Life Insurance and Methamphetamine Use: Navigating Coverage Challenges for High-Risk Applicants

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18 Minute read

Originally published: May 5, 2023

Life insurance for Methamphetamine usage in Canada

Talk to one of our experienced advisors today!

18 Minute read
Originally published: May 5, 2023

Life insurance for Methamphetamine usage in Canada

Exploring the world of life insurance can be particularly challenging for individuals with a history of methamphetamine use. However, understanding the impact of methamphetamine on life insurance eligibility, premiums, and coverage options can empower these individuals to make informed decisions and secure the financial protection they need for their loved ones.

This blog will explore the intricacies of life insurance for methamphetamine users, offering insights on the underwriting process, risk assessment, disclosure requirements, alternative coverage options, and resources to help maintain sobriety and coverage. Join us as we delve into the complexities of life insurance for methamphetamine users and uncover the steps they can take to safeguard their family’s financial future.

Overview of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is a synthetic drug, often produced illicitly in makeshift laboratories. Methamphetamine comes in various forms, including a crystalline powder, tablets, or as crystal meth, which resembles glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks.

The drug works by increasing the release of dopamine in the brain, resulting in a strong sense of euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness. However, this surge of dopamine also contributes to the drug’s harmful effects on the brain and the potential for addiction.

Methamphetamine can be consumed through various methods, such as smoking, snorting, injecting, or ingesting orally. Each method of administration carries its own risks and consequences. The drug’s effects can last from several minutes to several hours, depending on the dose and method of consumption.

Long-term methamphetamine use can lead to a wide range of physical and psychological health issues, including:

  • Addiction: The drug’s highly addictive nature can quickly lead to compulsive use and dependence.
  • Mental health issues: Anxiety, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, and violent behavior are commonly associated with chronic methamphetamine use.
  • Cognitive impairments: Long-term use can lead to difficulties with learning, memory, and decision-making.
  • Physical health problems: Methamphetamine use can cause weight loss, dental issues (known as “meth mouth”), skin sores, cardiovascular problems, and damage to vital organs such as the liver and kidneys.

Furthermore, the production and distribution of methamphetamine have significant societal impacts, including environmental hazards from toxic chemicals used in production, increased crime rates, and strain on healthcare and law enforcement resources. Efforts to combat the methamphetamine epidemic involve public awareness campaigns, law enforcement initiatives, and providing access to treatment and recovery programs for those affected by addiction.

Case Study: A Journey to Recovery and Life Insurance: Emilio’s Story of Overcoming Methamphetamine Addiction

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Emilio was a 39-year-old man who had struggled with methamphetamine addiction for several years. His addiction had taken a toll on his health, relationships, and career. After hitting rock bottom, he decided to turn his life around and enrolled in a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

During his six months of inpatient treatment, Emilio worked closely with therapists, doctors, and other addiction specialists to address the underlying issues contributing to his drug use. Following his completion of the program, Emilio continued his recovery journey by attending regular Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings and engaging in individual therapy sessions.

As Emilio’s life began to stabilize, he started considering his financial future and the well-being of his loved ones. He decided to explore life insurance options to provide financial security for his family. Emilio understood that his history of methamphetamine use could impact his eligibility and premiums, so he sought the assistance of a life insurance broker experienced in working with high-risk applicants.

The broker helped Emilio navigate the application process and identify insurers more likely to consider his unique circumstances. After two years of sustained sobriety, Emilio was able to secure a life insurance policy with a reputable company. Although the premiums were initially higher due to his past drug use, Emilio’s diligent documentation of his recovery efforts and commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle allowed him to request a policy review after a few more years of sobriety. The insurance company reassessed Emilio’s risk profile and reduced his premiums accordingly.

Emilio’s story highlights the importance of persistence, transparency, and commitment to recovery when seeking life insurance coverage as a former methamphetamine user. By working with a knowledgeable broker and demonstrating his dedication to sobriety, Emilio was able to secure the financial protection his family needed.

The Impact of Methamphetamine Use on Life Insurance

The impact of methamphetamine use on life insurance can be significant, as life insurance companies view drug use, particularly methamphetamine use, as a considerable risk factor. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how methamphetamine use can affect life insurance eligibility and the potential consequences for premiums, coverage options, or denial of coverage:

Eligibility for life insurance:

  • Methamphetamine use, whether current or past, can negatively impact an individual’s eligibility for life insurance. Life insurance companies consider the health risks associated with drug use, such as the potential for addiction, relapse, and the long-term physical and mental health issues that may arise from substance abuse.
  • The severity and duration of methamphetamine use, as well as the applicant’s recovery status, play a crucial role in determining eligibility. Those with a more severe history of use or those who are still actively using the drug may have a more challenging time obtaining coverage compared to those with a less severe history or who have been in recovery for an extended period.


