Ron Attias is a licensed insurance broker. He has no particular loyalty to any one insurance company, so he is able to shop all major insurance carriers. This means that you always get the BEST plan at the LOWEST price. Each plan can be customized to fit your specific healthcare needs and budget.

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Written by Ron Attias
Licensed Insurance Broker Ron Attias

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Reviewed by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2022

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A DUI, or DWI, carries many consequences regarding your driving license, employment, personal life and even mortality. However, you probably didn’t stop to ask yourself this question: “Can I get life insurance with a DUI?”

You probably realized affordable car insurance might be out of reach, but it probably wasn’t until you had to complete your life insurance application that it occurred to you that a DUI might prevent you from qualifying for even an affordable term life insurance policy. In fact, you can have a perfect health history, no medications, no family history, and still be assigned a costlier life insurance risk class. This article will help you understand what insurance companies want to see in order to underwrite your policy while you try to get coverage after a DUI.

So, if you started to fill out an application and wondered, “Can I get life insurance with a DUI”, then read on. But before you do, get a real quote to compare your rates. Simply use our free quote tool by entering your ZIP code above and receive an instant real quote.

How much is life insurance with a DUI?

How much is insurance with a DUI? Your insurance premium rate will depend on the following factors:

  • When you received your last DUI
  • How many DUIs you have
  • Whether you can demonstrate that you are receiving treatment

The table below demonstrates how long it can take after receiving a DUI to qualify for a preferred rate by the insurance company.

Number of Years After DUI to Qualify for Life Insurance Classifications
CompaniesPreferred PlusPreferredStandard PlusStandard
American National555N/A
Banner Life3333
John Hancock105N/AN/A
Lincoln Financial55N/AN/A
Mutual of Omaha555N/A
North American55N/AN/A
Prudential55Based on driving historyBased on driving history
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So, how much of an increase do you get for each downgrade in classification? Here’s an estimate of what you can expect:

  • Preferred Plus – Best rate
  • Preferred – Best Rate + 50 percent
  • Standard Plus – Best Rate + 100 percent
  • Standard – Best Rate + 200 percent

For example, if you were a female non-smoker that would otherwise qualify for a 10-year/$100,000 benefit policy at a $9.86/mo premium, you can expect your rate to double to over $19/mo if you apply for life insurance within three years after getting a DUI.

Can you get life insurance with a DUI?

The table above provides a timetable for redemption after getting a DUI. As you can tell, getting life insurance immediately after receiving a DUI may be difficult. In fact, if you have a clean driving record today, then we recommend getting life insurance quotes and locking down a low rate term policy. No one has the intention of driving drunk, but securing a lower rate policy now eliminates the risk of anything happening at a later date.

Check out these average insurance costs from the top insurance providers for a 30-year old female non-smoker.

Average Annual Term Life Insurance Rates for a 30-Year-Old Female Non-Smoker
Term Life Insurance Coverage AmountAverage Annual 10-Year Term RatesAverage Annual 20-Year Term RatesAverage Annual 30-Year Term Rates
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The benefit of locking in low rates while you are younger and healthier are evident.

If you did already have a DUI, then you may need to pay higher premiums until you can demonstrate that you are not a repeat offender and do not have issues with alcohol use.

How can a DUI affect your life?

How does a DUI affect your life? There are tons of problems associated with drinking and driving. Driving while intoxicated is not only an issue in the immediate risk and harm imposed upon yourself and others, but is also an underlying indicator of other health risks.

Take a look at this video from the Minneapolis Police sharing the story of the aftermath of drunk driving.

According to the Alcohol Addiction Center, about 30 percent of DUIs are a repeat offense which is one indicator of an addiction. An indication of any type of alcohol dependency is a trigger for life insurance companies to factor in associated health risks. Insurance companies must assess risk and protect themselves. Indications of reckless behavior, alcohol-related or not, will draw unwanted attention from underwriters and can cause your insurance company to disqualify your policy altogether.

Do insurance companies cover a DUI? No. If you get a DUI, even top car insurance companies will not cover your fines, legal, fees, and other costs. Life insurance companies won’t be much help here either.

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Why do life insurance companies care about DUIs?

