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Life Insurance With A DUI or DWI
When you are buying term life insurance, your health history is not the only factor that company underwriters will consider to approve your application and determine your rates. Several other factors, including your driving record, can play a role in how much you pay for coverage and whether or not you are considered too much of a risk to insure. While minor moving violations like a speeding or a stop sign violation will not have a significant affect on you rates, applicants who have DUIs or DWIs on their driving record may pay higher premiums. Find out how past mistakes like a DUI or DWI can affect not only your rates, but also your insurability by reading on.
Why Do Life Insurance Companies Look At DUIs?
Life insurance companies, like companies offering all lines of insurance, look at risk to assess the rates an applicant will pay. Any applicant that poses more risk will pay the consequences by paying premiums. While not all mistakes will affect your premiums for life insurance, some mistakes will, and one of these mistakes is getting a DUI.
When you apply for life insurance, your insurance agent or broker is likely to ask you a long list of questions to review your insurability. One of these questions will more than likely ask whether or not you have been convicted of a DUI in the last 3 to 5 years. If you answer yes to this question, underwriters may look at you closely to see if you are known for being a risky individual. After all, drinking and driving puts both your life at risk and the life of others on the road at risk as well. This could be a less serious one-time mistake, or a more serious problem that can lead to injury or death in the unforeseen future.
Will Having a DUI Disqualify You For Coverage?
While having a DUI will make you a higher risk candidate, it does not necessarily mean that you will not qualify for coverage. Based on the guidelines of most insurance companies, anyone with a DUI in the last 3 to 5 years may qualify for standard or table-rated policies, but not the best health ratings that offer sizable premium discounts. If you do not have any other blemishes affecting your history and no medical conditions, your premiums may still be low cost and very affordable with a standard rating.
If you do have a poor health history and the company is willing to offer you table rated coverage, you may pay a surcharge per thousand dollars of coverage you receive. You may not qualify for special preferred and super preferred ratings, which will lower your premiums, until at least 5 years after you received the DUI. This is because the length of time shows that you have learned from your mistake and the signs show that you more than likely do not have a drinking problem that will affect the choices that you make in the future.
When Will You Be Declined For a Prior DUI?
Not all applicants will be approved for coverage with a prior DUI on their driving record. During the underwriting process, you may be asked to complete a short medical exam which involves taking your blood and checking your vitals. When the lab reviews your blood, the life insurance company may order a special test for applicants with a DUI to test the levels of Gamma Glutamyl Transferase in the blood to see if you are abusing alcohol. If the levels are elevated, this may be a cause of concern to the underwriters. You may be asked to take a more comprehensive test called a CDT. If this test comes back positive, it is a sign of liver damage caused by excessive drinking and there is a good chance that your application will be denied.
How Recent DUIs Affect Your Premiums
Failing to list your DUI on your application is called false material misrepresentation. Make sure you answer honestly and be prepared to deal with the consequences when you are applying for insurance. If you have a recent DUI that occurred within the last 1 to 2 years, many companies will deny you for coverage because they cannot assess your behavior after the DUI. Just be sure to do business with a brokerage who knows the guidelines and requirements, and make sure to disclose the correct dates so that your quotes are accurate.
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