The best life insurance companies can help recovering alcoholics get a good policy at an affordable rate
Everyone has their vices, and many people fight hard to overcome them. Life insurance can be impacted by said vices, with smoking, drinking and eating badly leading to higher life insurance rates.
The right life insurance company will get you the most affordable coverage, even after you’ve kicked your bad habits. When it comes to recovering alcoholics, your past can haunt you long after you’ve been sober, which is why it’s important to find the best life insurance company to help you get a policy.
Getting Life Insurance as a Recovering Alcoholic
By now you may have discovered that qualifying for life insurance with a history of alcohol abuse can be pretty difficult.
Which may seem rather ironic due to the fact that an alcoholic’s overall health will generally improve once they stop drinking alcohol!
The problem lies in that most insurance companies will want to see a successful “history of sobriety” prior to approving a recovering alcoholic for life insurance.
What Do Insurance Companies consider “Alcoholic?
Companies most definitely want to know if clients ever struggled with alcoholism. In fact, when applying for a fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy, you will be asked if you have ever had a “history” of alcohol abuse.
This question is left intentionally vague so that the answer of what qualifies as “history”, is left for the applicant to determine. But remember, insurance companies are not simply going to rely on an applicant’s “good faith” when it comes time to determine if they want to move forward with approval.
Insurance companies will also typically perform a medical exam whereby a blood sample will be taken. This sample will be used to screen for a variety of different conditions such as diabetes, hepatitis, Aids, and particular alcohol makers that may be present in someone who regularly consumes large quantities of alcohol.
Lastly, the insurance company may also decide to look at an applicant’s medical records where a history of alcohol abuse may have been noted in the past.
When trying to determine what an insurance company considers “alcoholic”, that determination will usually be based upon:
- Have you ever sought treatment for alcoholism?
- Has your doctor ever recommended treatment for alcohol abuse?
- Does your blood work indicate that you may have an issue with alcohol?
If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then in the eyes of an insurance industry you’re probably going to be considered someone who has a history of alcohol abuse or what they would consider a “recovering alcoholic” if you are no longer using alcohol.
So Can I Get Life Insurance with a history of alcohol abuse or not?!?!
Short answer… Yes, you can get life insurance as a recovering alcoholic.
The trick to getting the best whole and term life insurance rates as a recovering alcoholic is
(1) knowing which life insurance company to apply with and
(2) avoiding some of the larger national insurance brokers who are unwilling to write what they consider to be a “High-Risk Life Insurance” policy due to a client’s past alcohol abuse.
So when would a recovering alcoholic be able to get a standard rate or better rate on life insurance?
Typically most carries will use a 5-year rule when it comes to “discriminating against” recovering alcoholics. After 5 years, the main determining factor on what rate one will receive reverts back to the actual health of the applicant.
OK, so I guess I should just wait 5 years then!
Not a good idea, and here’s why.
1). You could actually DIE!
You could die during those five years leaving your loved ones with absolutely no life insurance protection in place.
2). Your health could decline.
During the next 5 years, you could be diagnosed with some type of condition that could actually prevent you from qualifying for life insurance in the future, or simply make it too expensive for you to afford.
3). If you wait 5 years, you’ll be 5 years older.
Age is typically the number one factor when it comes to determining what one will pay for their life insurance. So the savings that you may see by waiting 5 years to get a better rate may disappear due to the fact that your 5 years older.
4). Lastly, you may not be healthy enough for the rate you want.
It’s possible that you may have some other risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood glucose readings, etc, that could make you a “high risk” applicant with or without a history of alcohol abuse!
So what should I do?
That really depends upon your situation, and without asking a few targeted questions, it’s really impossible to tell.
What remains certain is that those with a history of alcohol abuse could have a more difficult time qualifying for life insurance, which means that they’ll need to really know where to look when trying to secure the best rate for themselves.
For this reason, there are a few things you should look for when it comes time to choose an agency that’s right for you!
1). You’re going to need an agency writes policies with dozens of different insurance carriers.
If your agent only has a few insurance carriers to choose from when submitting your application, you may not be giving yourself the greatest opportunity for success. Plus, are you really “just trying to get approved”? Or are you looking to get the “Best Possible Deal Out There”!
2). Beware of the call center.
When you’re applying for life insurance with an agent that is working in a call center your application is generally going to be 1 out of the 100 or so applicants that he or she needs to write that month so that they can “hit their numbers!”
Not exactly the position you want to be in if it turns out that your application needs some additional “TLC.” After all, a typical call center insurance agent is expected to write 4 or 5 new policies each and every day.
And when a call center agent hears the word alcoholism and life insurance, their eyes immediately gloss over and they move on to the guaranteed issue burial insurance or accidental death sales script.
3). Don’t just apply and take a medical exam.
Take your time, a true insurance professional should be able to send out multiple “pre-qual letters” to several different insurance carriers without actually submitting an application.
In these letters, they’ll be able to describe your situation and see if the insurance company will consider you an “acceptable” risk!
If done properly, provided there are no additional “surprises” during your life insurance medical exam, you should be able to feel pretty confident about being approved, even before you’ve applied!
The best life insurance companies for recovering alcoholics
Life insurance companies take alcohol abuse seriously (we’ll get to why in a bit). These companies are the best when it comes to accommodating you while shopping for life insurance.
How Much Will My Premiums Be?
The premium you pay is based on:
- Your age
- Your sex
- Amount of life insurance coverage you want
- Length of the term you want
- Medical history
- Lifestyle or occupational risks
- History with alcohol will factor into the number of premiums you pay.
We can’t possibly list all the possible combinations here. The below are sample rates base on the table ratings we discussed in the above section on health class ratings.
Sample rates as below:
As you can see, the health class you end up will matter a TON for how much you pay in life insurance premiums.
This is why it’s so important to apply at the right insurance company for your specific situation. Don’t run to the company that advertises the lowest rates. If they don’t view your history of alcohol favorably, it’s not the right company for you.