Simply put, driving while intoxicated is likely to lead to death. Insurance companies hate risks. If you pose a higher risk, they will say “pay more” or “sorry, we are not interested.” According to the CDC, in 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (29 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

DUIs aren’t the only thing that will get you rated up or declined altogether. Reckless driving, license suspensions, or more than three moving violations in the last three years will get you similar results.

DUIs can indicate economic and household problems which can indicate high stress, anxiety, depression, and other health concerns.

According to, even a first-time offense can cost $10,000–$25,000 in additional total costs, not including time away from work or any other lost productivity.

Your life insurance rates can also depend on which state you live in. If you get a DUI in a state that has high drunk driving occurrences, penalty rates for a DUI could be even higher.

The table below shows how each state ranks based on the number of DUI arrests courtesy of

DUI Arrest Rate by State
RankStateDUI ArrestsDUI Arrest Rate (per 100,000 population)
1South Dakota5,891721.93
2North Dakota5,136678.35
4North Carolina27,915518.82
6New Mexico6,464459.67
14New Hampshire5,053383.6
25South Carolina15,188344.48
30West Virginia3,141298.54
35New York25,094262.18
38Rhode Island2,423229.17
40New Jersey17,230219.64
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Make sure you don’t hide your DUI or DWI on the application or from your agent. The company will run an MVR report where they can find everything regarding your driving history, so hiding it makes no sense, and you may risk the company rescinding the policy for misrepresentation or lying on the application.

How long will a DUI affect my insurance?

So how can I get life insurance if I have a DUI? That depends. If you had a DUI or DWI within the last 12 months, your ability to qualify for insurance will be postponed for one year regardless of agency.

If you had a DUI two or more years ago, Prudential will offer you a Standard Plus rating provided there are no other health conditions. After three years, you can get standard rates with Banner Life or Fidelity Life. After five years or more, you could get Preferred Plus or the best rating with most companies such as Mutual of Omaha or Transamerica.

You can consider a DUI the same level of risk for an insurance company as the risks associated with a preexisting condition.

Can you get life insurance after a heart attack, stroke, or autoimmune disease diagnosis? Yes, it is possible, but depending on the severity of the condition, you may need to work with an impaired risk agent.

How far back do insurance companies check for a DUI? Insurance companies will have access to your driving record, so if a DUI was expunged from your record they would not see it. Otherwise, if there is a DUI on your record, it can go back as far as ten years.

Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance a Good Option

If you can’t qualify for term life insurance but need some type of coverage, you may be thinking about a guaranteed issue or no-exam life insurance. What is guaranteed life insurance? Guaranteed issue life insurance requires a fast application with no underwriting process. Approvals are almost instant and nearly everyone is approved.

This may seem like a good idea for people with a DUI, but guaranteed issue life insurance is not for everyone. Guaranteed issue life insurance has very high premiums with low benefit amounts. This type of insurance is primarily for a type of insurance of last resort. People who get guaranteed issue insurance typically have critical health issues and are not able to find other life insurance options.

These types of policies are intended to allow a policyholder to cover some costs that might leave a burden on their family should they pass.

If you have a DUI, it is better to find help if you feel you have an alcohol issue and definitely avoid drinking and driving.

What happens if a policyholder dies due to drunk driving?

In the tragic case that someone dies from a drunk driving accident, life insurance benefit claims can get tricky. If the policyholder is killed in a drunk driving accident, many insurers will deny payment on the claim. Many insurers will treat a drunk driving death as self-inflicted and deny a claim. In some cases, a beneficiary may be able to fight the insurance company with legal action but this can be costly and a positive outcome is not assured.

In the event that a person is an innocent victim of a drunk driving incident, life insurance should pay on a claim. However, it is important to read your policy and ask this specific question. Some policies do not have accidental death benefit riders or require the rider to be added at additional expense.

Additionally, life insurance policies do not automatically extend coverage to spouses and children. Additional riders may be required to ensure coverage of other family members.

You can run the quotes yourself on this page. Use this free quote tool to get a customized quote in seconds.

How Can I Get Coverage If I Had a DUI

The one and only tip I could give you is NOT to apply by yourself. Any time you apply and get declined coverage, this increases your odds of being declined again. As stated before, all insurance companies have very specific underwriting guidelines that aren’t even shared with consumers (underwriting guidelines are available for broker use only).

