Alcohol and drug abuse - Can I still get life insurance?

How would a history of alcohol and substance (drug) abuse affect a life insurance application?

Our client

We were approached by a client who wanted to help his wife (aged 36) take out a life insurance policy. Our client told us that his wife had a history of alcohol and substance (drug) abuse 10 years previously, which had resulted in a two-week visit to the Priory Clinic. Since then, she has had two further bouts of depression requiring anti-depressant medication.

Our process and advice

At Future Proof, we have access to specialist insurance companies who don’t deal directly with the public. These companies offer more specialised policies, designed to provide cover where other major providers can’t.

Our research process involves us contacting many insurers to find out the best possible outcome for our clients. Which avoids any nasty shocks later on during the underwriting process.

Would the insurer add a ‘loading’ to their standard premium? (this is an additional sum charged on top of their standard monthly premium to reflect their additional risk). Or, exclude a condition?

Might they decline the application? We want to avoid wasting time by making applications which may be declined.

We have up to date knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of underwriting for all providers in the UK. We are committed to thorough research so that you don’t have to. What’s more, our advice comes at no obligation and with no hidden costs.  You don’t pay us directly but we do get paid by the insurer if you decide to start a policy with them.

The underwriting process

We helped our client complete an application and the insurer wrote to her GP for additional information.

This is one of the rare cases where despite our research, the insurer decided to decline the application.  However, we challenged their decision because  the history of abuse dated back to nearly 10 years earlier.  We discovered that buried in her medical evidence there was proof that she had suffered no lasting psychological or physical damage, nor was there any evidence of addiction.

The insurers underwriting department then requested that she attend a medical so that they could obtain an up to date blood test result.

The results of this test were then referred to their Chief medical officer, and subsequently to their re-insurers, (an insurance company for insurance companies).

The outcome

The provider finally, changed their original decision and offered her the full cover with the smallest premium increase (loading) they could apply.

Her premium increased from the quoted standard premium of £25 to £37 per month.  On a positive note, this was an outstanding result considering that all the insurers we approached were unwilling to offer her any cover at the outset. She now has a life insurance policy with a sum assured of £250,000 until she reaches the age of 75.

All our case studies are based on actual client scenarios, many of which pre-date 2020.  We are confident that the acceptance decision made by the insurers would still be offered, although it is likely that the rates will have changed, your own circumstances will determine whether what amount will be payable by you and would be fully discussed with you before any plan is implemented.

Please note that any premiums mentioned are indicative only and based on this specific case study/ example, which is shown for information purposes only. Your own circumstances will determine whether the amount payable is more or less than the figure quoted.

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online, we would recommend you speak to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account your circumstances and medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof

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Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

Links to third-party websites exist for information only, and we accept no responsibility or liability for the information contained on any such sites.
The existence of a link to another website does not imply or express
endorsement of its provider, products or services by us or St. James’s Place.

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