Alcoholism in the UK

Over 140 million people worldwide have issues with regards to alcohol consumption, leading to 1 in 13 in the UK being alcoholic[1].

Let's face it, most of us enjoy a drink and alcohol is very much ingrained in UK culture. But how much is too much in the eyes of the insurer?

You're considered to be consuming an excess level of alcohol if you have over 15 drinks a week.

However, insurers don’t tend to require you undergo a medical if your weekly consumption is 40 units or less a week.

There are two types of alcohol misuse to consider when arranging your life insurance:

  1. Alcohol abuse
  2. Alcohol dependency

Alcohol abuse refers to infrequent consumption of alcohol but in dangerous quantities, sometimes to blackout.

This can lead to inappropriate consequences but doesn't mean your body is reliant upon the substance.

Alcohol dependency, on the other hand, is when your body has become reliant on the consumption of alcohol and you experience withdrawal symptoms if not consumed.

Both forms of alcohol misuse can bring with them significant medical implications and impact your life insurance.

Read on to establish how your life insurance options can be affected by alcohol…

Why do you need life insurance?

In the event of the worst happening to you, could your loved ones afford to:

This highlights the need for adequate life insurance to financially protect your loved one’s future.

However, alcohol misuse can affect your ability to obtain such protection.

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of cover you require.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best quote.

Life insurance for recovering alcoholics

Firstly, it's far easier to arrange life insurance if you're no longer misusing alcohol.

Policies arranged for previous alcohol misusers are likely to exclude alcohol abuse as a cause of death.

This means that if you pass away due to alcohol poisoning or an alcohol-related incident, your loved ones are likely to be denied a pay out.

A period of sobriety is generally required before life cover will be offered. This period can vary significantly between insurers, ranging from 1-5 years.

At Reassured, we have the ability to help you arrange life insurance cover with a sobriety period of just 12 months.

Get in touch with our award-winning team and we'll help you find the best available policy.

Life insurance for alcohol abusers

Alcohol abuse refers to someone who drinks an excessive amount.

This can be on an infrequent basis and their body isn't dependant on it.

Generally speaking, whilst you're considered to be consuming an excessive amount of alcohol if you have over 15 drinks a week, insurers don’t tend to require you undergo a medical exam if your weekly consumption is 40 units or less a week.

However, different insurers have different alcohol thresholds, therefore it pays to compare multiple quotes.

When cover is offered, it may also be that death caused as an act of alcohol abuse is excluded, in which instance a pay out wouldn't be made.

Becoming alcohol dependent, (after taking out life insurance)

Unfortunately, when life becomes hard, alcohol can provide a means of escape, potentially leading to alcohol misuse.

If you already have life insurance in place, any change to your alcohol consumption following the start of your policy won't affect the cover you have in place.

Life insurance and premiums are based on your circumstances at the point of arrangement, therefore, any changes which occur thereafter won't be taken into account.

The cost of life insurance for alcoholics

The cost of all life insurance premiums is calculated using your age, smoking status, medical history and lifestyle.

Due to the medical impact caused by alcohol misuse, both abusers and dependants are likely to be required to provide more in-depth medical information:

  • Date of alcohol dependency and period
  • Reason for alcohol consumption
  • Related health issues
  • Any treatment or counselling undertaken
  • Other mental health problems
  • Whether or not you're still drinking

If currently consuming significant levels of alcohol, it's likely that you'll be turned down for life insurance until you can demonstrate a period of sobriety.

The information collected will then be used to determine the likelihood of a claim and your premiums will be loaded (increased) accordingly.

The amount your premiums are loaded will depend on how severe and recent your alcohol misuse occurred.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance provides cover for a specified length of time and if you pass away during this period a lump sum is paid out.

As discussed, if still alcohol dependant, it's highly likely you'll be declined any form of life insurance, including term cover.

However, if sober for a specified amount of time, you may be eligible to obtain term-based life cover.

