Alcohol Abuse and Insurance

When alcohol abuse has had a negative impact on your life and health, the last thing you often consider is the likely impact it will have on your ability to obtain life insurance or income protection insurance.

If you have a history of alcohol abuse and you are having trouble finding cover, let our insurance experts at Special Risk Managers help you find the cover you need. We have a long history of working with a range of different insurance companies. We know the industry and we can provide expert advice and insurance options to suit your specific needs.

Many insurance companies hold strict guidelines when it comes to approving life insurance and income protection insurance applications for individuals with a history of alcohol dependence. This is why it is worthwhile approaching us at Special Risk Managers to find the right insurance company and policy to cover you despite past alcohol abuse.




About Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol can be relatively harmless when consumed in moderation, however there can be long-term negative impacts if drinking alcohol occasionally transforms into an alcohol dependence.

Alcohol dependence is where the need to drink becomes the main priority in a particular situation or in person’s life. When gripped by alcohol dependence, drinking becomes more important than other things in life that may have previously been seen as a priority.

The degree of dependence a person can have ranges greatly. Some may find that it is a little difficult to hold back on having one drink a day or to binge drink regularly while others find it difficult not to have multiple drinks at a time, even if the situation doesn’t warrant any alcohol consumption.

Alcohol dependence tends to develop over time and at first, it may not be seen as a problem. However, the dependency can become worse and be of increased concern over time. Alcohol dependence could even develop further into a physical dependence on alcohol, also commonly referred to as ‘alcoholism’. Alcoholism is a severe dependence where the person only feels like they can function whey they are drinking and if they stop drinking, they go through withdrawal. Withdrawal is a negative physical reaction directly related to ceasing the consumption of alcohol.

If you need help recovering from alcohol dependence, there is Help and Support available across Australia from a range of organisations.


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Contributing Factors for Alcohol Dependence

Many Australians drink alcohol regularly in social culture without it developing into an addiction, however there are a number of factors that contribute to the development of an alcohol dependence for some individuals. The highest contributing factors for abusing alcohol includes:

– Stress related to home or work situations

– Personal relationships issues

– Past experiences that are hurtful or traumatic

– An underlying health issue or mental health disorder

– Family History


Common Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence

If you or a loved one is afflicted by alcohol dependence or alcoholism, there is a range of common symptoms you may recognise:

– A craving to drink alcohol

– Difficulty controlling how much alcohol is consumed

– Tolerance to alcohol is increased

– Health, work or relationships are harmed however alcohol consumption continues

– Neglecting work and social tasks due to alcohol

– Withdrawal occurs when drinking stops


Negative Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Although some serious health conditions can result from alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol abuse can also be concerning due to the behavioural outcomes which may result in early death. Some examples of how being alcohol abuse could threaten your life and health include:

– Cirrhosis of the liver

– Fatty liver

– Increased risk of cancer

– Increased risks of cardiovascular disease

– Dementia

– Mental health issues

– Drunk Driving

– An accident occurring as a result from alcohol-induced impairment

– Putting yourself in hazardous or dangerous situations while drunk

– Taking part in hazardous or dangerous activities while drunk

These factors combined with the potential health risks can result in insurance companies increasing rates or declining life insurance. An insurance company needs assurance that you will live for a long time, and these factors greatly hinder this.


How Alcohol Abuse is Determined and Assessed for Insurance

When searching for and applying for a life insurance or income protection insurance policy with a history of alcohol abuse, you may realise it can be difficult to obtain at a desirable premium and in some circumstances it can be difficult to obtain at all. The outcome of your application is largely dependent on how your alcohol abuse is assessed by the insurance company.

When making a life insurance or income protection insurance application, it is important that you are honest about your history of alcohol dependence, and even if you are not honest, there are a number of ways an insurance company can determine if you have an alcohol abuse problem. For example, a routine blood test is often part of the application process and elevated liver function tests often raise red flags. Medical history records, as well as driving records showing a history of DUI, will also be a giveaway for any excessive alcohol consumption issues you may have.

Once it has been determined that a dependence on alcohol has been present, the underwriter then needs to determine whether you are a recovering alcoholic or a current alcoholic. The determination will greatly impact the outcome of your insurance application.


Factors that Influence Life Insurance and Income Protection Insurance for Alcohol Abuse

If you are a current alcoholic, it can be hard to obtain life insurance or income protection insurance but in some cases it is possible. If you are a recovering alcoholic however, there are ways Special Risk Managers can help you get the cover you need.

The process of applying for insurance is much easier as a recovering alcoholic, especially if you are able to demonstrate you have successfully beaten your addiction.

There are a number of factors that are taken into account by insurance companies to determine if you are still dependent on alcohol:

– How much you drink on average

– If you’ve stopped drinking, how long have you stopped drinking for

– If medical records indicate that your doctor has given or recommended treatment for alcohol abuse

– Results of recent blood tests

Once these factors are taken into account, they will help to indicate whether you are a current or recovering alcoholic. The category you are placed under will greatly determine if your application will be approved or denied. If you currently continue to abuse alcohol, an insurance company is likely to consider you to be an unacceptable risk.

Even if alcohol dependence is not an issue for you right now, most insurance companies will want to see a history of sobriety before approving life insurance or income protection insurance for a recovering alcoholic. At Special Risk Managers, we understand all factors involved in helping you get life insurance or income protection insurance. We will walk through the process with you and do everything we can to ensure you are portrayed in a positive light to get you the insurance cover you need at the right price.


Getting Life Insurance and Income Protection Insurance as a Recovering Alcoholic

If you can prove that you have been sober for a significant period of time, you will have a greater chance of obtaining insurance at a reasonable rate. The optimal time to apply for life insurance or income protection insurance if you have a history of alcohol abuse is after 12 months of sobriety. Due to the high rate of relapse, 12 months of sobriety is often needed to ensure you are not at risk of reverting back to alcohol dependence. Once it has been over 5 years, your overall health is often considered rather than your history of alcohol and you will likely pay the same for you insurance as you would if you had never drunk at all.

If you need to seek adequate life insurance or income protection insurance prior to this 5-year time frame, come see us at Special Risk Managers and we will help you get the best possible chance of obtaining the cover you need. Our experts have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and you can take advantage of our specialised knowledge of the industry to obtain the cover you need.


Contact Special Risk Managers for Life Insurance and Income Protection Insurance Advice

Once your alcohol addiction is under control and your health is back on track, you deserve to be able to access life insurance and income protection insurance cover. At Special Risk Managers we understand what is required for a person with a history of alcohol abuse to receive a life insurance or income protection insurance policy. This is why we should be your first point of call if you are considering applying for insurance with a history of alcohol dependence.

If you have any questions or if you would like to arrange a consultation, give us a call today on 1300 66 53 56. If you would like a quote you can also fill in our enquiry form online and you will get a response quickly and easily. If you are having trouble obtaining life insurance or income protection insurance because of your history of alcohol abuse, contact us at Special Risk Managers today!

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