Life Insurance With DUI/DWI On Driving Record
By James P. Tobin ®
Last Updated on
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Expert review of Life Insurance After DUI
Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance With A DUI/DWI History
Can I be approved for life insurance with a DUI/DWI on my driving record?
Every applicant for life insurance with a DUI on their record can be approved for a policy.
However, the type of policy that can be approved, and the rates charged, will depend on the nature of your DUI history, the time elapsed since the incident, and your overall health.
What information will life insurance companies want to know?
In addition to the usual health questions and exam, underwriting will pull a driving history report (MVR) and look for suspensions and major infractions.
The application will ask if you have been convicted of DUI in the last 5-10 years depending on the carrier. Be truthful, as the MVR will report the incident even if it was expunged in criminal court.
Applications with a DUI will generally be scrutinized for elevated for excessive alcohol use. This scrutiny will be applied to liver enzyme tests-noting that elevated enzymes can be a marker for over use.
Additionally, you may be asked to take a questionnaire about frequency of alcohol consumption
Will I need to take an exam for life insurance with a DUI/DWI on my driving record?
In order to get the best rates possible you may need to take an exam. DUI cases in which there are no obvious medical issues will be eligible for no-exam underwriting. However, applications seen as health risks will require an exam.
The exam is a para-medical exam that collects blood and urine samples. The exam is administered at no cost by a travelling nurse and can be done at your choice of location.
If it turns out that simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies are the best fit for your application, no exam will be required. See How Term Life Insurance Works for more on the exam.
How will my life insurance underwriting grade be affected by my DUI arrest?
The rates you pay for tem insurance are dependent on the underwriting class you are graded by the carrier.
Likely Underwriting Ratings for DUI
Assuming that you are otherwise in great health, your underwriting rating will come down to the carrier chosen.
This is because some carriers ?will not make offers at Preferred/Preferred Best without 7 years between DUI and application. Other carriers will allow for preferred rates after 5 years.
If there is less time between DUI and application, underwriting gets tougher. An application 2 years after only DUI will likely "top out" at standard/standard plus rates.
There are a very limited number of carriers who will go standard with less than 2 years between DUI and application.
Also, note that with the exception of expensive simplified issue policies, there are no "n??o exam??" options for applicants with a DUI history.
These cases tend to find their way into the simplified issue/final expense category. Available, but far more expensive than traditional life insurance.
How much will my life insurance cost and how accurate are the quotes I get from your quote tool?
The cost of your life insurance will depend on the type of insurance you qualify for, please see the examples of
The quotes you receive from the quote tool on this site are 100% accurate for the information inputted. That is to say, if you get the rate class correct- your rate will be correct. The problem with online tools is that people generally think they are inn better or worse shape than is reality.
If you are unsure about rate class you should choose a range and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Alternatively, you can fill out the customized quote form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
How can I improve my underwriting rating and lower my life insurance cost?
The most effective ways to improve your life insurance rating are to use an agent that has access to the companies that will view you most favorably and to take care of your health.
See Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with a DUI to better understand the reason to use an independent agent.
As far as lifestyle goes, if you take diet and exercise seriously along with limiting alcohol and quitting smoking (if you smoke), it should be reflected in your blood markers.
Your liver enzyme results will be particularly scrutinized if you have a DUI as a part of your record.
What are the best life insurance companies for a DUI/DWI? (with case study)
Life insurance companies have differing appetites for specific risks. These appetites are reflected in underwriting and ultimately pricing. Simplified issue carriers will be state dependent and three of the better known term carriers for dealing with a previous DUI are Prudential, American General (AIG), and Banner.
However, risk appetite can, and does, change and the only way to guarantee the best possible deal is to work with an experienced independent agent. see the case study here to get a clear understanding.
For a comprehensive look at the best life insurance carriers see our post on carrier rankings. This post delves into financial ratings, company history and customer service.
What is the application process for life insurance with a DUI history?
Regardless of your pre existing condition, the application process is largely the same. The life insurance application process is an eight step process that includes choosing your terms, picking a carrier, possibly submitting to the exam, and signing documents (digital signatures accepted). The entire 8 step process is laid out for you here.
So you probably figured that getting a DUI affects life insurance rates, but you need to know how much.
These eight questions should help you get the answers. For a more in depth look at life insurance with a DUI history, continue reading below the quick answers or click the links above.
Traditional Term Life Insurance With DUI On Driving Record
While preferred rates are possible, it's not uncommon for applicants to receive substandard or "table rated" offers. The severity of the rating, and corresponding price, can vary significantly.
Therefore, it's important that you use an agent that is experienced with DUI/DWI cases, and has access to the carriers most likely to be receptive.
Primarily, term life insurance is available for lengths ranging from 5 years to 30 years with 20-year terms being the most popular. Term policies usually have a minimum face amount of $50000, and the policies terminate at the end of the term period or can be renewed annually at a vastly increased rate.
pricing For Term Life Insurance
At the top of this article we stated that any body can be approved for affordable life insurance with DUI/DWI on driving record.
Note, however, we mention "affordable" rather than "inexpensive" or "low cost". The reason for the distinction is that all too often, life insurance with a DUI is not cheap life insurance.
