Seeing how in 2016 alone nearly 1 million drivers were arrested under the influence, it’s not all that difficult to imagine why we here at IBUSA get so many folks calling us asking…
“If their previous DUI is going to prevent them from being able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy?”
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the most common questions we get from folks who have previously been charged or convicted of a DUI.
Shed some light on how this may affect their ability to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy.
Questions that will be addressed in this article will include:
- Can someone with a DUI qualify for life insurance?
- What factors will come into play when determining who will and won’t qualify for coverage?
- What kind of “rate” can one qualify for?
- What can someone do if they can’t qualify for life insurance right now?
- What can I do to improve my chances of qualifying for the “best” rate possible?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Can someone with a DUI qualify for life insurance?
Yes, individuals that have received a DUI or a DWI (depending on what state you live in) can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy.
In fact, some folks may even be able to qualify for a no medical exam life insurance policy as well. The only problem is that having been convicted of a DUI is also one of the leading causes for a “healthy” person to be DENIED life insurance or POSTPONED coverage as well.
In the eyes of the life insurance industry as a whole, being arrested for a DUI is a very serious matter.
It’s serious because not only could you potentially harm or kill yourself in an accident, being arrested for a DUI could also be a sign of other “risk factors” as well.
Risk factors including:
The possibility that you may have a substance abuse problem or the very real possibility that if you were to be arrested for a second DUI that you could possibly go to jail!
How life insurance companies aren’t all that interested in assuming unnecessary risk, it’s easy to see why most of the top rated life insurance companies are going to be a bit “nervous” about insuring anyone who has been arrested for one DUI (not to mention two or three!)
This is why
Once a life insurance company learns that you have been arrested for a DUI, their going to want to ask you a whole series of questions about it so that they can get a better idea about whether or not you will be an acceptable risk to them to insure.
What factors will come into play when determining who will and won’t qualify for coverage?
Factors that will certainly come into play when determining whether or not you will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy will include:
- How many DUI’s have you received?
- What was the date of your last DUI?
- How many DUI’s have you received in the past 10 years?
- Have any of your DUI’s been considered a “felony” DUI?
- Was anyone injured or harmed in any of your DUI’s?
- Was your impaired driving caused by alcohol or due to some type of drug (such as marijuana)?
- Do you have any other issues on your driving record?
- Have you been convicted of any other felonies or misdemeanors?
- Do you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?
- Is your driver’s license valid today?
From there, we’ll generally have a pretty good idea of whether or not your DUI is going to keep you from being able to qualify for coverage.
For the record, we should make it clear that while many life insurance companies will have pretty set guidelines for how they like to underwrite applications from individuals who have been arrested for a DUI, how they apply those guidelines on a case by case basis can vary.
Which means that…
While it may be “technically” correct that someone may be able to “theoretically” qualify for coverage, until we have a commitment from an insurance company, we don’t like to make any “guarantees.” This is because, as we said before, insurance companies get nervous about those who have been arrested for a DUI particularly if that DUI occurred rather recently.
For this reason…
What you’re likely going to find is that even the most lenient life insurance companies are still going to deny anyone applying for a traditional life insurance if their DUI occurred within the past 2 years.
And in situations…
Where someone may have two or more DUI’s this waiting period will need to be at least five years. This, of course, only applies if an applicant has no other “issues” relating to alcohol or substance abuse.
What kind of “rate” can one qualify for?
Let’s just take a moment and assume that someone is eligible for coverage. It’s been over two years since their one and only DUI and they are in perfect health. In cases like these, with only two years since their DUI, chances are the “best” rate that they would be able to qualify for would be a Standard or normal rate.
It’s possible that someone like this may be able to qualify for a Standard Plus or better rate later on down the road, however for someone to be able to qualify for such a rate, they would most likely need to wait 5 or 10 years since their one and only DUI.
As for those…
With multiple DUI’s what you’re generally going to find is that you’re probably going to need to wait a minimum of 5 years before you will first be considered eligible for coverage.
And even then, we should warn you that it may still be difficult to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance coverage. This is why some folks who have received multiple DUI’s in the past may need to seek out an “alternative” product instead of a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
What can someone do if they can’t qualify for life insurance right now?
Depending upon whether or not someone may be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy later on in his or her life, it may make sense to consider purchasing an “alternative” product such as an Accidental Death Policy or a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy.
This is because…
Neither of which will deny someone for having been convicted of driving while under the influence.
“Which is a good thing!”
The only problem is that both of these “types” of products will have their own unique pros and cons associated with them. This is why it’s important that if you are considering purchasing either an accidental death policy or a guaranteed issue life insurance policy that you work with an agent who is open and honest about how these “types” of products work.
This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…
What can I do to improve my chances at qualifying for the “best” rate possible?
Probably the number one thing that you can do to ensure that you get the “best” possible rate out there is to first take your time and make sure that you “shop” your options. This means that you should be sure that the insurance agent that you choose to work with not only has plenty of experience helping folks with previous DUI’s get insured, they also have access to dozens of different insurance companies so that they don’t have to rely on just one or two options.
Insurance companies aren’t only going to be interested in the fact that you’ve been convicted of a DUI.
They’re also going to be concerned about a wide variety of other potential issues, including whether or not you’ve also been diagnosed with any pre-existing medical conditions or whether or not your family has a history of developing certain medical conditions.
This is why…
It’s so important to work with a true life insurance professional, that will not only have the skills and expertise to help guide you towards the right company but also has the “access” to those companies as well! So, if you’re ready to see how we can help, just give us a call!