While addiction costs America around $200 billion in lost productivity, crime and health care, the costs to you and your family can run much deeper. Even if you have been drug or alcohol-free for a long time, your previous addiction can still have a huge impact across your life. Many people with a history of addiction find that getting insurance can be a lot harder than they expected, although fortunately, not completely impossible. If you are looking at getting insurance, but also have a history of insurance, what do you need to know?
How Insurers View Drug Addiction
Keep in mind that even though you might have been successfully drug-free for quite some time, unfortunately, many insurers will automatically decline anyone who has previously used recreational, non-prescription drugs. However, all is not lost as there are some specialist providers who offer mainstream life and critical illness insurance, which can lighten financial burdens. It tends to generally depend on the type of drug taken and the last date it was used. An insurance company may consider your application if you have stopped using for at least two years. However, if you are currently using a substance, then it's very likely that you will be immediately turned down for life insurance coverage.
Be Honest About Your Addiction History
It's important you are upfront and honest about your previous drug use on your insurance application. You should never lie about your addiction history as firstly, it's actually considered to be insurance fraud. But also, if you did get approved but then died within a couple of years, the insurance company may investigate and if they discover you lied on your application, they may not pay out the death benefit.
Life Insurance Options for Former Addicts
While it's not impossible to get insurance when you have a history of addiction, you may find the costs soar when the insurer discovers your previous drug history. You may find that have to make some compromises such as taking a low-cost form of policy, perhaps for 10 to 20 years, rather than a permanent form of insurance plan that covers you for your whole life. While this may not sound ideal, once you have been free of drugs for several years, you can then look at your options for replacing the term policy for a permanent policy at a more reasonable price.
Get Quick Coverage with a Guaranteed Issue Policy
If you want coverage as soon as possible then you may want to consider a Guaranteed Issue or No Exam life insurance policy. This could be an option for you if you have been declined for other policies in the past. With a Guaranteed Issue policy you may not always have to complete a questionnaire which is another advantage. But while you might not have to take a medical exam and more likely to get approved, these policies tend to be a lot more expensive than traditional life insurance policies. You may also find that the amount of coverage you get with policies like these are considerably lower.
If you have a history of addiction, then it's very likely that you will find getting insurance a bit of a battle. But despite this, getting coverage is actually possible, but you will likely have to pay a higher rate. Make sure you do plenty of research and compare the different options and plans available to ensure you get the best insurance plan for you.
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years' experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.