The length of this sobriety period will vary depending on the insurer, sometimes as long as 5 years.

At Reassured, we compare quotes from a wide range of providers and are able to help you obtain cover for as little as 12 months sober.

Simply get in touch today to identify the best option for you.

Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance provides a lump sum pay out to your loved ones when (not if) you pass away.

As long as premium payments are kept up to date the protection remains in place for life.

Again, it's unlikely you'll be able to secure such cover if you're still consuming very high levels of alcohol.

However, at Reassured once you have been sober for 2 years, it's highly likely our team will be able to arrange your whole of life cover.

It's likely to come with a loaded premium due to your behavioural history, although, reducing premiums can be discussed the longer your sobriety lasts.

Simply get in touch today to discuss your available options.

Over 50s life insurance

Over 50s life insurance provides guaranteed acceptance for all UK residents aged 50-85, without the need to supply any medical information.

As a result, it's ideal for anyone within this age range who has suffered medical conditions or is struggling to get cover due to alcohol misuse.

It does, however, come with a waiting period of up to 2 years at the start of the policy.

This means, if you die within this initial period, all premiums paid in will be refunded but no pay out issued.

Therefore, you should consider this if your medical ailments are particularly serious or you're drinking extremely high levels.

At Reassured we can give you all the information you need to understand the available options, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Joint life insurance for alcoholics

Joint life insurance covers two lives simultaneously, saving you on average 25% compared with two separate policies.

However, if one or both of you have previously suffered alcohol misuse, it'll increase the cost of the policy, meaning that the other partner pays more than is necessary.

Equally, if any exclusions are written into this policy, they'll apply to both parties.

It’s also important to remember that a joint policy only pays out upon first death, leaving the surviving partner unprotected and requiring new cover when older.

Critical illness cover

At Reassured, all life policies come with the option to add critical illness cover.

If diagnosed with a non-life-threatening illness, this early pay out can be used to fund necessary adaptations to your home, replace a lost income or simply to enjoy with family.

Your ability to obtain critical illness will be based on your individual alcohol consumption and some exclusions may be added to the cover, meaning that certain ailments caused as a result of alcohol may not be covered, e.g. blindness.

It's also likely that your premiums for critical illness cover will be highly inflated.

Get in touch with Reassured and we'll review your options and work tirelessly to find you the best deal available.

Terminal illness cover

At Reassured, all life insurance policies come with terminal illness as standard.

Therefore, whether you suffer from alcohol misuse or not, once you've managed to secure life insurance, you'll receive this benefit.

If you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than 12 months to live, you can make an early claim on your policy.

The early pay out can then be used as you wish, providing peace of mind that your loved ones are financially protected.

Non-disclosure and alcohol abuse

If you drink heavily, it may be tempting to lie about your alcohol consumption when applying for life insurance.

This is known in the insurance industry as non-disclosure.

Whilst this could make it more likely to secure lower premiums, it may result in your selfless investment being wasted and a pay out being denied.

Today’s science enables vigorous testing for alcohol use, and therefore if upon your death you're discovered to have lied about your consumption, it's possible for your policy to be deemed invalid.

As a result, it's important to be forthcoming and truthful about all aspects of your life when arranging your cover.

Alcohol misuse support

Whether alcohol dependent or an alcohol abuser there are a number of resources and support services out there to help:

If you're struggling with alcohol addiction or feel your drinking is getting out of control, it's imperative you seek help.

Compare quotes for alcoholics life insurance

So, as you can see, arranging life insurance will vary depending on your personal circumstances, as will the cost of your premiums.

At Reassured we can compare alcoholism life insurance quotes, fully informing you of your options and helping secure the best deal.

Our FCA registered, award-winning broker service is completely free to use.

Why not seize the day and secure the financial future of your loved ones?

We're here to help.

Sources:

[1] https://www.azmoney.co.uk/insurance/life/type/life-insurance-for-alcoholics

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