What You Need to Know About Life Insurance With DUI Arrest

Can I be approved for life insurance with a DUI on my record?

What information will  life insurance companies want to know?

Will I need to take an exam for life insurance with a DUI?

How will my life insurance underwriting grade be affected by my DUI arrest?

How much will my life insurance cost and how  accurate are the quotes I get from your quote tool? 

How can I improve my underwriting rating and lower my life insurance cost?

What are the best life insurance companies for a DUI? (with case study)

What is the application process for life insurance with a DUI history?

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 History

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.

The process of obtaining a term life insurance offer with a DWI on the record   is similar to seeking  life insurance after a heart attack,  Sleep Apnea or AFib and many other specific conditions.

Terms Lengths

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 a DUI/DWI. 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 hisory 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 or the sample rates below.  This is discussed in greater detail in the case study.

$500000 20 Year Term

Age

standard

Table  B

Table D

25

$37.24

$43.73

$56.57

30

$37.82

$46.78

$60.90

35

$38.74

$50.95

$66.09

40

$59.60

$74.36

$97.42

45

$94.63

$119.68

$157.85

$100000 10 Year Term

Age

standard

Table B

Table D

50

$23.017

$31.46

$39.90

55

33.08

$46.55

$60.03

60

50.57

$73.01

$95.63

65

78.75

$115.06

$151.38

70

146.46

$204.35

$270.75

$250000 10 Year Term

Age

standard

Table  B

Table D

25

$1392

$17.045

$21.00

30

$14.53

$17.04

$21.00

35

$14.19

$18.92

$23.555

40

$18.92

$22.90

$28.81

45

$26.25

$33.29

$42.67

$200000 20 Year Term

Age

standard

Table  B

Table D

50

$48.88

$70.045

$91.19

55

$71.31

$100.57

$132.38

60

$116.085

$163.05

$215.68

65

$206.76

$291.3175

$386.70

70

$431.29

$541.3229

$719.51

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 alcahol 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 Life Insurance Underwriting Ratings After DUI

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 Term 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. 

The medical exam is discussed in detail here. 

Some Term Life Basics:

Phone Interview

Most term carriers will have the underwriting department do a telephone interview with you. The In the case of previous stroke the conversation will be wide-ranging, and last about 20 minutes.

The purpose of the interview will be to flesh out the information that it has from your exam, medical information, and driving history. Questions will often revolve around diet and lifestyle. Answer as honestly as possible, but never "offer" unrequested information.

Riders

In addition to the period of insurance, it is essential to understand the available policy riders. Riders are additional benefits that, often for an additional cost, are included in your policy.

The five most prominent riders are listed below with links to in-depth descriptions.

  • Waiver of Premium          
  • Living Benefits      
  • Conversion Privilege    
  • Child Rider  
  • Additional Purchase Option

Contestability

While there is no waiting period for the insurance to go into effect, the insurance company has a two-year window from the policy start in which they can contest a benefit for material misrepresentation on the initial application. So, honesty is the best policy.

You can dive deep into the ins and outs of term life insurance, learning about available term lengths, riders, financial ratings, and rates. The Life Insurance Help Desk works with  the top term life insurance carriers.

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.

Male              Non Smoker            $250000

Age 50          ​Perfect Health          20 Year Term

​DUI 4 Years Ago

This looks like a preferred/standard plus/standard case. Let's take a look at some rates.

  • preferred rates
  • StandardRates
  • Standard Rates

Life Insurance Company

Monthly Payment

$ 49.44

$ 50.32

$ 51.92

$ 55.74

$ 58.05

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 it’s 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.

Burial Insurance with a DUI

Approved!That was Easy.

Some final expense or "burial insurance carriers are not concerned with DUI. In fact, most don't even ask! These "no-exam needed" burial policies are the next best choice for anyone who will not get through traditional underwriting.

The "final expense" market serves differing consumer needs. There is the need that is made obvious by the name "final expense". This term refers to a funeral, burial and miscellaneous cost tied to the rituals surrounding life's end.

Many of the buyers of these end of life policies simply want to remove any financial burden their funeral and burial would cause to their loved ones, while others want to leave a legacy.

Alternatively, the simplified issue marketplace serves as a safe harbor for people who need some life insurance, but cannot qualify for traditional term underwriting. The lenient underwriting standards of this market allow for people with severe alcoholism history to get coverage.

How the policy works will be dictated by the type of final expense or burial policy it is:

  • First-day Coverage  
  • Graded Coverage

How Final Expense Life Insurance Works with DUI

With death benefit face amounts that range from $5000-$100000, the simplified issue or "final expense " life insurance market is mostly made up of whole life insurance products. However, there several policies that have components of term policies starting to emerge. Make sure you know what you are buying!

Whether term or whole life, the calculation of the death benefit depends on if the policy is first-day coverage or graded

First day policies are straightforward, and provide a full death benefit from day 1 of the policy.

Graded policies use a two or three year period in which the benefit increases to the face amount over the contractual time period.

These policies commonly pay premiums plus interest if you die in the first year of the policy; 50% if you die after one year but before two; and full face amount after two years.

The carriers offer graded policies based on the applicant's health. These provisions are a way for the carriers to provide coverage while limiting their risk.

Graded or not, a whole life policy has a fixed premium that cannot increase and the policy stays in force until the premiums stop being paid or the insured dies.

Pricing for Burial Insurance with DUI

In addition to different underwriting standards, final expense pricing is complicated by the fact that  a lot of providers only operate in certain states. 

As a result the samples below are of limited value. You should use the final expense quote tool found here.