  • Life insurance premiums are determined based on an applicant’s risk profile. Methamphetamine use increases an individual’s risk level, which can lead to higher premiums.
  • Factors such as the duration and severity of use, the time since last use, and any related health complications can all impact how much a methamphetamine user’s premiums may increase.
  • In some cases, if the risk is deemed too high, insurance companies may apply a “flat extra” charge, which is an additional fee added to the policy to account for the increased risk associated with the applicant’s drug history.

Coverage options:

  • Methamphetamine users may find their coverage options limited, as some life insurance companies may be unwilling to provide certain types of policies or coverage amounts to high-risk applicants.
  • Depending on the applicant’s drug history and recovery status, they may be limited to policies with lower coverage amounts or shorter term lengths, which can provide less comprehensive financial protection for their loved ones.

Denial of coverage:

  • In some cases, methamphetamine users may be outright denied life insurance coverage, particularly if they are actively using the drug, have a severe history of use, or have experienced recent relapses.
  • Denial of coverage can leave individuals without the financial protection they need for their families and may require them to seek alternative options, such as guaranteed issue or simplified issue life insurance policies, which often come with higher premiums and limited coverage amounts.

Understanding the potential impact of methamphetamine use on life insurance is crucial for individuals seeking coverage, as it can help them make informed decisions and prepare for the challenges they may face during the application process.

Underwriting Process and Risk Assessment

The underwriting process for life insurance companies involves a thorough risk assessment of applicants, which includes evaluating an individual’s drug history, particularly in the case of methamphetamine users. Life insurance companies aim to determine the likelihood of the applicant’s longevity and the potential risks they may pose to the insurer. Here’s an overview of how life insurance companies assess the risk of insuring methamphetamine users and the factors underwriters consider during the evaluation process:

Life insurance underwriters take a comprehensive approach to assessing the risk associated with insuring methamphetamine users. This typically involves reviewing medical records, conducting interviews, and sometimes requiring a medical examination, including blood and urine tests. The goal is to gain a clear understanding of the applicant’s drug use history, health status, and overall risk profile.

Several factors play a crucial role in the underwriting process when evaluating an applicant’s drug history:

  1. Duration and severity of use: Underwriters consider the length of time an individual has used methamphetamine and the severity of their usage. A longer history of use or more frequent and heavy use may indicate a higher risk, potentially leading to higher premiums or even denial of coverage.
  2. Past treatment: Underwriters will review any past treatments or rehabilitation programs the applicant has undergone to address their methamphetamine use. Successful completion of such programs and a demonstrated commitment to recovery can positively influence the underwriting decision.
  3. Current recovery status: The applicant’s current recovery status is a critical factor in the underwriting process. Individuals who have been in recovery for a longer period and have demonstrated consistent sobriety are likely to be considered a lower risk than those who have recently stopped using or have a history of relapses.
  4. Related health complications: Methamphetamine use can lead to various physical and mental health issues. Underwriters will evaluate any related health complications, such as cardiovascular problems, cognitive impairments, or mental health disorders, to assess the applicant’s overall health risk.
  5. Lifestyle factors: Underwriters may also consider other lifestyle factors that could impact the applicant’s risk profile, such as employment history, family support, and involvement in support groups or therapy.

By carefully evaluating these factors, life insurance companies can determine the level of risk associated with insuring a methamphetamine user. This information helps insurers decide on the appropriate premiums, coverage options, and whether or not to approve an application for coverage.

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The Importance of Disclosing Methamphetamine Use to Life Insurance Companies

When applying for life insurance, it’s essential for applicants to be transparent about their methamphetamine use to ensure an accurate assessment of their risk profile. Here’s more information on the disclosure requirements and the potential consequences of not providing a complete and accurate drug use history:

Information to disclose:

Applicants should provide the following information related to their methamphetamine use:

  • Duration and frequency: Clearly state the length of time they used methamphetamine and how frequently they used it during that period.
  • Severity of use: Disclose the amount used and the method of consumption (smoking, snorting, injecting, or ingesting orally).
  • Treatment history: Provide details of any past treatments, rehabilitation programs, or therapy related to methamphetamine use, including dates and outcomes.
  • Current recovery status: Share information about their current sobriety, including the length of time they have been clean, involvement in support groups, and any ongoing therapy or counseling.
  • Health complications: Disclose any physical or mental health issues related to methamphetamine use, such as cardiovascular problems, cognitive impairments, or mental health disorders.
information to disclose to life insurance when applying

Consequences of non-disclosure:

Failing to disclose methamphetamine use accurately or completely can have significant consequences, including:

  • Policy denial or cancellation: If the life insurance company discovers undisclosed drug use during the underwriting process, they may deny coverage or cancel an existing policy. In some cases, this may result in a forfeiture of premiums paid.
  • Inaccurate risk assessment: Incomplete or inaccurate information can lead to an incorrect risk assessment, resulting in higher premiums, limited coverage options, or denial of coverage.
  • Reduced death benefit: If undisclosed methamphetamine use is discovered after the policy is issued and before the contestability period (typically two years) ends, the insurance company may reduce the death benefit paid to beneficiaries or deny the claim altogether.
  • Legal consequences: In some cases, providing false information on a life insurance application can be considered fraud, potentially leading to legal penalties and fines.

