NOW that the Constitutional Court has decriminalised the use and private cultivation of dagga in September last year, do you know how this will affect your health insurance claim?

Given the negative stigma associated with dagga users, it is understandable that South Africans are afraid to disclose dagga use when signing up for life cover.

But when you enter into an agreement with an insurer, the contract is based on confidential trust.

According to Liberty Life, it is important to be honest about your use of dagga.

“Don’t be afraid to disclose your dagga use. It’s legal, after all,” said Dr Dominique Stott, Liberty’s Chief Medical Officer.

  • Three questions to clarify usage of dagga when signing for insurance cover: Will the claim be rejected if you don’t declare it on your application form?
  • Insurers have a responsibility to ensure that all valid claims are paid, but applicants have an equal responsibility to answer all the questions truthfully. If non-disclosure is detected and a positive dagga history is revealed, this may lead to non-payment of the claim. If I don’t smoke dagga, but drink and eat it, will I pay smoker rates?
  • The answer is yes, the policyholder will pay general smoker rates and rates linked to the risk of hallucination. So, disclosure is important. If a claim is as a result of me being “stoned” will it be illegal or the claim declined?

Using dagga in itself is not an illegal act, so claims won’t be rejected if the policyholder was using it in their private capacity.

“If you’re not sure about what to disclose, disclose it anyway and let the underwriters decide how this needs to be managed,” said Dr Stott.

“If your financial adviser fills in the insurance application form for you, carefully read everything carefully before attaching your signature.”