Alcoholism and Over 50 Life Insurance {What You Need To Know}

Written by Ryan Cravitz

A recent JAMA Psychiatry study revealed that 32 Million Americans, or one in seven adults, have struggled with Alcoholism.

In fact, close to one-third of U.S. adults have abused alcohol at some point during the course of their lives.

Are you someone that has struggled with Alcoholism, now or in the past? Are you currently shopping for life insurance even though you have a history of alcohol dependence?

If so, you’ve come to the right place for help in finding affordable life insurance for people over 50.

I’ve helped many people secure the best life insurance policy for them to protect their families from financial ruin….despite the stigma of Alcoholism.

Life insurers realize consuming alcohol is not a 100% guarantee of premature death.

Having said that, carriers will still look closely at your history of alcohol use to determine if your overuse of alcohol created any chronic medical conditions or dangerous behaviors that could lead to an early death.

Alcoholics may receive a life insurance rating anywhere between a Substandard Table Rating all the way to a Preferred Rating.

In this article you will learn everything you need to know when applying for life insurance over the age of 50 with a history of alcoholism.  

Insurance Rating Preview: Alcoholism

I put together this preview of how many insurance companies will rate applicants with a history of Alcoholism.

  • Impact on Application: Possibly Significant
  • Best Rating: Standard (Average Premium) to Preferred (Premier Premium)
  • Worst Rating: Substandard/Table Rating (minimum of 25% rate up)
  • Main Factor: Length of sobriety, Legal and Physical Complications

Remember, the rate class you will be approved for will be based on a variety of factors….not just your Alcoholism!

Common Life Insurance Rate Classes for Alcoholism

So let me first make sure you understand how the rate classes work with life insurance.

Most people don’t realize there are so many possible rate classes they could be approved for.  

Plus, they aren’t aware how the rate class they are approved for affects their monthly premium.

I’ll break it down for you here so you are well-informed when shopping for the best life insurance you can get once you’ve gotten into your 50’s or older.  

First, let’s start with this overview of all the possible rate classes, the criteria for assigning each rate class, and how the rate class affects the pricing.

RatingReason For RatingPremium Pricing
Preferred PlusHealthiest, Lowest Risk ApplicantsBest Pricing Possible
PreferredVery Healthy, Low RiskBetter Than Average
StandardControlled Medical ConditionAverage Pricing
Sub-Standard (aka Table Rating)Chronic Illness (Moderate to Severe)Below Average Pricing, about a 25% rate up per Table

Understand that one company could approve you at standard and another company could approve you at table 3.  

Rely on me to help you determine the right company for you to apply with.   

I’m very familiar with all the best life insurance companies for people over 50 and how they may view your application.

Keep in mind, the best company for you is the one that will look at your application most favorably.

Recovering Alcoholics

Less than 2 years of recovery: Most likely the life insurer will POSTPONE/HOLD your application until you’ve reached at least 2 years of sobriety.

This is because there’s a risk you may relapse and begin abusing alcohol again.

Insurance companies approach individuals in this category cautiously.

Your application will be put to the side until you get a 2 year sobriety chip.

2-5 years of recovery: Life insurers prefer applicants that have surpassed the 5 year mark.

Since you haven’t quite made it that far, you should expect a Substandard/Table Rating of 1 to 10. This means anywhere from 25% to 250% premium rate up.

5-10 years of recovery: Well-documented recovery with few health issues will put you in a good spot to receive anywhere from a Substandard Table 3 (75% rate up) to a Standard Rating (average premium).

Over 10 years of recovery: Life insurers will look closely at your recovery (checking for any relapses), as well as your overall health. At this point, you may qualify for a Standard Rating (average premium).  

For some insurance companies, you could even get a Preferred Rating (the lowest premium).

Ratings for Current Drinkers

Insurance companies will assign you a Substandard Table Rating (minimum 25% premium rate up) if you are considered a “high risk” drinker.

What does that mean exactly? Well….

Insurers usually follow the Alcohol guidelines set forth by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA).

Individuals that meet or exceed this criteria are considered high risk:

  • Men that consume more than 4 drinks daily or more than 14 drinks per week
  • Women that consume more than 3 drinks per day or more than 7 drinks per week

It’s important that you are 100% honest when you answer questions about your alcohol use. Lying never works out in the long run.

