When applying for life insurance, it is vital you know if you will be considered a high risk for life insurance. DUI can put you into this category, depending on when the DUI was and a variety of other factors. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence, or impaired by any substance such as alcohol or other drugs will be considered a risk for a life insurance company.
Many fatal crashes are caused by individuals who are operating a vehicle under the influence, and any activity which coincides with fatalities will be taken into consideration by life insurance companies. Single events of DUI, or DWI, can make getting life insurance more difficult, but many times we can still find you affordable coverage depending on when it happened. Their are some crucial steps to take when applying for life insurance with a history of DUI or DWI.
As mentioned above, life insurance companies do view a history of driving under the influence as a risk for life insurance. Life insurance companies generally assume someone who was found driving under the influence probably wasn’t caught on their first time. This demonstrates an individual may be participating in this risky behavior on a consistent basis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol impaired driving accounts for almost 11,000 fatalities per year, and about one third of all traffic deaths are alcohol related. This statistic alone demonstrates the riskiness of driving under the influence, and why life insurance companies are hesitant to insure those with a record of DUI or DWI.
Life insurance companies will also want to know what steps you took following a DUI or DWI. They will also ask questions regarding any counseling efforts you participated in following the arrest. If you have a prior history of alcoholism, or substance abuse, it will have an affect on your ability to get life insurance.
Other factors which life insurance companies take into account is the affect alcohol has on your overall health. Alcohol can disable you both mentally and physically. Continuous alcohol users can show signs of heart issues, liver disease, and forms of cancer. These coupled with a DUI, can play into your life insurance rating.
For many people, a DUI is a wakeup call, and helps them to put their decision making and family commitment into perspective. This is why I believe many people who have had a DUI are now interested in increasing life insurance coverage, or exploring life insurance DUI options for the first time.
The majority of life insurance companies do however have a waiting period after a DUI or DWI before you can apply for coverage. The most common waiting period after an incident before you can apply for coverage is 2 years. Even after this time period, you may still receive a higher rated life insurance policy, which could also include a flat extra. This higher premium could stay in effect up to 10 years depending on the life insurance company.
If you have been free of a DUI or DWI for over 5 years, than your chances of a better life insurance rating are higher. Each company does have different underwriting guidelines so it is important to work with with an experienced independent life insurance agent. We have access to over 50 life insurance companies, and can determine which will be the best for you to apply with.
Individuals who are considered to be substance abusers, or who are suspect because of the DUI, pose an insurance risk. Research points to evidence of substance abuse has a high correlation to motor vehicle and industrial accidents, suicides and crimes, all which might affect your ability to get life insurance with a DUI. With a DUI on record, a person applying for insurance bears the burden of proving the DUI was the result of a decision-making mistake as opposed to being a marker of ongoing serious drug or alcohol abuse.
Illicit drug use is viewed less favorably than alcohol abuse when it comes to insurance.
Occasional marijuana use is not as significant of a concern to the insurer as the question of where and how the person obtained the drug for addicts are perceived to move in dangerous circles and environments increasing the risk of an accident. Substance abuse also raises questions about the underlying condition which caused the person to abuse in the first place.
The burden of providing documentation to support claims of substance abuse rehabilitation falls upon the individual. The following documentation may also be mandated or requested: Records of stable work and family history, attendance at programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, screening for abusive chemical and alcohol consumption, driving records, and blood work.
A minimum wait of one to two years is mandatory before insurance offers can be made following a DUI. Insurance which is issued in this time period may have what is called a flat extra, which is an increase in premium specified by the insurance company, and can last up to ten years depending on the company. If the incident was five or more years prior to application, favorable results can be anticipated. Evidence of substance abuse, in combination with a hazardous occupation or hobby may result in a very high insurance rating or declination of coverage, however, recovered alcoholics are considered insurable.