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How to get life insurance after a DUI or driving offense
You can buy life insurance with a poor driving record – but it’ll likely cost you more.
Having a DUI or reckless driving on your record impacts more than just your car insurance rates. Some life insurers may turn you away, while others may just increase your premium. Finding an insurance company willing to insure you may require extra research, but you should still be able to buy a policy.
Can I get life insurance with a poor driving record?
Being approved for life insurance comes down to the number and nature of driving offenses on your driving record, plus common factors like your age, gender and health. Life insurance companies rank each traffic violation or accident based on its severity, and each typically sets a maximum amount for denying applications, such as three violations.
Life insurers view people with poor driving records as more likely to die in a car crash than other people. So the company is taking a higher risk by offering them a life insurance policy. For serious violations, such as a DUI, reckless driving or multiple accidents within the past year, many standard life insurers may reject your application.
Other life insurers, particularly online-based life insurance companies, may be more willing to offer you coverage with a poor driving record — but with a lower death benefit and at a higher monthly cost.
What’s the best life insurance for people with a poor driving record?
If you have a poor driving record, you may have fewer life insurance companies to choose from than you would otherwise. You can still qualify for traditional forms of life insurance with some companies, but your death benefit may be capped at a lower amount, such as $100,000 or less.
- Term life insurance. This life insurance gives you a set monthly price in exchange for a guaranteed death benefit for a specified length of time, such as 20 or 30 years. It doesn’t build cash value and is typically the cheapest and simplest form of life insurance.
- Guaranteed issue life insurance. True to its name, guaranteed issue life insurance accepts all applicants. However, the life insurer may still run your motor vehicle record and rates for this type of insurance are usually higher than with a traditional insurance policy since the insurer won’t know what health condition you’re in. Your death benefits will also likely be capped at a lower amount, such as $20,000 or $50,000.
How to buy life insurance with a poor driving record
Getting life insurance with a poor driving record or DUI involves searching out insurance companies that accept and specialize in high-risk applicants.
Here are the steps to finding an insurance company for your needs.
- Decide your budget. Determine how much you can reasonably afford for life insurance on an ongoing monthly basis, and use that number as a starting point in building your policy.
- Consider high-risk insurers. If you have a poor driving record, search for high-risk insurers that are more likely to accept your application. Include them in your list of companies to get quotes from.
- Choose your policy and amount. To determine the amount of coverage you need, think through all your expected expenses, then subtract any savings or other income your loved ones will have.
- Apply for coverage. After you apply for coverage, you’ll likely be required to take a medical exam, and your insurer will run your driving record report to determine your final rates. Demonstrate any defensive driving courses you’ve completed or other steps you’ve taken to show your driving behavior has improved since your last major violation.
Compare life insurance companies for people with a poor driving record
Reasons to consider life insurance with a poor driving record
Having a poor driving record doesn’t make life insurance any less important. If you have a family who depends on your income, bills to pay or your children’s future to consider, life insurance still offers a way to help ensure your family stays afloat after you die.
You’re married with kids
If you’re married and have kids, your family likely depends at least partially on your income. If your income were to suddenly disappear because of a premature death, your family might struggle to maintain their lifestyle and pay the bills.
Even though you’ll likely pay higher rates for a life insurance policy with a poor driving record, it can still make a big difference in your family’s financial security if you die prematurely.
You have a mortgage and other debt
If you die with existing debt, such as a mortgage or student loans, those debts are transferred to your next closest kin, leaving them with an unexpected extra expense. Buying enough life insurance to pay for your debt eliminates this financial strain from your family.
You’re considered a high-risk driver
With a poor driving record, especially if you have a DUI or a reckless driving incident, you’re likely considered a high-risk driver. Even though your life insurance premiums may be higher, you could be at a higher risk of a fatal car accident, making life insurance that much more important to buy.
Having a DUI, reckless driving or multiple accidents on your record may make it difficult and expensive to buy life insurance. But you can still get life insurance coverage from more lenient life insurers, although you’ll likely pay a higher rate than normal.
Before applying for life insurance, compare life insurance companies that cater to high-risk applicants to find the best policy for you.
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