We understand that a battle with alcohol addiction is hard and takes tremendous strength to overcome. It is our job to find an insurer who is sympathetic towards your health, and supportive of your circumstances.
Things we need to know:
You may wonder if you can get Life Insurance if you have been an alcoholic, or dependant on alcohol, in the past. Alcohol abuse and Life Insurance applications will usually result in the insurer wishing to speak with your GP to establish how much your health has been affected. The insurer will be looking for any information regarding professional advice to reduce your alcohol consumption, lasting liver damage, length of time that you were alcohol dependent, time since the dependency stopped and if there is any related mental health concerns e.g. depression, suicidal thoughts or attempts.
If you have been teetotal for a number of years, and have had no serious side effects as a result of alcohol consumption, then Life Insurance could be available at standard terms.
If you have liver damage and/or mental health concerns you may find that your policy premiums are increased, or in some circumstances the life insurance will be declined. If you are currently alcohol dependent then you will need to approach a specialist insurer for your Life Insurance.
It is important that you are truthful as to the amount of alcohol you consume, as excess alcohol consumption is now detailed on death certificates, which could lead to any claim on your policy being turned down.
Alcoholism and Critical Illness Cover applications will be viewed in a similar way to Life Insurance. Insurers will likely want to write to your GP to be fully satisfied, that they have a full understanding of your health, before they offer you Life Insurance. If you have had any mental health concerns in relation to your alcohol dependency, then you may find that any prices offered will be increased, due to the combination of conditions.
If you are currently an alcoholic/dependant on alcohol and have suffered depression, or have significant lasting complications from alcohol use, you will probably need to speak with a specialist insurer to get Critical Illness Cover.
Income Protection Cover for a past history of alcohol dependency or abuse, is likely to result in an insurer wanting to contact your GP for background information. The insurer asks for this, so that they can establish the extent at which your alcohol use has affected your general health, and how any lasting concerns could impact upon you being able to perform your job.
If the alcoholism is well in the past, then cover may be acceptable at standard terms, so long as you are now teetotal. If you have had recent depression or mental health problems, insurance companies will likely place a mental health exclusion on the Income Protection policy, if you are eligible for it.
As an alternative you may wish to consider Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover that provides a short-term monthly income replacement if you are unable to work due to illness, injury or unemployment. The policy will pay for between 12 and 24 months should you make a successful claim and is not medically underwritten, meaning that past or current alcoholism does not need to be disclosed. This will mean that the policy should be accepted at standard rates. However you must be aware that any pre-existing condition is not covered for a claim, so you will not be able to place a claim for any lost earnings due to anything related to your alcoholism.
Are you travelling abroad and have a history of alcohol dependence? Make sure that you have the right cover in place by clicking here.
What is Alcoholism
Alcoholism is an illness in which a person becomes dependent upon alcohol to function on a daily basis. Alcohol becomes a support to complete regular activities such as working and socialising. Alcohol addiction if unmanaged can lead to a multitude of health problems, such as liver disease, depression, ulcers and nerve damage.
Also: Alcohol dependence, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholic
Linked with: High LFTs, depression, liver disease, cirrhosis, delirium tremens (DT)
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have Alcoholism include:
Medications and Treatments
Further Reading and Research
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1. I don't drink alcohol during the week, only at weekends. Does this matter for Life Insurance?
Maybe. Any protection insurance application that you do will ask about your alcohol consumption. The insurer may ask how much you drink per week, per month, or at special occasions. You will be asked how many units you typically drink in those timeframes, or how many glasses of wine or pints of beer you have. For someone who doesn't drink during the week and has a bottle of wine at the weekend, the insurer is not likely to be too concerned, unless there is a history of alcoholism or significant mental health issues. But, if you don't drink during the week, and then go out on the lash downing 3 bottles of wine, 5 shots of Sambuca and 3 jagerbombs on a Saturday night, they may wonder if your liver is alright!
2. I have had issues with alcohol in the past, but I'm not an alcoholic. Do I need to tell the insurer when I apply for Life Insurance?
Most likely. Insurers will ask you what your typical alcohol consumption is for a set period of time, and if you no longer drink, or drink lightly, this wont set off any red flags. But, they will also if you have ever been advised to reduce your alcohol consumption. It is very important that if you have spoken to your GP or another medical professional about your alcohol consumption, and they have told you to reduce your drinking, that you tell the insurer. Even if it was just a brief comment during a routine appointment, you should tell the insurer, as it could be on your medical notes. If it has been noted that you need to reduce your drinking, and you don't tell the insurer, then it could affect the proceeds of any claim on your policy.
3. I was declined life insurance recently because I am a recovering alcoholic. Are there any options for me?
Yes. There are a number of options that you can look at. Firstly, you may have placed your Life Insurance application with an insurer who is not good at giving life insurance to alcoholics. You may not have been sober for long enough, or your LFT readings may be outside of their acceptance criteria. That doesn't mean that all Life Insurance is now off limits to you. We can look at other insurers on the standard market to see if you can get cover there, or if need be, there are specialist insurers who can offer you Life Insurance.
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Review by Matthew on 20th August 2018
“They were extremely helpful in sorting out a life and critical illness policy for me. Really prompt in replying to my queries, always kept me updated. Thoroughly recommend.” - 5
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