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Life Insurance and Alcoholism

Written by Shelter Bay

Although alcoholism itself isn’t always fatal (but it can be), behaviors that stem from it are, and this is why life insurance and alcohol abuse doesn’t mix. Thus, if you’re currently an alcoholic, traditional term life insurance may not be an option, not right now anyways.

You can get a no-medical policy, such as a guaranteed or simple issue policy, but you’ll save money if you achieve sobriety and qualify for a standard rate.

If you are a recovered alcoholic, read on.

Here’s the problem with alcoholism from the underwriters perspective:

  • Death caused by DUI’s
  • Degradation of health after years of excessive alcohol consumption, most importantly the impact on the liver.
  • Accidental death resulting from impairment – falling down stairs, slipping in the tub, falling on the floor, etc.
  • Putting self and others in dangerous situations, or participating in hazardous activities.
  • Increased likelihood of criminal activity and incarceration (which can lead to premature death).

Above, are some issues that life insurance underwriters have with alcoholism. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, there are certain things life insurance companies want to know – and timing is everything.

Before we get to that, it’s important to note that you should never try to hide excessive alcohol intake from an insurance company. They will find out:

  • A blood test can indicate alcohol markers, which confirms consumption of large amounts of alcohol.
  • Your medical records will be investigated and reveal if you’ve ever gotten treatment for alcoholism in the past – or if you’ve been treated for alcohol-related illnesses or injuries such as putting your hand through glass while intoxicated, or drinking too much alcohol requiring the need to have your stomach pumped.
  • Your driving records will reveal any DUI/DWI activity.

Timing is important because life insurance companies issue policies based on the balance of probabilities backed up with psychological and medical data that proves you will live a fairly long time.

Time and the Recovering Alcoholic

You have to show an underwriter that significant time has passed since you have been an alcoholic. Although each life insurance company is different as a general rule, five years is an important milestone. You may be accepted for a life insurance policy in less than five years, but you’ll probably get a high-risk rating, which means higher premiums. After five years, you have a better chance of getting a standard policy, or better. In the interim, a no medical policy can get you coverage until you qualify for the lower rate.

Why Five Years?

Five years seems like a long time to you, but life insurance companies look at it from a different perspective. The relapse rate among those with a history of alcoholism is high; life insurance companies feel more comfortable if you’ve abstained for at least five years – they see you as less of a risk.

Life Insurance When your History of Alcoholism is Five Years Ago

If you haven’t had a drink for five years, this is the best time to apply for life insurance because your policy will be underwritten with your age and overall health being more important than your history of alcoholism.

As with all life insurance products, there can be exceptions. If you gave up drinking under the five-year mark, you still may be able to find affordable life insurance.

At Shelter Bay Financial Corp., we can give you sound advice on life insurance when you have a history of alcoholism. We make it easy for you to get the most affordable policy for your needs, because we used shared-screen technology to walk you through the application process from the comfort of your own home. Not into technology? No problem. We can do the entire application over the phone. There is no need to come to our office for an appointment.

To learn more and to get the insurance protection you need, please call toll free 1.888.498.5288.

Shelter Bay Financial Corp
Shelter Bay Financial Corp

Life & Health Insurance brokers working for Canadians

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