Life Insurance and Alcohol Consumption

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When an insurance shopper is looking for life insurance, it may not be as easy as they think. It isn’t a matter of just choosing the perfect policy, then buying it. The insurance companies are going to insist that those who want life insurance can qualify for it. Qualification may also depend on how much alcohol the insurance applicant consumes.

Life Insurance Companies Risks

High Risk

Insurance companies are all about evaluating how much of a risk they are taking when they are going to provide insurance coverage. Each type of insurance has its own risks. With life insurance, the risks revolve around how healthy the individual is. Also, what exists in their lifestyle that could affect their health, which in turn could affect the insurance company.

Why May Alcohol Be a Risk For Life Insurance?

Alcohol has distinct effects on the individual that consumes. What type of effects and to what degree will depend on a few factors.

The Amount of Alcohol Consumed

How much alcohol is consumed will factor into the effects it will have. Both on the short term as well as long term basis.

What Are The Life Insurance Companies Concerns?

question-mark

The life insurance companies main concerns about alcohol consumption are the long term effects. These are more likely to occur in those that consume an excess amount of alcohol over some time.

The negative physical impacts that alcohol can have are;

  • Malnutrition
  • Complications for diabetics
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Numbness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Bone thinning
  • Coordination problems
  • Birth defects
  • Stomach issues
  • Lung infections
  • Slurred speech
  • Infertility
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart damage
  • Liver damage
  • Blackouts
  • Cancer
  • Slurred speech
  • Pancreatitis
  • Brain reduction
  • Hallucinations
  • Behavior changes

In general, the insurance company is only going to be concerned about those possible effects that could lead to the Company having to pay out an insurance claim. Which would be as the result of death. Many of these conditions can occur from other causes, but the applicant has no control over this. In the insurance company’s view, the consumption of too much alcohol is creating a higher risk for ending up with these conditions which could ultimately lead to death.

Alcohol Consumption Screening

Cheers Beverage Drink

The Insurance Companies are going to want to know how much alcohol each insurance applicant consumes. To start to determine this, they will do so with a health questionnaire. Except in the cases where life insurance is offered with no medical questions asked.

The type of questions asked about alcohol consumption is going to be detailed. In most cases, they will ask about the weekly consumption of alcohol as opposed to how much individual drinks daily.

Every Insurance Company is Different

Each Insurance Company sets its own metrics when determining the risks each presents for life insurance. That is why the questionnaires that are filled out for this type of insurance may differ.

For Example:

Empire Life

This company has different questionnaires that can be filled out for life insurance. One particular one is the Adult Full Question Set.

This is an extensive questionnaire that asks many health questions, which include questions where the answers could relate to the use of alcohol.  For example, whether the applicant has…

  • Tingling or numbness of the extremities
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disorders

Then there are direct questions when it comes to the use of alcohol, such as;

  • Has the applicant had any treatment or counseling because of alcohol or drug abuse?
  • In the past 24 months have you consumed more than 21 units (glasses) of alcohol per week? If the answer is yes, then additional details about this have to be provided in another section.
  • There is also another question about whether the applicant was charged for driving a vehicle while impaired.

CPP Insurance Company

This Insurance Company also has an extensive questionnaire. Here if the applicants answer yes to some of the questions, then they are referred to another application which applies to No medical required Insurance applications.

On the standard application some of the questions related to alcohol are:

  • Within the past three years were you treated for or received medical advice for the use of drugs or alcohol.

Sun Life

Sun Life has an additional questionnaire totally dedicated to alcohol consumption. Which asks a series of detailed questions.

The Difference Between Insurance Companies

As can be seen here both contain questions about alcohol use. But, one insurance company does not indicate what stance they will take on the answers to the questions. The other indicates that the answers will defer the applicant to another form of life insurance based on no medical questions asked.

This just shows how insurance companies can differ in the way they assess their questionnaires.

Alcohol Testing

Lab Research

In addition to the health questionnaire, some life insurance companies will also want some medical tests performed, and perhaps a medical examination. In respect to testing and alcohol the blood tests that are required may test for:

  • How much alcohol is detected in the urine
  • Bioproducts as a result of alcohol metabolism
  • Metabolites that can show up in the blood as long as three to four days after consumption
  • Tests for liver abnormalities

Life Insurance for the Alcoholic

There are a lot of recovering alcoholics that at one time abused alcohol but have not done so for some time. It is possible that they may be able to qualify for life insurance. But it will depend on several factors such as;

  • The insurance company itself and whether it is willing to provide insurance for recovering alcoholics
  • How much alcohol was consumed during the active drinking period
  • How long the applicant has been abstaining
  • What type of help are they getting to remain alcohol-free
  • Any medications that are being used for alcohol addiction.
  • Any health issues that have arisen as a result of the alcohol abuse

There may be additional questions depending on the Insurance Company itself. There may also be restrictions on which packages of life insurance these individuals would be permitted to apply for.

Other Options

For those who cannot qualify for the type of life insurance, they want there are other options. Many of the insurance companies offer No medical questions asked insurance. This is much easier to qualify for in regards to those who may have problems because of alcohol consumption, or other health issues.

Resources:

https://www.empire.ca/advisor/support/underwriting/questionnaires-forms
https://www.cpp.ca/wp-content/uploads/advisor-support-pdf-forms/APP-FILL_LifeInsurance_BRKR_E_1016.pdf
https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#1
https://www.sunnet.sunlife.com/files/advisor/english/PDF/26.pdf

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