Will I be tested for alcohol use when buying life insurance?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2014

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UPDATED: Nov 10, 2014Fact Checked

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Asked November 10, 2014

1 Answer

Life insurance costs are based on the perceived risks for each individual. Younger people can be expected to live longer,healthy people have fewer problems with life-threatening illness, and people who over-use drugs or alcohol are more risky than those who do not use such substances. The medical examination portion of a life insurance application is the tool that insurance companies use to determine these risks.

Since the risks associated with people who drink regularly are higher than the risks of a non-drinker, testing positive for excessive alcohol use will definitely raise your premiums, and could mean you are denied coverage altogether. The amount of your premium increase will depend on the blood test results.

The reason insurance companies test for alcohol use is because many people will falsify this portion of the application, claiming they do not drink at all, or only drink on rare occasions when they are actually consuming large quantities of alcohol on a daily basis. With a blood test, the insurance company can get an idea of how much and how a person drinks as well as identifying other potential health problems that are either caused by alcohol or exacerbated by it.

Excessive alcohol use can also lead to blood, heart and liver disease, all of which introduce additional risks for life insurance companies. In a perfect world the applicant would admit the amount of alcohol they use, but in reality the only method insurance companies have to get an accurate estimate of alcohol consumption is to test for it in the blood.

If you are applying for Final Expense life insurance, you may not be given a medical exam at all. Final Expense coverage is the only permanent life insurance policy that does not always require a medical exam, and is often promoted to those who might have trouble passing such an exam. Final Expense policies do not carry a face value, nor can you name any beneficiaries. Instead, a funeral parlor or director is named as the sole beneficiary and that company or person is then responsible for you funeral, interment, and other costs associated with you passing away.

Answered November 10, 2014 by Anonymous

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