I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2021

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Find out how a DUI affects your life insurance!

I’ve got the answers you’re looking for if you’ve been caught drinking and driving.

I’m sure you’re wondering if the charges will impact your rates!

…or maybe you’re scared you won’t be approved for life insurance at all! 

There’s no point in putting your head in the sand, we can help you find the best possible rates for your particular circumstances.

Let’s take a look at the financial implications of a DUI on your life insurance right now!

How Can a DUI Affect My Life Insurance?

man getting pulled over for a DUI

As you can imagine a DUI or DWI absolutely affects your insurance rates….and much, much more.

When you ask how a DUI affects your life, we are talking about potential time in jail, increased insurance rates across the board and suspension of your driving privileges altogether!

DUIs / DWIs are serious business ladies and gentlemen and life insurance companies see it that way too.

Let’s face it if you are drinking and driving or have done in the past, you’re seen as a higher risk.

Life insurance companies are in the business of making money so anything that indicates that your mortality will be cut short is a red flag.

You can’t blame ’em.

RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance

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Could I Be Denied Life Insurance Altogether?

When you consider how a DUI affects your life it’s important to remember that there can be some unpleasant consequences.

The question – how much does a DUI increase insurance – may be the least of your problems.

Reality Check: You might be denied life insurance completely. It really depends on your personal circumstances.

Frankly, life insurers do NOT want to see a DUI / DWI on your record in the past 12 months. If they do, most will refuse to cover you.

Oh, come on now! Nothing happened and everyone got home safe and sound.

Well, you may have just been lucky and insurers don’t factor in luck when they underwrite people. Drinking and driving is a deadly game.

Every 51 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. That equates to 27 people every day. 11 Facts About Driving Under the Influence 

With numbers like those, you can hardly blame a life insurance company if they don’t want to cover you after a recent drinking and driving incident.

The Life Insurance Questionnaire &  Blood Work

Ok, so we managed to find a life insurance company that will consider covering you after a DUI / DWI.

Let’s examine the details underwriters take into consideration.

Your underwriter will want to know how often you drink and will request GGT (Gamma Glutamyl Transferase) levels from your blood profile.

Every life insurance questionnaire asks how many alcoholic beverages you consume, what type, and how many ounces.

Normally, if you say you have a glass of wine 5 times per week with dinner, that’s fine.

That being said if you’ve been charged with a DUI, your answer will become more meaningful to the underwriter.

RELATED: Check Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age (No Personal Info Required)

If your GGT levels are elevated, the underwriter may be alerted to issues pertaining to your liver caused by excessive medication or alcohol.

According to MedHelp.org, normal GGT levels are from 2-65 U/L.  If your number is above 65 and you have a DUI on record, the underwriter may view this as proof that you drink more than you admitted to on your application.

It’s likely that the underwriter will then order a blood test called carbohydrate-deficient transferring or a CDT. If that’s positive, you’ll be declined for life insurance.

At the end of the day, it’s really a question of credibility and whether the life insurance company thinks you’re likely to drink and drive again.

Will I Be Able To Get An Affordable Life Insurance Rate With A DUI?

Each life insurance company approaches DUIs and DWIs differently!

For the most part, you won’t get the best possible rates offered until you have been DUI free for more than 5 years.

This isn’t true across the board of course.

This penalty can be imposed anywhere from 5 – 10 years after the date of your DUI. It really depends on the company.

But more often than not you will have to wait at least 5 years to qualify for the best health rating!

So if you are wondering, how much does a DUI increase insurance, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

If you’ve been DUI free for more than 5 years, in the eyes of most life insurance companies, all signs point to you being a person who doesn’t abuse alcohol while you’re driving.

Whew!

An increase in your premiums can really impact your wallet if you are in good physical health.

Over a 30 year term, you will lose thousands more than you would have had you not been arrested for drinking and driving.

Here is a list of some of the carriers that implement the 5-year policy:

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I Had a DUI Less Than 2 Years Ago, Can I Get Coverage?

If you really need life insurance and your DUI was less than 2 years ago, I have some good news.

