Life insurance for recovering alcoholics

It’s possible to secure life insurance as a recovering or ex-alcoholic.

In the UK, 24% of adults regularly consume over the chief medical officers guidelines and it’s estimated that 602,391 people in England are dependent drinkers[1].

Generally speaking, if you’re no longer classed as an alcoholic or alcohol dependent, it can be easier to secure life insurance cover than if you were still misusing alcohol.

However, a period of sobriety is often required. This can vary between insurers but typically ranges from 1 - 5 years.

Rest assured, at Reassured, we can help you compare life insurance quotes and find a suitable option from our panel of insurers.

Our panel includes leading mainstream insurers and smaller specialists, allowing us to find you the right cover for your needs at our best price.

Our quotes are personalised, no-obligation and fee-free. Simply get in touch.

Can you get life insurance with alcoholism?

If you’re currently living with alcoholism or are still alcohol dependent, it’s likely your application will be declined - particularly if you have been given medical advice to stop drinking or have health conditions as a result of drinking.

This is because alcohol consumption is a factor that insurers take into consideration during the application process.

Regularly consuming over 14 units of alcohol per week could be seen as drinking in excess/alcoholism on a life insurance application.

Alcoholism is a term widely used for heavy drinking, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency.

Typically, insurers will need you to have been sober for a specified period before they will offer cover.

Alcohol misuse help & support

There are a number of help and support resources available to those who are living with alcoholism.

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

Do insurers ask about alcohol consumption?

Yes, as part of the standard application questionnaire you’ll need to provide information about your alcohol habits.

This is because alcohol consumption can have an effect on your health and lifestyle. In fact, alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death and ill health among those aged 15 - 49[1].

If you declare any history with alcohol misuse, then it’s likely you’ll need to answer further questions such as when you became sober and how long you were living with alcoholism.

What happens if I don’t tell the truth about my alcohol habits?

If you don’t tell the truth about your drinking habits, both past and present, then this could invalidate your life insurance policy.

Withholding or providing false details during the application process is known as non-disclosure, which is a form of insurance fraud.

While it can be hard to discuss addiction, it’s essential to be truthful so that your policy is valid and will pay out when your family need to make a claim.

Insurers aren’t here to judge; they simply need this information to ensure they’re providing you with the right cover.

Does a history of alcoholism mean I will be declined for life insurance?

No, disclosing a history of alcoholism doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be declined for life insurance.

However, insurers typically require a specified period of sobriety before they offer cover. Therefore, if you apply for cover before this period has been met, you may be declined.

Additionally, once this period has been met, other high-risk factors such as whether you have any medical conditions, smoke or have a high-risk occupation/hobby could impact your eligibility.

In this scenario it could still be possible to secure specialist life insurance or an over 50s plan (if you’re aged between 50 and 85).

At Reassured we have a specialist impaired life insurance team who have a good track record of finding some form of cover for those who have previously been declined.

Simply get in touch to find out how we can help.

What questions will I be asked about alcohol during the application?

When you declare that you’ve experienced alcohol dependency/abuse or drink in excess, you’ll be asked some further questions by the insurer so they can learn more about your circumstances.

You could be asked questions regarding:

  • Type of alcoholism (alcohol dependency or alcohol abuse)
  • The period of alcohol dependency/abuse
  • Reason for alcohol consumption
  • Any related health conditions
  • Any treatment/counselling received
  • Date of recovery

Discussing alcohol addiction can be hard, in fact, Drinkaware found that only 29% of UK adults would feel comfortable having a conversation about their drinking with family, while just 24% said they would be comfortable to have this conversation with friends[2].

However, during your life insurance application it’s essential that you’re completely honest.

While it may seem harmless, providing false information can invalidate your policy - meaning a pay out won’t be made when your loved ones need it the most.

What is ‘normal’ alcohol consumption for life insurance?

The recommended level for alcohol consumption is 14 units per week. That’s roughly 6 medium glasses of wine (175ml) or 6 pints of beer (4%).

As these are guidelines by the NHS, insurers typically use these when assessing alcohol consumption.

Therefore, anything over 14 units per week on a regular basis could be seen as drinking in excess.

However, everyone has different tolerances for alcohol and the amount we consume can vary throughout the year. This is why insurers will take your personal circumstances into account.

If you’re unsure about how much alcohol you consume, you can use this alcohol consumption calculator.

Why do I need life insurance?