It’s crucial for applicants to be transparent about their methamphetamine use when applying for life insurance to ensure an accurate assessment of their risk profile and avoid potential consequences. Being honest and forthcoming about their drug history can ultimately help them secure the most appropriate coverage and protect their loved ones’ financial future.

Obtaining Coverage as a Former or Recovering Methamphetamine User

Obtaining life insurance coverage as a former or recovering methamphetamine user can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Here are some steps that individuals can take to improve their chances of securing coverage and the typical waiting period after quitting methamphetamine use:

  1. Maintain a clean record: Recovering methamphetamine users should focus on maintaining a clean record, free from any drug or alcohol use. The longer the period of sobriety, the better the chances of obtaining coverage. Demonstrating consistent sobriety can help reassure life insurance companies that the risk of relapse has significantly decreased.
  2. Engage in treatment and support programs: Completing a rehabilitation program and continuing to engage in support groups, therapy, or counseling can show life insurance companies that an individual is committed to their recovery. These programs can provide evidence of the applicant’s dedication to maintaining a drug-free lifestyle, thus reducing their risk profile.
  3. Improve overall health: Focusing on improving overall health can positively impact an applicant’s chances of obtaining life insurance coverage. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and addressing any other health concerns related to methamphetamine use.
  4. Establish a stable lifestyle: Demonstrating a stable lifestyle can help improve an applicant’s risk profile. This includes maintaining steady employment, having a supportive social network, and avoiding high-risk environments that may trigger relapses.
  5. Work with an experienced broker or agent: Collaborating with a life insurance broker or agent experienced in working with high-risk applicants can help former methamphetamine users navigate the application process and find insurance companies more likely to approve their application.
  6. Consider alternative coverage options: If traditional life insurance policies are difficult to obtain, recovering methamphetamine users may explore alternative coverage options, such as guaranteed issue or simplified issue life insurance. These policies typically have higher premiums and lower coverage amounts, but they can provide some level of financial protection.

As for the waiting period after quitting methamphetamine use, there is no fixed timeframe that applies to all life insurance companies. However, many insurers require a minimum period of sustained sobriety, typically ranging from 2 to 5 years, before considering an applicant for coverage. The specific waiting period depends on the individual’s drug use history, the severity of their addiction, their overall health, and the policies of the life insurance company. The longer an individual maintains sobriety and demonstrates a commitment to recovery, the better their chances of securing life insurance coverage.

Alternative Life Insurance Solutions for Methamphetamine Users

For methamphetamine users who struggle to obtain traditional life insurance coverage, there are alternative options available that cater to high-risk applicants. These alternatives may provide a safety net for individuals with a history of substance abuse, ensuring some level of financial protection for their loved ones.

  1. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: This type of policy does not require a medical examination or detailed health questionnaire. As a result, it can be an option for those who have been denied coverage due to their methamphetamine use. However, guaranteed issue policies typically come with higher premiums and lower coverage amounts. Additionally, these policies may include graded death benefits, which means that the full death benefit will only be available after a specified waiting period, usually 2 to 3 years.
  2. Simplified Issue Life Insurance: Similar to guaranteed issue policies, simplified issue life insurance requires no medical examination. However, applicants must answer a few health-related questions. While not as lenient as guaranteed issue policies, simplified issue life insurance may still provide coverage for methamphetamine users with less severe histories or those who have maintained long-term sobriety. These policies also tend to have higher premiums and lower coverage amounts compared to traditional policies.
  3. Group Life Insurance: Some employers offer group life insurance as part of their employee benefits package. These policies often provide coverage without the need for a medical examination or extensive health questionnaire, making them a potential option for methamphetamine users. However, the coverage amounts might be limited and may not provide adequate financial protection for an individual’s loved ones.
  4. Final Expense Insurance: Also known as burial or funeral insurance, final expense insurance is designed to cover end-of-life expenses such as funeral costs, medical bills, and outstanding debts. These policies typically offer smaller coverage amounts and may have more lenient underwriting standards compared to traditional life insurance policies.

While there may not be specific life insurance companies that exclusively cater to high-risk applicants, some insurers and brokers have more experience working with individuals with a history of substance abuse. These companies may be more familiar with the unique challenges faced by methamphetamine users and can help guide applicants through the process of securing coverage. Working with an experienced broker or agent who specializes in high-risk cases can be beneficial in identifying insurers more likely to approve an application and finding the best coverage options for an individual’s unique circumstances.

