The Underwriting Files

How a DUI Affects Your Ability To Get Life Insurance

The blood-level is always the bottom line determinant

by Gary Baker

Mr. Baker is the President of Baker Associates, the underwriting affiliate of Trusted Advisors Network. Connect with him by e-mail:

Occasionally, I get an applicant who has had a DUI or DWI in the past and needs life insurance. How does a DUI affect your ability to get life insurance? It affects your offer, which negatively impacts your premium.

Will I be declined because of my DUI?

A couple factors your underwriter would take into consideration are how often you drink now and GGT levels from your blood profile. There is a question on every application that asks how often you drink, what type and how many ounces.

Normally, if you once had a DUI, that could be a red flag for the underwriter

From the blood work, they do a GGTP test, which measures the level of irritation in the liver. If you take a lot of medication or drink a lot, your GGT level maybe elevated. According to, normal levels are from 2-65 U/l. If your number is above 65 and you had a DUI, your underwriter could look at that as an indication that you drink more frequently then you’re owning up to on the application. Then he/she would most likely order a CDT (Alcohol Marker).If that is positive, you will be declined.

Purchasing Life Insurance After a DUI

  • Most insurance carriers stipulate that it you have had a DUI or DWI in the past 5 years, you cannot qualify for their best health ratings. Depending on your blood results you may not qualify for any insurance.
  • If your DUI or DWI was more than 5 years ago, however, it will be overlooked, if all signs point to you being a responsive person who doesn’t abuse alcohol.

Life Insurance with DUI 2 to 5 Years Ago

  • If your DUI was less than 2 years ago, there is only one carrier that I know who will insure you, perhaps with a flat extra, and that would be Pru. They won’t always make an offer, but they are the best place to start your search.
  • There are a handful of carriers who won’t allow a DUI in the last 10 years, such as Minnesota Life.

Marijuana and DUI

  • Ever since many of the states have legalized the use of marijuana either as recreational or medical, it has been shown that the percentage of accidents involving the driver being under the influence (DUI) of marijuana has risen quite a bit.

Do you have any companies rate Multiple DUI’s

If your number is above 65 and you had a DUI, your underwriter could look at that as an indication that you drink more frequently then you’re owning up to...

  • One problem………Every life insurance app these days asks if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked in the past 5 years, or if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence. If you answer yes, your ability to get insured with most carriers vanishes.
  • The problem with my prospect who called me last week is that he’s had three DUI’s in the past 11 years. One good thing going for him is he completely stopped drinking alcohol 5 years ago, after his last DUI. In addition, he’s been going to AA meetings for the past 5 months.

What he has in his favor is his complete cessation of drinking acholic beverages. One carrier said they would offer standard, table D since he has abstained for such a long period of time, as long as it is documented in his medical records. ◊