What Drugs Do Life Insurance Companies Test For?


When you go to apply for life insurance, the company underwriting that policy will want to conduct due diligence to protect itself. Many of those companies will conduct urinalysis, or a pee test, to get as much information as they can. Given that it’s life insurance, they want to know whether you have been using drugs. This may come as a surprise to you, but it shouldn’t. Smart companies want to know what risks they face when they insure your life. You should be prepared for this whether you are applying for whole life or a term policy. With this in mind, you may be wondering just which drugs they will test for.

The test depends on your policy amount
As with most things, the more money you stand to collect, the more scrutiny you will be subjected to. A policy with a high face value amount would almost certainly lead to more screening. You may have to do a blood test or even a hair exam, which would look for evidence of drug use from a much longer prior period. Most of these drug tests will be designed to find a variety of drugs. Urinalysis can detect marijuana that you smoked or ingested over a month-long period. Hair tests are known to detect marijuana over a much longer period. The extent of your testing, both in terms of duration and drugs taken, will depend on how big the policy happens to be.

A broad range of potential drug substances
A standard person applying for a life insurance policy can expect to be subjected to a urine exam during the course of the routine medical exam that goes along with the screening. Companies want to know if you are in good health, so you will need to go through a sometime thorough examination. With this in mind, the standard urine test taken during a medical exam will turn up a number of substances, including marijuana, various opiates, power or crack cocaine, amphetamines, and even barbiturates. This covers a wide swath of potential drugs.

That drug test is just the first. If yours comes back clean, then you will be off the hook for further testing. If yours comes back with a positive result, then you will be subjected to a second test. This subsequent test is designed to confirm the first test. Most insurance companies will simply deny your policy if you happen to have a positive confirmatory test. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate for a higher premium as a result. Many companies are not willing to take the risk of insuring a person who uses drugs, however.

In many cases, you will end up with a positive test for prescription drugs. Things like painkilling medications can end up on the test. If you happen to get a positive hit for these drugs, you’ll need to produce documentation that you have a prescription for the drugs. On top of that, you may end up with a higher premium rate as a result of nicotine found in your body. This confirms that you smoke or otherwise use potentially risky substances, raising the potential liability for the insurance provider.