Recent Insurance Eligibility Improvements

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by Melissa Allan

I’ve been a licensed insurance agent for over 10 years and cannot count the number of times I’ve explained to clients that insurance companies are cautious in certain situations and therefore we sometimes see ratings due to the increased risk compared to someone without the specific condition or area of concern.

It seems that this year, both insurance companies and the federal government who regulates them are changing the view on many situations.  I’ll start with the bigger insurance company changes.

Manulife Insures HIV-positive individuals

In April, 2016 Manulife was among the first insurance companies to announce they will now insure people who are HIV positive due to the increased life expectancy that has come with advances in technology and research.  If you are between the ages of 30 and 65, and meet other criteria for life insurance, you could be approved.

Marijuana users no longer classified “smokers”

Another situation I’ve found myself in many times over the years with the tobacco usage question!  Most insurers address this on their application for life insurance as a long question looking for specific details on your current (and past usage).  This question typically includes the usage of cigars, cigarillos, marijuana and various nicotine substitutes. 

Earlier this week, we received notice from various insurance companies including Great-West Life that marijuana users will no longer be classified as smokers!  This means that they can qualify for a standard, non-smoker rate.  They will consider the insureds overall lifestyle so I would think if you are a frequent user it would still have an impact but often people use this socially and on rare occasions. 

If you have an insurance policy and have been classified as a smoker for this reason, please let us know as we can help you with the process to apply for non-smoker rates which would reduce your overall premium if approved.  Note, there are several considerations when applying for this change so it doesn’t guarantee approval.

If you would like more information on any of these, please reach out as I’m simply a phone call or email away!