Life insurance is important to protect the financial future of your loved ones. Should the worst happen to you, a life insurance pay out can help them to:

  • Remain in the family home by covering rent/mortgage costs
  • Cover the cost of your funeral (the cost of a basic funeral in the UK now stands at £3,953[3])
  • Settle unpaid debts in your name
  • Meet day-to-day living costs
  • Receive an inheritance

Alcoholism is linked to many health conditions (such as liver damage, diabetes and various heart conditions) which can highlight the need to have the right financial protection in place should anything happen to you.

Comparing quotes can help you find the right protection to meet your needs at an affordable price.

How much life insurance do you need?

Calculate how much life insurance you may need as an ex-alcoholic by filling out your key costs and other financial commitments.

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£137,934 is the estimated mortgage debt per household in the UK.

The purchase of a home is likely to be the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lifetime. Your life insurance should cover your remaining mortgage balance to allow your loved ones to stay in the family home should anything happen to you.

Source: Moneynerd.co.uk

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The average monthly household budget in the UK is £2,548 (that’s £30,576 per year), which is spent on transport, food & drink, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc), clothing, council tax and leisure activities.

With energy prices hitting a record high and the cost of living rising sharply in the UK, you may wish to factor in utility bills and family living expenses into your cover.

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk

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The average personal debt of UK adults has risen to £34,566 (not including mortgage debt), with credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts being the most common forms of debt.

Factoring in any debts into your life insurance cover means that, if they need to be paid back from your estate after your passing, your loved ones won’t miss out financially.

Source: Money.co.uk

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,953 (with the overall cost of dying at £9,200).

Funeral costs have increased by 116% since 2004 and are a significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

Source: SunLife.co.uk

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When factoring in cover for your children, you may wish to calculate the amount based on how long it is until they reach financial independence.

This could include childcare (£7,000 per year for part-time care), school expenses (£1,519 per school year for uniforms, lunches, stationary etc), as well as an additional sum for further education (this could be a contribution of up to £5,000 per year).

Sources: Daynurseries.co.uk, Primarytimes.co.uk & Savethestudent.org

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2 in 5 adults say they are relying on an inheritance to fund their retirement.

Factoring in an inheritance to your sum assured could allow loved ones to live a more financially comfortable life. Alternatively, you could leave a cash gift to a charity of your choosing.

Source: Moneyage.co.uk

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own savings or are part of the 30% of UK residents who already have a life insurance policy in place, this can provide financial protection for loved ones.

By entering your current cover, savings or death in service amount you can reduce the sum assured you require.

Source: Scottishbusinessnews.net

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What life insurance options are available for ex-alcoholics?

When securing life insurance as a recovering or ex-alcoholic, you have a number of policy options available.

Which is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances and your budget.

The four most common policy options include:

Level term life insurance for alcoholics

Cover for a specified period (the term) that pays out a fixed sum if you pass away during this time.

  • Maximum term length up to 40 years
  • Maximum sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Pay out could help to protect family living costs and/or an interest-based mortgage
  • You’ll need to answer health questions during the application process
  • You’ll need to have been sober for 1 - 5 years (depending on the insurer)
Decreasing term life insurance for alcoholics

Cover for a specified period that provides a decreasing sum assured (cover amount).

  • Maximum term length up to 40 years
  • Maximum sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Pay out could help to protect a repayment mortgage
  • You’ll need to answer health questions during the application process
  • You’ll need to have been sober for 1 - 5 years (depending on the insurer)
Over 50 life insurance for alcoholics

Lifelong cover with guaranteed acceptance to those aged 50 - 85.

  • Pay out is guaranteed (after a waiting period of 12 - 24 months has passed)
  • Maximum sum assured up to £20,000 (depending on your personal circumstances and budget)
  • Pay out is typically used to help cover funeral costs or provide a small inheritance
  • No medical information is required so alcoholism and health won’t affect your premiums or eligibility
Whole of life insurance for alcoholics

Lifelong cover that requires medical information during the application.

  • Pay out is guaranteed
  • Maximum sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Pay out could help to provide an inheritance or cover an inheritance tax bill
  • You’ll need to answer health questions during the application process
  • You’ll need to have been sober for 1 - 5 years (depending on the insurer)
  • Could be costly if paying inflated monthly premiums for the rest of your life

Through Reassured you can compare all the above options to find the right policy to meet your needs.

We offer a variety of policies from some of the UK’s best life insurance providers. Simply get in touch to compare fee-free quotes.

Does alcoholism affect the price of life insurance?

Yes, as an ex-alcoholic, any previous alcohol misuse could impact the price you pay.

During the application process you’ll be required to provide insurers with key information. This includes:

These factors, along with your chosen policy type, length of cover and sum assured will allow insurers to calculate the premium you’ll pay.