In fact, because the coverage can be expensive on a per benefit dollar basis, the benefit is reduced to make the life insurance affordable. While this is often not an ideal situation, the truth is we all have to live within our budgets, and sometimes the way to make life insurance with a DUI history affordable is to reduce either the term of coverage or the benefit amount.
The difficult part of term life insurance with a DUI history is finding the best deal. This is because different carriers have differing appetites for certain kinds of risks. As a result navigating this process is not as easy as using a quote tool. This is discussed in greater detail in the case study.
What Carriers Will Want To Know
Because life insurance carriers all have differing appetites for DUI risks, they will want to know everything they can about your DUI arrest history, including the number of arrests/convictions, suspensions,the time elapsed and even the blood alcohol reading in some cases.
Additionally carrier underwriting departments will want put an emphasis on driving history and any record of drug or alcohol abuse.
Lastly, carriers will want to know about any other health or occupational risks that would be examined in any life insurance application.
Because carriers all have different appetites for specific risks, and they price policies with underwriting classes, the only way to guarantee the best offer is to shop with an agent who has access to lots of carriers.
As an example of the pitfalls of not working with an independent agent, imagine if your the "captive"agent works for a carrier who is more stringent on DUI and takes the application anyway, who does this work out for?
Certainly not you, the customer, or your family.
It only works out for the agent who had a financial incentive to send your application to the "home" company.
If you later found out you could have saved 35% had he been able (and willing) to send your application to a different carrier, how would you feel?
Probably Angry, at both the agent and yourself.
Avoid this situation with an experienced independent agent.
Possible Underwriting For Life Insurance With DUI/DWI On Driving Record
Your underwriting rating for a DUI/DWI history can be anywhere from Preferred plus to Table B or even an outright decline. The determining factors are time elapsed and number of violations.
For instance, applicants with a DUI more than 5 years ago will qualify for a preferred plus rating assuming all other health risks are excellent. If the time elapsed is less than 5 years, the best rating will likely be standard plus.
Applicants with a DUI/DWI less than a year old will likely be table rated. Similarly, applicants with multiple offences will face table ratings (or declines) without 7-10 years having elapsed.
Best Life Insurance Carriers For Applicants With DUI
The current carrier with the most lenient DUI/DWI policy is probably Prudential.
However, this is subject to change at any time due to carriers adjusting their risk appetites. For this reason you should consult an independent agent prior to applying.
Additionally, you should make sure your agent is aware of anything that may affect the underwriting decision. Every case is different and carriers view them all individually. A great cover letter addressing the issue can be the difference between ratings.
No Medical Exam Life Insurance With A DUI
The term life insurance market is quickly adopting accelerated underwriting programs that do not require a medical exam as part of the application process. However, these no exam or non-med policies may not be available if you have had any medical issues related to your DUI. An example of this would be substance abuse treatment.
If the no exam option is not available, you will be required to take a para-medical exam. The exam is usually a 15-20 minute meeting with a nurse. Your exam will consist of a blood draw, a urine sample, and height and weight recorded.
DUI Life Insurance Case Study
The following example demonstrates why using an independent agent when shopping for life insurance with a DUI (or any other situation) is imperative.
20 Year Term
DUI 4 Years Ago
This looks like a preferred/standard plus/standard case. Let's take a look at some rates.
This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates Prudential is 12.5% more expensive than Lincoln.
On its face this seems like a pretty straight forward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple.
This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent.
For people who have a DUI or any other serious issue, it gets much more complicated.
Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a preferred plus risk and which ones will grade you as standard.
In the case above Prudential (the most expensive rate) is likely to be the best deal because they would rate the applicant as preferred.
This is something you can't know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this hypothetical using an independent agent could save you 28.5% (the difference between Pru @ Preferred and Lincoln @ standard.
Process For Term Life application With A DUI/DWI
Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate post DUI term life insurance quote possible, it's time to begin the application process. The term process is outlined "step by step for you in the Life Insurance Buying Guide.
The Help Desk is committed to transparent pricing (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like) and making the application process as painless as possible.
Why You Should Use An Independent Agent When Shopping For Life Insurance With A DUI/DWI
In addition to reassuring you that life insurance is attainable with a dui in your past, this article pointed out that insurance companies have different pricing and underwriting standards from one another.
Furthermore, these underwriting differences are a reflection of the company's appetite for a specific health risk. For example, Prudential Financial may have more of an appetite for the risk that DUI presents than say, Banner.
In this case, the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that you could have gotten a rate 35% or 45% better, how would you feel? You'd probably be sad like the puppy or mad at the agent or yourself or both.
So it's crucial that your Agent represent multiple carriers. In fact, most good independent agents will have access to over 40 or 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at the best rate.
Your Next Step
Thank you for choosing the Life Insurance Help Desk to research life insurance with a DUI. We are committed to a totally transparent process (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.
Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible for life insurance with DUI/DWI on driving record, it's time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).
Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us via email.
Bonus: The Most Common Mistakes made buying life insurance and how to avoid them
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- Can I get life insurance with a DUI?
- How expensive is life insurance after a DUI?
- Can you get life insurance with multiple DUI's?
- Can I get no exam life insurance with a DUI?