The Constitutional Court has recently decriminalised private use and cultivation of Cannabis, also known as Marijuana, by adults in South Africa. As a result we are seeing many ‘weed’ trees growing in private gardens around our neighbourhoods. But what does this mean for your Myriad policy?
The use of Cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes is still a grey area for many insurers. It is important that you know how your Myriad policy is affected by your use of Cannabis. Below we have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand how Cannabis use affects your Myriad policy (or click here for a PDF version of the information).
At quote stage
Q: Do I quote smoker rates if my client discloses Cannabis use at quote stage (whether for medicinal or recreational purposes), i.e. they don’t smoke any tobacco products but smoke Marijuana?
A: Momentum Myriad defines smoking as the use of traditional tobacco cigarettes/cigars, e-cigarette/vaping and/or hubbly bubbly. Therefore, if your client does not use any of the above mentioned products, but smokes Marijuana, they are defined as a non-smoker and must be quoted non-smoker rates.
At application stage
Q: Will my client’s application be declined if they disclose the use of Cannabis as a recreational drug?
A: No, your client will be requested to complete the Substance Use Questionnaire to check frequency, previous usage, methods of usage and whether the client has had any complications or medical treatment(s) because of Cannabis use.
Q: What is Momentum’s underwriting approach with regards to Cannabis use?
A: Momentum will consider the information provided on the Substance Use Questionnaire, the client profile (age, occupation, income and marital status) and the reason for Cannabis use to determine the underwriting terms.
- If Cannabis is used for medicinal purposes (inhaled or ingested), it is rated according to the medical impairment for which it is used.
- If Cannabis is used recreationally, the client will be categorised as a light, moderate or heavy user. They may get standard rates, loaded rates or declined cover. E.g. a 35 year old professional who smokes Marijuana once a week will likely qualify for standard rates.
If already a Myriad policyholder (in-force policy)
Q: What if my client starts using Cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes after the policy has been issued. Do they need to inform Momentum?
A: No, they do not need to inform us. This is because Myriad clients who only smoke Marijuana are not considered as smokers.
At claim stage
Q: If the client did not disclose the use of Cannabis, will Momentum repudiate a claim if they come across a positive Cannabis test done before the policy became in-force; even if the claim is not as a result of Cannabis use?
A: No, a positive Cannabis test on its own will not result in repudiation. However; this information could trigger questions about why the client was tested for Cannabis? E.g. did the client fail to disclose all their drug habits or mental health history? The information from such questions could result in repudiation. Full disclosure at application stage remains vitally important, and it remains the client’s responsibility to answer all questions truthfully to avoid complications at claim stage.
Q: What happens if the claim event was caused by the client’s behaviour while under the influence of Cannabis?
A: We do not have an explicit exclusion for claim events that are influenced by the client’s behaviour under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. However; all standard exclusions will apply. E.g. if a client commits a crime of stealing while under the influence of Cannabis and becomes disabled in the process, we will decline the disability claim because of this act and not because the client was under the influence of Cannabis.
It is important that you disclose the use of Cannabis upfront. This will allow Momentum to make an informed assessment and offer terms accordingly. If you have any further questions in this regard, please contact us.