I doubt if we would get any debate if we just laid out there the statement that people who drink more than they ought to probably have a higher mortality risk compared to those who, at most, side with cardiologists who say a glass of wine with dinner is a good thing.
It’s when alcohol becomes a habit that has priority in your life, a habit that occasionally causes problems in your life, becomes an addiction that you no longer have the cardiologist vote of confidence. You’ve stepped over a line that can be life changing and without fail, not in a good way. Drunk driving often happens when people think they’re just fine. And it might be just fine if roads didn’t have such narrow lanes and all of those lines. Drinking for this life insurance agent became a problem when I finally realized that I couldn’t have one drink. It always had to be more than one and I usually drank them quickly to get a buzz. Sometimes it was more and then I just got stupid and felt terrible the next day. I quit several years ago and feel blessed that I was able to just turn it off and not go back.
Such is not the case with those who are alcoholics, addicted. They can’t so no and they can’t control themselves once they say yes. Almost always their only way out is through intervention, treatment and a support system like AA.
No surprise that life insurance underwriters have an opinion on the different levels of drinking. But it may come as a surprise that your drinking habit and history may be more evident and even boldly displayed than you might think. For instance, every life insurance application generally collects a MVR, motor vehicle report, so if you just happened to not talk about that DUI, it pops up anyway. Even if you plea bargained it to a lesser charge, underwriters have read that book. A DUI may not keep you from getting life insurance but it may delay it or make it cost more. If you’ve had multiple DUI’s you are in serious danger of being declined by everyone. Not seeing the writing on the wall is kind of a hang up with underwriters as they weigh risk.
There are also liver functions that tell a story from the exam you do for life insurance. Elevated liver functions don’t always mean you abuse alcohol, but they can mean exactly that. Most life insurance companies will run a test called a CDT if liver functions are elevated. CDT is an alcohol marker and you’re either positive or negative. Negative doesn’t mean you don’t drink, it just means you aren’t drunk every day. To have a positive CDT we’ve been told that you would have to drink more than a six pack a day for a long time. You can’t get a positive CDT from a binge or from a trip to the tropics sucking rum punch like water. It has to be prolonged and heavy. If your CDT is positive you will be declined.
Another wealth of information is from medical records. Your doctor asks about social things like whether you’re married or single, whether you smoke or not and whether you drink and if so, how much and how often. Your medical records may have reference to alcohol causing marital problems or work problems. There might be a recommendation from your doctor to get treatment. Doctors are also very good at noting whether you do anything about it once the problem is brought up.
Risk Life has looked at this life insurance issue from all perspectives. We know that people drink and drink responsibly. We know how to get you life insurance if you’ve gone over the line with your drinking, depending on which line you went over. We don’t judge. We work with the facts and the underwriters to find a solution. If you have any questions or have been turned down for, say, one DUI, call or email directly. We can help
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