Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Drinking Too Much Alcohol Affects Your Life Insurance Rate

Does the amount of alcohol you drink affect your life insurance rates? While insurance companies may not be primarily concerned with how much alcohol you drink, they are definitely concerned about any adverse effects your drinking may have on your health. Heavy drinking as a lifestyle may lead to chronic health concerns such as heart disease, stroke, depression, dementia, liver and gastrointestinal problems.

Because the amount of alcohol you consume may have bearing on your health and longevity, life insurance companies are interested in this aspect of your life. Most companies would not hesitate to increase your insurance rates if you are a heavy drinker. In fact, according to the underwriting practices of some insurance companies, drinking two drinks a day may disqualify you from the "preferred" category. Drinking four or more drinks a day may disqualify you from "standard" insurance rates.

If you already have a history of alcohol abuse, and you have attended Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or have had a DUI on your driving record, this could lead to much higher life insurance rates. Depending on how severe your alcohol condition is, some insurance underwriters may decline your application for life insurance or put you in a class which is very expensive.

Most insurance companies require you to undergo a life insurance medical exam. Your blood and urine tests will reveal whether you are a heavy drinker or a moderate drinker. Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) is a test that checks liver functions. Elevated liver enzymes can indicate that you are a heavy drinker even if alcohol use is not noted on your medical history or on your application. Abnormal liver functions are normally assumed by insurance companies to be related to excessive alcohol consumption. If doubts exist, an insurance company may ask you to do an "alcohol marker" test to verify your liver abnormalities are alcohol-related. But even if it is not alcohol-related, you may still be put into an expensive life insurance rate category because abnormal liver functions are considered a health risk.

If you have ever received a DUI, you can expect a heavy insurance rate if you apply within the first three years after you have been charged. After that, depending on your medical history and current health condition, you may be charged standard rates. If you have complied with drug rehabilitation programs ordered by the court, your chances for better insurance rates may start looking good only after you've completed the drug program. Multiple alcohol or drug-related traffic violations could put you under the "non-insurable" category.

The bottom line? If you have any history of a drinking problem, mention this on your application. Any kind of misinformation on your application is considered to be fraud and may render your policy null and void.

There are several life insurance companies whose underwriters look upon alcohol-related conditions in a much better light. Screening hundreds of insurance companies to find one that suits your needs would take time, effort and a lot of comparative study. Using online life insurance providers who have access to hundreds of reliable insurance companies may be your best option for finding the best insurance rates, whether you do or do not have a drinking problem.

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