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Life Insurance and Alcohol Use

There are many factors that insurance companies have to take into account when deciding on the cost of your insurance premium. The amount of alcohol that you consume is one of these factors and many people do not realize that the amount of alcohol they drink can have a severe impact on the cost of their life insurance. It has been documented by the Society of Actuaries that alcohol abuse can take, on average, ten to fifteen years off of a life expectancy.

Most insurance companies will not have specific procedures in place for analyzing excessive alcohol consumption, and it will often be left to the member of staff that is dealing with your application (referred to as an underwriter). Normally, questions about your alcohol consumption will be asked as part of the application process. If your responses to these questions indicate that you may have a problem then the insurance company could investigate your situation further.

Past medical history can also lead to further investigation into your alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse can damage most organs in the human body, and there are certain medical conditions which can suggest the misuse of alcohol. Alcohol abuse can cause heart disease, cancer and is responsible for many accidents, all of which can lead to a premature death. If you provide a blood sample as part of your application then it could be tested for elevated liver enzymes which can be an indication of alcohol misuse. These symptoms can indicate other illnesses as well so even if you do not drink excessively your application may still be suspended whilst the cause of your liver problems is investigated.

If you are a recovering alcoholic then you will have a big problem when applying for life insurance as you will immediately face much higher premiums. Some companies may offer a reduction in your premium for each successful year you complete without a relapse. You will also face a higher premium if you have a drink driving conviction in the past five years. Insurance companies believe that this can be an indication of a more serious underlying alcohol problem.

It is possible to take steps to reduce your insurance premiums if they are high because of excessive alcohol consumption. If you give up drinking alcohol, you could reduce your premium if you can provide evidence of the benefit this has had to your health. This is something that you could document with your doctor to highlight the improvement in your health. In most cases the insurance company will request your health records from your doctor anyway before making a judgment on your application.

The important thing to remember is that all good insurance companies will assess your application on its own merits. If you think you may have a problem with any alcohol related issue then you should still apply. The prices that you are quoted could vary greatly from company to company, as they all interpret your application in different ways. For this reason alone it is important to shop around to get the best price for your policy.