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Life Insurance and Alcohol Use

If you have or had a drinking problem, you must disclose the extent of your problem on your insurance application. Failure to be truthful on the application is considered insurance fraud and a policy issued based on false information can be voided. There are brokers and companies who specialize in finding high risk individuals insurance companies who will consider their applications. You may want to work with such a company or broker to find an insurer who will consider your unique situation if you have or had a drinking problem.

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Heavy Alcohol Consumption Will Impact Life Insurance Premiums & Insurability


Heavy alcohol consumption impacts your life expectancy, insurers distinguish between the person who has an occasional glass of wine or beer and someone with a drinking problem. Heavy drinkers are considered a higher risk for life insurance and should expect to pay higher premiums if they can find an insurer willing to issue them a life insurance policy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report heavy drinking is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Excessive alcohol use over a lifetime can lead to a variety of serious chronic cardiovascular and gastrointestinal conditions, dementia, stroke, depression, and liver disease.

Insurers will ask about your alcohol consumption when you apply for life insurance. Having more than two drinks a day will eliminate your qualifying for a preferred rate and having more than three or four drinks will likely place you in a high risk rate category.

If your doctor or medical records indicate you have an alcohol problem, if the blood and urine tests, required by many insurers as part of the medical exam, reveal abnormalities or if a liver function test revels an elevated liver function an insurer will likely assume heavy alcohol use. An elevated liver enzyme level can indicate there is something wrong that isn't related to drinking. If you believe the test results do not reflect high alcohol consumption request an "alcohol marker" test. However, poor liver function whatever the cause may still cause you to be rated in a higher risk premium category.

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Even one recent drunk driving or DUI conviction will result in higher life insurance rates. The longer ago your DUI conviction, the less the insurer will care. The first three years after a DUI, you will likely be placed in a higher risk rate category. The insurer will want to know if you successfully completed a drug or alcohol abuse treatment program following the offense. After five years you will typically qualify for a preferred rate category— assuming your general health merits it.

Multiple DUIs will likely put you into an uninsurable category with most insurance companies.

If you are a recovering alcoholic, even if you have successfully completed an alcohol-treatment program, insurance companies will often postpone an insurability decision or decline your application until you can demonstrate at least two years of sobriety. After ten years of sobriety you may again be placed into a preferred rate category.