Plus, there’s no reason to lie. No matter how your Alcoholism has changed your life or health, we’ll most likely be able to find you a life policy.

There are lots of unique life insurance plans on the market.  I can help match you to the right one.

Alcoholism Case Studies

Let’s take a look at a few case studies. This will give you a clearer picture of how Alcoholism impacts life insurance ratings.

Case Study #1

Sally is a 55 year old female, non-smoker. She has been sober for 3 years. Sally has no other health issues and generally leads a low-risk lifestyle.

Sally received a Substandard/Table Rating of 3 and will pay a 75% rate up in premium.

Case Study #2

Mark is a 61 year old male, non-smoker. He has been sober for 10 years and 2 months. What will Mark’s life insurance rating be?

Mark received a Standard Rating. He pays the basic (average) premium for his policy.

Case Study #3

Janice is a 63 year old female, non-smoker. She participates in a weekly bowling league. While bowling every Saturday afternoon, Janice usually enjoys several drinks. She also likes to have a glass of wine with dinner every night.

As a result, Janice typically has more than 7 alcoholic beverages per week. She estimates it’s consumes around 10 alcoholic drinks per week.

Janice received a Substandard/Table Rating of Level 2. She pays a 50% rate up in premium.

Basic Life Insurance Information

Life insurers will ask for basic applicant information like the following:

  • Age
  • Height and Weight
  • Job
  • Drug use
  • Medical and Surgical history
  • Past and current prescriptions
  • Hospitalizations
  • Family health history
  • Preferred hobbies
  • Driving record
  • Tobacco Use

Did you know smokers receive “tobacco rates” which are often a lot higher than non-smoker rates?

Of course, if you gave up using tobacco at least 12 months ago then you would qualify for non-smoker rates instead.

Each life insurance company handles tobacco products differently. In fact, some insurers will even ignore infrequent pipe or cigar use.

The Alcohol Questions

Below is a list of possible alcohol-related questions you may come across when applying for life insurance. Check them out….

  1. Do you currently consume alcohol?
  2. If so, how many alcoholic drinks do you have per day? And per week?
  3. Has a physician ever recommended you get treatment for alcohol abuse?
  4. If you don’t drink alcohol currently, when was the last time you did?
  5. Have you ever gone into alcohol rehabilitation treatment for abusing alcohol?
  6. If so, when did you go into rehab for alcohol?
  7. How long have you been sober?
  8. Have you experienced any relapses? If so, can you please tell us more about the relapse(s)?
  9. Do you attend Alcoholics Anonymous or another program?
  10. Have you ever received a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) citation?
  11. Have you been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, B, or C?
  12. Have you been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder?
  13. Has your alcohol use caused any ongoing medical conditions?

The Alcohol Medical Tests

Most life insurance carriers will review medical records (or even put you through a medical exam).

The life insurer will check for the below test results to help determine if you are suffering from Alcoholism and are, in fact, a high risk applicant.

  • GGT – Alcohol Marker: A test that checks for elevated liver markers which indicates consuming excessive alcohol, drugs, etc.

Normal range of GGT is 0-45 U/L

  • Liver Function Test: This test looks at Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) which is a type of protein the liver produces to prevent cirrhosis.

Normal CDT levels are lower than 1.7 percent

CDT levels will return to normal after abstaining from alcohol for a minimum of 30 days, possibly as much as 60 days.

You can’t have an elevated CDT result from just one night of heavy drinking.

Don’t Wait, Apply Today!

Regardless of when you stopped using alcohol…the time is now to apply for life insurance coverage.

Waiting until you’ve completed 5 years of sobriety is NOT a good idea!

In the meantime, you could relapse, your health could decline, your age will advance (which will increase your price)….or worst of all, you could die.

Now that you know all the facts about applying for over 50 life insurance with Alcoholism, take the next step and get the application process started

It will give you and your family peace of mind.

To get started give me a call.  I look forwarding to an opportunity to help you protect your family.  

And if you like complete a 50+ life insurance quote.

Over50LifeInsure
Over50LifeInsure

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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