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For someone with a history of substance abuse, securing a life insurance cover may seem like a daunting task. However, it is not at all a never-ending pit. Yes! One can avail of a life insurance policy, even with a history of substance abuse.
Introduction – Substance Abuse And Life Insurance Coverage
At the same time, buying a policy may not be the same as that for someone with no history of substance abuse at all. In other words, buying an insurance cover for life gets a little tricky for drug users.
Now, it depends on the type of substance, the duration of abuse, and the consequent health effects a person is suffering from due to the drugs. For instance, a person who smokes up hashish or marijuana daily may face a denial of life cover. Whereas, for someone who lights a roll at weekend parties, may find an approval after securing a health rating from the insurer.
On this note, rather than pondering what may affect getting approval for life cover after having a history with drug abuse, it’s best to understand what factors may affect.
Type of Drug
The very first question that an insurer may put up is to identify the types of drugs that an applicant has used. Usually, drug abuse applications are categorically divided into two types- soft/mild and hard drug abuse.
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Now, depending on the category an applicant falls into, the application may go under different levels of scrutiny. For instance, a person with a history of alcoholism or tobacco may need to face fewer questions concerning their history of abuse. Whereas, a cocaine addict may not even get past the first level. At this point, the applicants must learn more about what type of drugs can deny their insurance application. Essentially, the type of drugs that one used to abuse will decide the cover they are eligible to and at what premium payment.
Duration of Abuse
The second factor that decides the possibility of availing a life insurance policy for a drug abuser is the duration. Not just the time for which they abused but also the duration for which they are clean.
Usually, the insurer would go through certain pieces of evidence to make sure that the applicant has been off the substance for a certain number of years. For instance, a person with a history of alcohol abuse may require to prove that he/she is clean for at least two years in a row. Additionally, they may also need to provide a medical report stating they’ve been clean for the same number of years to get past the initial denial.
Surviving Health Issues
In addition to proving their withdrawal, a person with a drug history may also need to undergo a mix of urine, blood, and saliva tests. These tests are carried out to ensure that there are no traces of the substance in the body of the applicant.
Moreover, even if the applicant is off the drugs for the desired duration, they may also need to state the diseases or health issues they’ve acquired due to the abuse. In case the applicant has some severe health issues because of drugs, they may end up paying several times the premium that a normal applicant would. In other words, health conditions affect the premium and the cover of the policy.
Current Source of Income
If it were an ordinary application, the insurance company may neglect a low or no income source for the applicant. The reason being, a person with no history of drug abuse is less likely to fall sick and cash in their insurance policy; which is undoubtedly in favor of the insurer.
However, the case is a bit different for drug abusers. A person who has a history of substance abuse is very likely to have had no income or even unemployment benefits to their name. This puts the insurance company on a rough road, as they might not receive their installments or premiums in time. So, the current income source of the applicant is also considered when insuring the life cover.
Lastly, the insurer may inquire if the applicant has ever been to a rehab facility. And if they have, the insurer may also need to know for how long they’ve been to the facility. Answers to these questions help the insurers to estimate the likelihood of relapse of the applicant. In which case, offering a cover to someone with an infamous history may be risky territory for the insurer.
To sum it up, securing a life insurance policy for a person with a history of drug abuse depends from case to case, application to application. There’s no hard and fast rule that the application would be denied, although the history may affect the premiums and the cover offered by the policy.