There’s a chance you’re reading this post because you have recently been declined for life insurance due to a DUI. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to get a DUI, and yet when you go to apply for life insurance with a DUI, you might feel judged. When you are buying life insurance, your health history is only one factor the insurance company looks into.
Several others, such as criminal history and your driving record, can play a huge role in how much you pay for the policy and whether you’re approved or not. When it comes to life insurance with a DUI, choosing the right broker can make the difference between getting approved or declined for life insurance.
Why Do Life Insurance Companies Care About DUIs?
The mortality rate if you have been convicted of DWI is higher than those who have not. Indeed, drinking and driving puts both your life, as well as others’ lives, at stake. Drunk driving can also be a sign of alcohol addiction, which usually increases the chance of dying from health issues such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, liver disease and certain cancers.
Life insurance companies analyze risk probability to determine the prices an applicant pays. Any applicant that presents additional risk will pay higher premiums. When you apply for life insurance, your broker will ask you some questions to evaluate your insurability. One of these questions will be whether or not you’ve been convicted of a DUI in the last 2-5 years. If your answer to this question is “yes,” you would be considered a higher-risk applicant.
Can I Get Coverage if I Had a DUI?
Although having a DUI will make you a higher risk applicant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be eligible for coverage at all. According to underwriting guidelines, anyone with a DUI in the last 3 to 5 years may qualify for standard or table-rated policies, but not the preferred health ratings. If you do not have any other additional medical ailments, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or are overweight, your premiums might still be affordable.
Another important factor is rehabilitation attempts. The insurance company will need to see that you have taken constructive actions to make sure that there are no further incidents down the road. Evidence that you have completed specific programs, such as driving courses or substance abuse programs, is also helpful. If your DUI is over 10 years old, it won’t negatively impact your rates.
When will You be Declined
Underwriting guidelines for life insurance with a DUIs vary from one company to another. However, generally speaking, insurance carriers want to see that a DUI is at least two years old. During the underwriting process, you will be required to complete a medical exam which involves taking your blood and testing your organs.
They even may order a particular test for individuals with a DUI to examine the levels of Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase in the blood to determine if alcohol abuse is showing up. If the levels are elevated, this is usually a reason for concern to the underwriters. You could be required a more extensive test called a CDT. If this test comes back positive, it is a sign of liver damage due to abusive drinking, and there is a pretty good chance your application will be turned down.
What the Underwriter will Ask
You must be honest about your DUI to your insurance broker and on your life insurance application. Any lies on an application form are considered fraud and can result in the insurance company rescinding the policy, which means they’ll refuse payment to your beneficiaries. The insurance company will look at the following:
- Your current age.
- Do you have any other health conditions?
- How many DUIs have you had?
- When was the last occurrence?
- Do you have a history of alcohol abuse?
- Have you taken any steps toward recovery?
- Is your driver’s license suspended?
- Do you have a criminal record?