Alcohol use varies greatly among individuals as does the impact on health and mortality. In North America, almost 100,000 deaths annually are attributed to alcohol and the cost is in excess of $250 billion*. For this reason, insurance companies have an established guideline for what constitutes a healthy use of alcohol. Insurance underwriters pay close attention when alcohol is consumed in excess of those guidelines and their scrutiny can impact whether one’s insurance application is approved or declined.
How much is too much?
This is a perennial question and here are answers that can help you set some healthy guidelines:
- Less than 14 drinks per week and less than 4 drinks in a single day are considered within the healthy drinking range.
- For women, and adults 65 and older, 7 drinks per week and no more than 3 a day are acceptable.
- Five drinks or more in a 2-3 hour stretch is considered binge drinking, which increases the risk for traumatic death or long-term health consequences.
- Blackouts related to alcohol use, particularly if there are at least two episodes in one’s life, can impact survival.
When applying for insurance, a healthy lifestyle will keep the underwriter happy. So with that in mind, hopefully you and your family can make a toast to healthier living.
To discuss your insurance plan, contact your advisor today.
*Source: Risky drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder. Jeanette M. Tetrault, MD, FACP & Patrick G. O’Connor, MD, MPH, Sept. 2017.