If you declare that you’ve previously had issues with alcohol, insurers will need to find out your personal circumstances in order to calculate the price you pay.

For example, if you’ve recently recovered, you may be charged higher premiums as insurers won’t know the likelihood of a relapse.

If you’ve been an ex-alcoholic for some time and haven’t had any relapses, you’ll likely be able to secure cheaper premiums than those who have.

Regardless of your circumstances, it’s always important to obtain multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting an affordable deal.

Why not enlist the help of an experienced broker like Reassured?

What if I have been declined life insurance due to alcoholism in the past?

If you’ve been declined for life insurance in the past, this could be due to a number of reasons:

1. You were consuming dangerous levels of alcohol

If you applied for life insurance while consuming a dangerous amount of alcohol, insurers may have deemed you too risky to offer cover to. Particularly if your health was suffering and/or you had been warned by medical professionals to quit drinking.

2. You applied with the wrong insurer

Each insurer has a different underwriting process, and therefore will judge applications differently. For example, you may not have met the sobriety period required by the insurer you applied with. Just because one insurer declined you doesn’t mean they all will.

3. You’re considered too high-risk

If insurers flag multiple high-risk factors during the application, such as previous alcohol abuse, health conditions, smoking or a dangerous occupation/hobby, they may have seen you as too high-risk.

Rest assured, even if you’ve been declined in the past, there are still life insurance options available.

Comparing quotes can help you find suitable cover, this could be through a mainstream insurer, a specialist provider or by taking out an over 50s plan (where no medical information is required).

To find out about your options, get in touch with Reassured, we can provide you with the details of the insurers we work with who are most likely to offer you cover.

Will I need to take a medical exam for alcohol?

It’s possible to secure life insurance without undergoing a medical exam.

However, insurers may request a medical report from your GP in order to understand if your alcohol habits have had an effect on your health.

Insurers can’t see your medical records without your permission and you’ll be able to see the report before it’s sent to the insurer.

Due to the implications of alcohol misuse, insurers will need to gather a full picture of your health to understand the level of risk you pose before offering you cover.

While this is most likely to be through a GP report, it could be through a medical exam.

If a medical exam is requested, it will be arranged and funded by the insurer.

Does life insurance pay out for alcohol related deaths?

Yes, it’s possible for life insurance to pay out for alcohol related deaths.

However, a pay out won’t be made if you withheld details about your alcohol habits during the application process.

If non-disclosure is discovered, it can invalidate your policy and no pay out will be made to your loved ones when you pass away.

Being honest about your lifestyle is essential in order to ensure that your policy is valid and a pay out will be made to your loved ones.

Other policy options

Terminal illness cover

Terminal illness cover comes at no extra cost with all term life insurance policies bought through Reassured.

It allows you to make an early claim on your policy if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than 12 months to live.

The funds could allow you to pay for end of life care, get your financial affairs in order and/or enjoy spending time with your loved ones.

Income protection

Income protection provides protection during your working life.

Up to 70% of your usual earnings could be protected if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury.

You’ll receive monthly (tax-free) income payments which can help you keep up with your financial commitments.

Available through Reassured.

Critical illness cover

Critical illness cover can be added to term life insurance for an additional cost in your monthly premiums.

It allows you to make a claim if you’re diagnosed with a specific serious illness.

You could use the funds to replace income and/or pay for private medical care.

If you have any medical complications as a result of excessive drinking, these (and any other related conditions) could be added as exclusions to your policy.

Joint life insurance

Joint life insurance covers two lives under one policy.

This means there’s only one application and one premium to pay. However, there can only be one pay out.

Typically, this option can help you save money on a policy as it covers two lives simultaneously.

However, if one partner has a history of alcohol abuse and the other doesn’t, this could inflate premiums for both parties.

Life insurance for ex-alcoholics [Compare quotes]

As a recovering or ex-alcoholic, your eligibility and the price you pay for life cover will depend on your personal circumstances.

Typically, you’ll need to have been sober for a specified period before insurers will offer you cover. Depending on the insurer this could be 1 - 5 years.

At Reassured we can compare multiple quotes and inform you about your available options, so you can secure a good deal.

Even if you’ve struggled to secure life cover in the past, we have a specialist team who have a great track record of finding some form of cover for those who have been previously declined.

Our FCA-regulated and award-winning quote service is fee-free, so why not get in touch?

Seize the day and protect your loved one’s financial future today.

Sources:

[1] https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-statistics

[2] https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/news/half-of-uk-drinkers-feel-their-country-has-an-unhealthy-relationship-with-alcohol

[3] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs/

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