Prudential has been known to provide coverage.

If your DUI was 2-5 years ago, your best bet for life insurance is Banner Life

They will give you a standard or standard plus rating (as long as  you physically qualify that is!) if your DUI was more than 2 years ago!

I highly suggest speaking to an independent agent at Huntley Wealth. We can assess your specific case to decide which carrier will give you the best rating and the lowest possible premiums.

There is hope. After 5 years of good behavior and minimal drinking, you should be able to qualify for the best rates with most insurers.

However there are some exceptions! Always get advice from an independent agent before you sign on the dotted line.

Some Carriers will Make You Wait Up to 10 Years Post DUI to Get the Best Rates.

NOTE: There are a handful of carriers who won’t allow a DUI in the last 10 years, such as Minnesota Life and Lincoln Benefit. Stay away from these two insurers if your DUI was between 5-10 years ago. AXA is another super stringent carrier when it comes to this issue!

How Life Insurance Companies Rate Multiple DUI’s  – Real Life Example

I got a call from a 33 year old man looking for $500,000 in term life insurance coverage last week.

He’s healthy as an ox, a non smoker, no hazardous activities, good build, no history of family disease or deaths due to cancer or heart problems.

So he’s easy to insure, right?  Nope. He’s got one BIG problem.

Every life insurance application these days asks if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked in the past 5 years, or if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or DWI.

If you answer yes, your ability to get insured with most carriers vanishes.

This man had his license suspended after three DUI’s!

You can see how life insurance carriers would tread lightly here since someone’s chance of dying in a car wreck is higher if they drink and drive.

That’s why a lot of insurance companies decline you with a recent DUI.

Thankfully, there are a few carriers who will consider your situation if you’ve had a DUI inside of 5 years, even if your license has been revoked.

The problem with this prospect is that he has a record of drinking and driving and racked up an incredible 3 DUI’s over the past 11 years!

My client’s story has a silver lining though. The DUIs were brought on by alcoholism and hasn’t had a drop to drink in the past 5 years.

In addition, he’s been attending AA meetings for the past 5 months.

Hmmm, sounds fishy – is he falling off the wagon?

Nope, he wants to document his sobriety so he can get his driver’s license back in a few years.

So I guess this guy is out of luck right?

Nope!

We managed to get him an offer, albeit with some pretty steep premiums despite his history of DUIs.

My advice is, don’t assume you will be declined. More often than not Huntley Wealth finds a way to get even the toughest cases approved.

To get him insured, I shopped out the case to lots of underwriters and got the following feedback:

  • First of all, attending AA meetings just for appearance sake doesn’t bode well for him in the eyes of insurance underwriters. They only see that he’s still in treatment for alcoholism. One company’s underwriter told me they wouldn’t even consider him until two years after he completes his AA program.
  • Secondly, a lot of carriers will not offer insurance to him because he doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.
  • Finally, insurers looked favorably upon his complete cessation of drinking alcoholic beverages.

AND We’ve Got an Offer!

One carrier agreed to offer a standard, table D since he abstained for such a long period of time. The catch was his abstinence had been documented in his medical records.

If my client can provide this information, then we have a case.

If you want something to be noted in your medical records, I suggest booking an annual physical. During your appointment, tell your doctor that you quit drinking and you’d like it added to your file.

You might be asking “Can’t he avoid all this by applying to a life insurance carrier that doesn’t ask about the DUI or license suspension/revocation on the application?”.

He already tried that and it doesn’t work. Even if you are lucky enough to find a simplified application that doesn’t ask about that specifically, the insurance company will still pull an MVR (motor vehicle report) and see your license has been suspended. There’s no getting around it I’m afraid!

Where to Start if You Have a DUI

We cannot stress enough the importance of life insurance.

Choosing the right product at the most affordable possible price is best achieved through using the services of an independent life insurance agent, such as those at Huntley Wealth.

Independent agents have access to multiple companies. We know which insurers offer the best rates when it comes to obtaining life insurance for those that have had DUI’s.

Call us today at 888-603-2876 if you think you need life insurance because we can help!