Tips for Staying Clean and Maintaining Coverage

Maintaining sobriety and demonstrating a commitment to recovery are essential for methamphetamine users to keep their life insurance coverage intact and potentially lower their premiums over time. 

Here are some tips and resources to help individuals stay clean and show their dedication to recovery:

  1. Participate in substance abuse treatment programs: Completing a rehabilitation program or outpatient treatment can provide a strong foundation for recovery. These programs typically offer a combination of medical support, counseling, and therapy to help individuals address the underlying issues that contribute to addiction.
  2. Attend support group meetings: Regularly attending support group meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery, can offer valuable peer support and encouragement. These groups provide a safe environment for individuals to share their experiences, learn from others, and develop coping strategies for maintaining sobriety.
  3. Engage in individual therapy or counseling: Ongoing therapy or counseling sessions with a mental health professional can help individuals address emotional and psychological challenges related to addiction, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and set achievable recovery goals.
  4. Stay accountable: Establishing a support network of friends, family members, or sponsors who can help hold an individual accountable for their sobriety can be crucial in maintaining long-term recovery.
  5. Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Focusing on overall health and wellness, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress, can support recovery efforts and improve overall wellbeing.
  6. Avoid triggers and high-risk situations: Identifying and avoiding situations or environments that may trigger cravings or lead to relapse can help individuals maintain their sobriety.
  7. Pursue personal growth and development: Engaging in activities that promote personal growth, such as educational or vocational pursuits, volunteering, or developing new hobbies, can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment that supports long-term recovery.

To improve their chances of maintaining affordable life insurance premiums, individuals can:

  1. Document their recovery efforts: Keeping records of treatment programs, therapy sessions, and support group attendance can help demonstrate an ongoing commitment to recovery when periodically reviewed by the life insurance company.
  2. Maintain regular communication with the insurer: Informing the life insurance company about significant milestones in recovery or changes in health status can help keep them updated on the individual’s progress and risk profile.
  3. Request a policy review: After maintaining sobriety for an extended period and demonstrating a commitment to recovery, individuals can request a policy review with their life insurance company. This may lead to a reassessment of their risk profile and the potential for reduced premiums or improved coverage options.

By utilizing these resources and actively demonstrating a commitment to recovery, methamphetamine users can maintain their life insurance coverage and potentially improve their policy terms over time.


Obtaining life insurance coverage for methamphetamine users can be a challenging but achievable endeavor. By understanding the impact of methamphetamine use on life insurance, being transparent in disclosing drug use history, and actively demonstrating a commitment to recovery, individuals can improve their chances of securing coverage. It is essential to explore alternative coverage options and work with experienced brokers or agents who specialize in high-risk cases. Additionally, taking advantage of available resources and maintaining sobriety can help individuals retain their coverage and safeguard the financial future of their loved ones. By staying informed and proactive, methamphetamine users can navigate the complexities of life insurance and ensure they have the protection they need.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance and Methamphetamine Use

While it can be more challenging for methamphetamine users to obtain life insurance coverage, it is not impossible. Insurers may require a period of sustained sobriety, typically ranging from 2 to 5 years, before considering an applicant for coverage. Alternative coverage options, such as guaranteed issue or simplified issue policies, may also be available for those who struggle to obtain traditional coverage.

Methamphetamine use can result in higher premiums due to the increased risk associated with drug use. Factors such as the duration and severity of use, past treatment, and current recovery status can influence the premiums charged by life insurance companies.

Applicants should disclose information related to the duration and frequency of use, severity of use, past treatment or rehabilitation programs, current recovery status, and any health complications related to methamphetamine use.

Not disclosing methamphetamine use can lead to policy denial or cancellation, inaccurate risk assessment, reduced death benefits, and potential legal consequences due to providing false information.

Yes, alternative coverage options such as guaranteed issue, simplified issue, group life insurance, and final expense insurance may be available for those who face difficulty obtaining traditional life insurance coverage.

Steps include maintaining a clean record, engaging in treatment and support programs, improving overall health, establishing a stable lifestyle, working with an experienced broker or agent, and considering alternative coverage options.

Resources include substance abuse treatment programs, support group meetings, individual therapy or counseling, establishing a support network, adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding triggers and high-risk situations, and pursuing personal growth and development.

Find a solution for what you’re looking for

With diligence, transparency, and a commitment to recovery, methamphetamine users can navigate the life insurance landscape and secure the coverage needed to protect their loved ones’ financial future. At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. We provide expert life insurance solutions, including no medical life insurance, critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance to build the best package to give you the protection you need. 

To schedule a consultation about your income protection goals, or if you have any questions about insurance in Ontario or Canada, please contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta including areas such as Toronto, KingstonGrande Prairie, Nanaimo 

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