No there’s a couple of items there that are taken very seriously by life insurance underwriters. During an initial interview with a good independent agent they are going to ask about any history of alcohol abuse, treatment for alcohol or drug abuse and any DUI’s you may have had. May seem a bit invasive for your first chat with that person, but let’s be honest, these issues, depending on when they happened and how severe the problem was or is, can have a definite effect on mortality.
Several underwriting issues come into play when alcohol is abused. Very often, for those who don’t fess up to being heavy drinkers, the underwriter gets the first hint from elevated liver functions. Liver is working overtime for some reason and one of the most common is the attempt to metabolize alcohol. Very often when elevated liver functions are found the company will run an alcohol marker test which will indicate if a person has driven their liver to distraction with alcohol or if there is some other reason for the elevation.
So, one of the first issues is that of health. If you are doing damage to your liver, then chances are you are putting yourself at risk for other health issues.
Next, and by no means second to the health issues, is the issue of lifestyle and alcohol abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse can both lead to some very poor lifestyle choices that can impact mortality.
And of course DUI speaks for itself. There is the very real potential to kill yourself or someone else if you are drinking and driving. Killing yourself is an obvious mortality issue and ending up in jail for vehicular homicide presents a second issue an underwriter needs to consider. Life insurance companies aren’t real keen on insuring people who may kill themselves or end up in jail. They take special exception to a person with a recent DUI that is also a private pilot.
Now the good news. Time does heal. Kind of like traffic violations and your car insurance, the further you are from the last incident, the better the chances of getting good rates. So, given time most companies will allow that DUI to melt away. Do it more than once and it won’t melt near as fast though.
Alcohol and drug abuse and the ensuing treatment also can be insured after some time. Companies do like to see that you have sought professional help and they also like to see preventive measures such as being a member of AA or NA.
Given enough time, any of these issues can get all the way back to best rates. Check with a good independent agent if any of these issues are in your past.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.