Every client has a different health risk, and only an experienced broker can match him/her with the right company. So, you may want to run the quotes yourself to have an idea, but don’t be fooled by the lowest preferred rate if you have a DUI on your record. And keep in mind that DUI or DWI isn’t the only thing that can contribute to higher rates; lifestyle, hobbies, and health history are just a few criteria companies use to determine the final rates.

The good news is that, if you can qualify for life insurance with a DUI, your broker will tell you the rates, coverage, and terms without you knocking your head against the wall. And if you can’t, you will get his/her recommendations on what to do next.

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When will I be declined?

Underwriting guidelines for life insurance with DUIs vary from one company to another. However, generally speaking, insurance carriers want to see that a DUI is at least two years old.

If you are buying a traditional life insurance plan that requires an exam, you will be required to have blood work done to reveal any alcohol or liver abnormalities. If you do have abnormalities, additional tests could be required. If these tests come 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.

Also, if you have two DUIs, you could face a two- to three-year postponement from most companies. If you have more than three DUIs, you will not be able to secure a traditional life insurance policy.

Do I need to tell my insurance agent if I have a DUI?

If you get a DUI after securing a life insurance policy and rate, is it necessary to tell your life insurance company? Will your car insurance company alert your life insurance if you get a DUI?

Regarding your driving license, what happens if it gets suspended? Will your life insurance company see your driving record and change your rate? Are you wondering how can I hide my DUI from insurance?

In most cases, getting a DUI after you’ve locked in your policy terms and rate will not cause a dramatic change to your policy.

However, if you try to hide information from a life insurance agent or company, it can cause you more problems than you may think. If an insurance company has evidence of any alcohol issues, they could have reasons to deny a claim or at least try to deny a claim.

Can you be an insurance agent with a DUI? The simple answer is yes if you have contained the problem and it is not recurring. However, loss of a license, recurring DUI’s, and other alcohol-related issues will be a problem. If you have recurring issues, asking yourself: “can I sell insurance with a DUI?” will likely be the last thing you want to focus on.

What the Underwriter Will Ask

You must be honest about your DUI with 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
  • Any other health conditions
  • How many DUIs you have had
  • Time of the last occurrence
  • Any history of alcohol abuse
  • Steps taken toward recovery
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Any criminal record

Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to applying for insurance.

How You Can Qualify for a Better Rate Even With a DUI

The table I made in the earlier section of this article provides sample underwriting guidelines table insurers will use to determine risk. This table is not only for DUI or DWI but includes reckless driving, suspension, and moving violations. Use this table as a general guideline; it is not exact. For example, with AIG, to qualify for the preferred plus best rate, you must not have had a DUI in the past seven years, but, to get a preferred rate, it’s only six years, and, for the standard, it’s only three.

Here are some things you can do to repair your record and make a better case to qualify for the best rates:

  • Get help and keep records of your efforts
  • Get healthy
  • Drive Safely

With so many options to avoid drinking and driving today, the best thing to do is to get in the practice of making smart decisions and never drinking and driving to begin with.

Top Life Insurance Companies by Market Share

If you are shopping for life insurance, check out this list of top insurance providers in the nation. Why? Top insurers will usually offer the widest array of products and more areas nationally. You may recognize many of these names as some of the best auto insurance companies like Prudential life insurance as well.

Top 10 Life Insurance Companies by Market Share
RankCompaniesMarket ShareDirect Written Premiums
2New York Life6.35%$11,053,776,227
4Lincoln National5.54%$9,651,117,072
8John Hancock2.77%$4,817,849,577
9State Farm 2.76%$4,797,872,970
10Minnesota Mutual2.71%$4,724,702,591
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Chances are one of these companies is available in your area. Bigger companies provide a good place to start in your search as they tend to offer the best prices.

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Can I get life insurance with a DUI?: The Bottom Line

The good news is that making a terrible decision to drive drunk will not prevent you from getting affordable life insurance. However, you may need to go through a process to prove that you are not a repeat offender and do not have any health issues associated with alcohol.

If you do have a DUI on your record, you will need to put more time and effort into finding quality insurance. Work with a good insurance agent that can help you apply and be open to paying more for a shorter-term life insurance plan today and then applying for a better insurance plan and rate after enough time has passed for you to qualify for preferred rates.

The bottom line is that with a DUI, you will need to shop around to qualify for the best rates. You can start right now by entering your ZIP code below and getting an instant quote right now.