If there is one condition that high-risk life insurance companies hate, it is alcoholism. This leads many individuals to wonder if you can get life insurance as an alcoholic.
Alcoholism can wreak havoc on your liver, not to mention closely connected risks like drunk driving.
Can an alcoholic get life insurance? Yes, alcoholics can get life insurance as long as it is a guaranteed issue life insurance. Once you demonstrate a long history of sobriety, more life insurance options are available, including preferred rates.
As high-risk life insurance brokers, we’ve work alcoholism cases and know exactly what to expect from the life insurance companies.
We’ll go in-depth on what life insurance companies look for with alcoholism, and what your options are if you get declined for coverage due to alcohol.
We always recommend comparing rates with a wide range of life insurance companies which you can do so directly below:
This allows you to see potential rates with more than 50 of the top-rated life insurance companies based on your specific needs and age.
If you wish, skip ahead to the parts of our article that most interest you.
Does Life Insurance Test For Alcohol?
Life insurance does not test for alcohol itself, but drinking alcohol before your life insurance exam is a bad idea regardless of whether alcohol is tested or not.
You need to fast before your exam to get an accurate blood reading. If you consume a large amount of alcohol regularly, or even the night before, it could throw off your blood readings or urine sample.
Alcohol can lead to increased liver enzymes on your liver function test.
See, the alcohol itself is not the problem, but how it affects your body.
Alcoholism can lead to critical illnesses to your internal organs.
Getting life insurance as a recovering alcoholic is tough.
Getting life insurance with cirrhosis of the liver is even harder!
Alcohol consumption can also lead to other adverse health effects, such as high blood pressure or elevated triglycerides.
It’s best to abstain from alcohol before your exam to not throw off the results.
Can I Get No-Exam Life Insurance With Alcoholism?
While no-exam life insurance underwriting may sound more lenient, the truth is that you must be in excellent health to qualify for no-exam life insurance.
Even if they are not testing specifically for alcohol, the best no-exam life insurance companies will absolutely ask you about it.
You will need to state on the application how much alcohol you consume on a regular basis and you must answer truthfully.
If you don’t answer truthfully and you die of alcohol-related death, the life insurance company may have grounds to contest your death benefit.
Additionally, life insurance companies can pull data about you from various public sources.
For example, if you have a history of DUIs or DWIs, that can be a red flag to a no-exam life insurance company that you may have a drinking problem.
It is not easy to get life insurance after a DUI.
Life insurance companies will want to see that you have your drinking under control before they commit to offering you a policy.
Can I Get Life Insurance if I’m Sober Now?
The hard truth is that overcoming alcohol addiction is not easy.
Approximately, 90 percent of alcoholics will have at least one relapse in the four years following treatment according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
You better believe that the life insurance companies know this and will reserve their best life insurance rates until after you’ve reached 5-years of sobriety.
Recovering Alcoholic Life Insurance Timeline:
- Under 2-years Sober: decline or postpone
- Between 2-year to 5-years Sober: substandard rates (table ratings)
- Over 5-years Sober: standard rates possible
- Over 10-years Sober: preferred rates possible
This timeline assumes that you otherwise qualify for life insurance medically.
If you suffer from any adverse effects from your previous drinking, such as liver damage, that can further complicate getting life insurance.
Now, sometimes our clients will ask if it makes sense to wait until the 5-year mark of sobriety to purchase life insurance to get lower rates.
Our answer is a resounding NO!
There are too many risks involved with waiting to purchase coverage that may just cost you, and your family big-time in the long run.
The greatest risk to you and your loved ones is if you die unprotected while waiting.
Your loved ones will not care that you paid a substandard rate for your life insurance when it comes time to file a claim; instead, they’ll be grateful that the protection is there.
Additionally, if you “fall off the wagon” and relapse, that resets your 5-years of sobriety.
Every year that you age, life insurance gets more expensive naturally.
The risk of contracting another impairment that will increase your life insurance rates grows as you age as well.
Simply put, now is always the time to purchase life insurance.
Besides, if your health improves during a life insurance contract, you can always request that the life insurance company reevaluate you and reduce your rates.
We can also periodically shop the market for lower rates and replace your policy with a company that views your risk more favorably and affordably.
What if I’m Declined for Life Insurance With Alcoholism?
First and foremost, you need to seek help if you suffer from alcoholism.
The road to recovery can be a long one before traditional life insurance becomes an option again.
However, you have some options while you wait.
Group life insurance is provided by your employer and can have lenient underwriting or no underwriting at all in some instances.
If you qualify for your employer’s group life insurance coverage, that will likely be your best option until you can demonstrate a history of sobriety.
If group life insurance through your employer is not an option, you can look at accidental death insurance.
Accidental death insurance does not have any medical underwriting whatsoever, because it will only pay out a death claim for accidental deaths, not medical deaths.
Finally, if you are looking for a policy for burial costs and final expenses, you can purchase a guaranteed life insurance policy that asks no medical questions at all.
These policies come with a modified death benefit in the first 24 months that will reimburse your premiums paid plus interest if you die of a medically related death.
Once the modified death benefit period is over, the full face amount will pay out as a death benefit regardless of the cause of death.
These guaranteed issue life insurance policies usually will go up to $25,000 of coverage and can be combined with accidental death to achieve greater protection for fatal accidents.
Final Thoughts on if Alcoholics Can Get Life Insurance
Yes, alcoholics can get life insurance with greater options becoming available the further along in their sobriety they are.
Until you’re sober passed 2 years, your best protection options will be group life insurance through your employer, accidental death coverage, and guaranteed issue life insurance.
Beyond 2-years, the best life insurance companies for recovering alcoholics will begin to open up at substandard rates.
Once your sobriety has surpassed 5 years, the risk of relapse decreases and standard rates will be available with most life insurance companies as long as you otherwise qualify.
After a decade of sobriety, life insurance companies may even consider preferred rates again for recovering alcoholics.
Thank you for reading our article if alcoholics can get life insurance.
If you have any questions, please contact us.