Getting life insurance with a drug addiction

Don't let a history of addiction prevent a future of security.

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If you’ve suffered from substance abuse, your options for life insurance are unfortunately limited. However, a history of drug addiction doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck.

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Can I get life insurance if I’m currently struggling with a drug addiction?

While it’s possible to get coverage if you’ve had substance abuse problems in the past, finding life insurance if you’re currently dealing with drug addiction can be tricky. Most insurers require you to have been in recovery anywhere from two years or longer.

Can I get life insurance if I have a history of substance abuse?

Yes. If you’ve struggled with addiction in the past but have completed rehab and are clean you may be able to find coverage. This will depend on factors like:

  • How severe the problem was.
  • How long you were using drugs.
  • How long you’ve been clean.
  • What types of drugs you were using and how they were administered.
  • Whether you needed to enter a rehab program or facility.
  • Whether you’re in a substance abuse program such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
  • Whether you relapsed since you got clean.
  • Whether your addiction resulted in any legal issues such as a DUI.
  • Whether you had any medical complications as a result of your addiction.

Of course, you’ll also have to answer the normal questions you get when looking for a life insurance policy, including your:

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Lifestyle
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Tobacco usage
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Does drug addiction affect my life insurance rates?

Yes. Any history of drug use affects how much you pay for your life insurance policy. How much you’ll pay depends on the severity of your addiction and how long you’ve been off drugs.

How do I get life insurance when I have a drug addiction?

If you’re currently using hard drugs, your life insurance application will more than likely be denied. If you’re in recovery and have been clean for a while, you could take out a traditional life insurance policy.

You have a few choices for how you get your policy, including:

  • From an agent.
    The benefits of using an agent to help you find coverage is that they can advise you on which insurers are more likely to provide you with coverage at a rate you’re willing to pay.
  • Through your employer.
    If your employer offers life insurance as part of your package, it may be a good option to consider. The premiums are generally on the low end and you may qualify for better rates since it’s a group policy.
  • Directly from an insurer.
    If you’re happy to compare your own options, you may want to go directly to a few insurers and compare their rates.
  • Can I get a policy without a medical exam?

    If you’re unable to get coverage through your employer, all may not be lost. There are ways to take out a life insurance policy without the need for a medical exam:

    Simplified issue life insurance

    One of the easier ways to get life insurance without a medical test is simplified life insurance. While you still may be asked some questions about your medical history, you should be able to apply for coverage and get protection in a matter of days.

    Guaranteed issue life insurance

    This type of coverage — also referred to as guaranteed acceptance life insurance — provides you with coverage without any medical exams. However, these types of policies are far more expensive than normal life insurance policies and have much lower payouts.

    Instant-approval insurance with accelerated underwriting

    There are some new insurance products that allow you to fill out a quick online questionnaire about your health. You still may be asked about your drug use and there’s the possibility of needing to undergo a medical exam.

    Compare life insurance providers

    Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
    LadderLife™ Life Insurance
    20 - 60 years old
    $100,000 to $8,000,000
    Not available in New York
    Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
    21 - 54 years old
    $50,000 to $1,000,000
    Not available in New York
    Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
    18 - 80 years old
    $50,000 to $25,000,000
    Depends on provider and policy
    All 50 states and D.C.
    Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.
    18 - 100 years old
    $50,000 to $3,000,000
    This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
    20 - 85 years old
    $100,000 to $2,000,000
    Depends on policy.
    Products and product features may not be available in all states.
    This well-established life insurance provider could offer you $250,000 worth of coverage for as low as $14 per month.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    Getting life insurance with a history of substance abuse may be an uphill battle, but getting coverage is possible. Compare your options before making a decision to ensure you’re getting the best life insurance option for you.

    Frequently asked questions

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