If you want to get a life insurance underwriter’s attention, talk about your history of alcohol or drug abuse. Tell them about your DUI or history of DUI’s. A good independent agent is going to ask about any history of alcohol abuse, treatment for alcohol or drug abuse and any dui’s you may have had. Is he going too far? 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.

For those who choose to take the route of not answering the questions honestly, a word of caution. If you are still drinking, in all likelihood your liver function tests will tell the tale. If they come back elevated, the underwriter will ask for an alcohol test to be run. Called a CDT, it is very sensitive and very accurate in bringing heavy drinking, alcohol abuse, to light. A positive CDT is an automatic decline.

If you have changed your ways and no longer drink, or at least don’t drink heavily, alcohol abuse is still likely to be documented in your medical records and certainly DUI’s will show up in a motor vehicle report. Yes, they really check all of that!!

And of course DUI speaks for itself. Life insurance companies aren’t prone to leniency when it comes to insuring people who may kill themselves or end up in jail. There are a few companies that will forgive one indiscretion if it isn’t part of a lifestyle pattern. With them you may only need to wait a year before decent rates are available. Unless you fly airplanes. They really don’t like the idea of someone who drinks and drives and is a private pilot.

Now for the light at the end of the tunnel. Time does heal. Just like traffic violations and your auto insurance, the further you are from the last incident, the more you are forgiven and the better the chances of locking in 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. Depending on circumstances, multiple DUI’s can put a cork in the life insurance bottle permanently.

Bottom line. Life insurance underwriters are concerned with health risks, but they also take lifestyle risks very seriously. Don’t drink and drive is a good slogan for staying alive and for getting the best rates life insurance has to offer.