Male      

$25000  "Final Expense" Whole Life   1st Day Coverage 

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$40.89

65

$ 115.18

45

$ 50.87

70

$ 149.13

50

$ 56.25

75

$ 204.66

55

$ 65.56

80

$ 297.86

60

$ 85.66

85

$414.57

$15000 Final Expense" Whole Life Graded Coverage

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$40.89

65

$ 115.18

45

$ 50.87

70

$ 149.13

50

$ 56.25

75

$ 204.66

55

$ 65.56

80

$ 297.86

60

$ 85.66

85

$414.57

Female    

$15000  "Final Expense" Whole Life  1st Day Coverage 

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$ 23.49

65

$41.27

45

$ 28.56

70

$ 56.77

50

$ 23.69

75

$ 90.38

55

$ 27.83

80

$ 131.260

60

$ 31.95

85

$ 202.25

$10000 "Final Expense" Whole Life Graded Coverage

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$ 21.06

65

$28.967

45

$ 25.18

70

$ 39.30

50

$ 17.249

75

$ 89.618

55

$ 20.003

80

$ 117.89

60

$ 22.755

85

$ 179.22

No Exam, but possibly a phone interview

Many burial policy insurers will have 10-15 minute home office interviews using the telephone. They are looking for the use of prescriptions that do not come up on their prescription check and assessing cognitive function.Be alert!

Final Expense Policy Features

There are fewer riders associated with simplified issue policies than traditional term, but living benefits such as the accelerated benefit for terminal illness, and chronic illness are fairly common. Additionally, some final expense policies have a small cash component and have loan provisions.

Contestability

The contestability laws are the same for all types of life insurance policies. That is, the carrier has two years from the origination of the policy to contest the benefit payout on policy where the application contained material misstatements.

What Final Expense  Life Insurers Will Take Into Consideration with a DUI

As stated before, simplified underwriting is seldom concerned with DUI/DWI. Unlike traditional underwriting that grades on a scale, "final expense" is a yes or no proposition.

Note that "yes" is divided into first-day coverage and "graded" categories. The best DUI offers are generally not "graded". So, full coverage would begin on day 1.

Final expense policies contain "knockout" questions and prescriptions. Since DUI is not a question on many these policies, the only way to get ‘knocked out" is if you answer yes to a different "knockout" question....or a prescription for another malady  is associated with a "knock-out" diseaseThis is a circumstance that your agent can help with.

Knockout questions tend to revolve around organ transplant, heart attack, stroke, cognitive function, insulin use, amputations and some of the heavy drugs these conditions require for treatment.

Next Step For Final Expense with DUI

Because most final expense underwriting rules differ wildly, it's unusual that you can just go to the final expense quote tool and start. However, unless you have other conditions, that is exactly how to start.

Because DUI is not a   decline or "knockout" with  simplified issue carriers, the best price may actually win. Remember to use the quote tool on the "final expense" page The quote tool on this page is limited to term quotes.

Upon receiving your quote request, we will be in touch as soon as possible (often in minutes), and we will help you through the process. The whole process shouldn't take more than 30-40 minutes.

We are committed to a transparent pricing process and are happy to share a computer screen with you or send a video of the method used to get your rate. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Guaranteed life insurance for DUI

As a stand-alone condition, DUI does not require the use of guaranteed life insurance.  The only time that an applicant would need to go the guaranteed route is if the DUI was paired with a condition that could not qualify for graded a final expense policy.

If this describes your situation, keep reading.

Pricing for Guaranteed Issue policies  

Guaranteed policies should only be used as a last resort. In addition to the benefit grading provisions that make the policies toothless during the two or three year grading period, they are the most expensive policies sold.

Age

$10000

$25000

50

$44.097

$108.856

55

56.50

$138.24

60

63.17

$154.92

65

73.09

$179.73

70

93.14

$229.85

Age

$10000

$25000

50

$34.47

$84.79

55

$39.86

$96.64

60

$45.14

$109.84

65

$54.51

$133.27

70

$70.41

$173.03

How Guaranteed Life Insurance Works

With only the requirement of age (50) and citizenship, guaranteed issue life insurance policies have a death benefit that ranges from $5000-$50000. Such plans are exclusively whole life insurance.

However, all guaranteed issue policies are "graded".  Generally, the grading represents a 2 or 3 year period that the policy must be in force before a full death benefit will be paid.

 Like "final expense" policies, guaranteed policies use a two or three year period in which the benefit increases to the face amount over the contractual time period. These policies commonly pay premiums plus interest if you die if you die after one year but before two; and full face amount after two years.

Also, like the "final expense" write up says, these provisions are a way for the carriers to provide coverage while limiting their risk.

No Exam Required on guaranteed policies

There is no exam for guaranteed life insurance. After all, it's guaranteed to be issued regardless of your health.

Contestability on Guaranteed issue policies

Although the contestability laws are the same as other policies, beyond age and citizenship, it's difficult to see where contestability may arise in a guaranteed issue case.

Next Steps for Guaranteed Issue Policy with DUI

The guaranteed issue process is lightning fast and can be handled over the telephone in a matter of minutes. Give us a call or email us.

Why You Should Use an Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with 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.

          Key Takeaways

  • Access to more carriers will result in better pricing.
  • It may be worth paying slightly more if there is a strong permanent conversion product.
  • Only independent brokers have the freedom to offer the best deal at all times.

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.

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us via email.

Your Next Step


Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible, it’s time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).


Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started.


We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we’ll even share our computer screen with you if you’d like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

If you have any questions, give us a call or drop us an email.

Keywords & related questions

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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?


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James Tobin, CFP
 

Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 10 years, Jim has used his CFP-financial planning designation to help individuals with their life insurance needs. In addition to working with life insurance clients, Jim teaches ESL classes in his spare time. He resides with his beautiful wife Nicole and the 3 cats that rule their lives..