthy longer have been launched by Manulife and Goodlife.

I have always been passionate about health and wellness and founded which highlights my own personal fitness journey and other Professional Athletes, Weekend Warriors and Medical Professionals. You could even save some money at your favourite sporting events by bringing your own snacks. A healthier diet can improve your overall health and reduce the cost of your life insurance premiums.

Cheering on your favourite team doesn’t have to mean a night of overindulging. There are plenty of healthier choices. Pass on the chili dogs, nachos and beer and bring a bag of veggies, some nuts and a bottle of water instead. Your heart and your wallet will thank you!

If you are previous smoker and would like to get a lower rate on your life insurance, please fill out the form above or below for a free quote.