Living a life that has become dependent on alcohol is rarely a life of choice and we understand the impact it can have on an individual and the people around them. It takes tremendous strength to admit to and overcome this type of addiction and we are sympathetic towards the journey you may be on.
We empathise with the need to maintain some sort of stability too and will make it our job to find an insurer who understands your health and is supportive of your circumstances.
There's just a few things we need to know first:
You will probably have asked yourself if getting life insurance is even possible, whether you are dependent on alcohol now or have been in the past. The answer is that it could be and we can work through the options with you.
To begin with, most insurers will be looking for clarification around your current situation as well as the wider impact that your alcohol consumption has had on your general health. In some cases, it is normal for insurers to speak with your GP to establish how much your health has actually been affected.
But this is nothing to worry about. They will just be looking for information around any professional advice you may have received to reduce your alcohol consumption, the length of time you were dependent on alcohol and any signs of lasting liver damage or related mental health concerns.
And the outcomes of this could be positive for your life insurance. If you have been teetotal for a number of years and have not experienced serious side effects as a result of alcohol consumption, then it is possible that life insurance could be available on standard terms.
If, on the other hand, you do have liver damage and/or mental health concerns, you may find that your policy comes with increased premiums. There are also certain cases where life insurance with mainstream insurers may be declined but we will look at all options for you to make sure we can avoid this where possible. And in cases where alcohol dependency is still current, we will approach a specialist insurer that can hopefully provide a solution tailored to your circumstances.
But no matter what your current situation is, we would always advise you to be truthful as to the amount of alcohol you consume. Excess alcohol consumption is now detailed on death certificates, which, in certain circumstances, could lead to any claim on your policy being turned down.
If you are or have previously been dependent on alcohol, you will find that your application for critical illness cover will be approached in a very similar way to life insurance.
And even though we understand that this can be a very sensitive thing to discuss, a full picture of your current health will be sought by most insurers, including communication with your GP. Premiums are likely to fluctuate according to whether you are still dependent on alcohol and whether there are any lasting health implications - our experts can support you with whatever the outcome to make sure the cover is right for you.
So if, for example, you have any mental health concerns as a result of your alcohol consumption or complications such as liver damage, then your premiums are likely to be higher. And for any more serious side effects, we may need to explore options with a specialist insurer to get the right critical illness cover in place for you.
As with life insurance and critical illness cover, a full understanding of your current health situation is likely to be required by most insurers providing income protection to people with a history of alcohol dependency. This is simply because they need to understand the extent to which alcohol has affected your general health and as a result, your ability to perform your job in the long-term.
An insurer may look to contact your GP for clarity of this information and to understand any lasting concerns which may impact the cover they are able to offer you. If you have not been dependent on alcohol for some time, then cover may be provided on standard terms but if you have recently experienced depression or mental health problems, it may be that the policy that's available to you comes with a mental health exclusion.
An alternative that we can look into for you is to arrange Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover instead. The benefit is that it will provide a short-term monthly income replacement if you are unable to work due to illness, injury or unemployment for between 12 and 24 months.
Policies are not medically underwritten which means that you won't have to disclose any past or current dependency on alcohol but it is likely that pre-existing conditions will not be covered. This means that you wouldn't be able to claim for any loss of earnings as a result of anything related to your alcohol dependency.
Our experts can go through all of the options with you and advise on the best route for you.
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 day-to-day basis. Alcohol becomes a part of daily life and is a support to completing regular activities such as working and socialising. We understand that a dependency on alcohol can be of varying degrees but if it is ongoing for a prolonged period, it can lead to a multitude of health problems, such as liver disease, ulcers, nerve damage and depression.
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 will ask about your alcohol consumption and this may be in relation to how much you drink per week, per month, or at special occasions. You will be asked how many units you typically drink within those timeframes, or even how many glasses of wine or pints of beer you have. If you don't drink during the week but have a bottle of wine at the weekend, an insurer is unlikely to be concerned unless you have a history of alcoholism or significant mental health issues. But, if you don't drink during the week, and then go out and down 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 you will need to. Insurers will ask what your typical alcohol consumption is for a set period of time (day, week, month) and if you no longer drink, or drink lightly, this won't flag any alerts. But, they will also ask if you have ever been advised to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and if you have, you will need to declare this. Even if this was just a passing comment form your GP, it is likely to be on your medical notes so if you don't tell the insurer, 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. The best place to start is with the insurer you choose to make sure they are happy to consider providing cover to people who are or have been, alcohol dependent. It may be that your current circumstances do not fit their requirements or that your LFT readings are outside of their acceptance criteria. But this doesn't mean that all providers are off limits because as well as the standard market, we also have access to a range of specialist insurers too.
The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5.0 out of 5 based on 317 reviews.
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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