Elevated Liver Enzymes and Life Insurance

Elevated liver enzymes have many causes. And many unexpected effects. See how the life insurance underwriters view your elevated liver enzymes—be prepared and improve your odds.

Elevated Liver Enzymes, Alcohol, and Insurance Underwriting

One common cause of elevated liver enzymes is alcohol use. Yet, it’s hard to pin down an objective set of criteria for determining if somebody abuses alcohol. From a legal point of view, with regards to driving a motor vehicle, the authorities certainly have clear limits. But, from an insurance point of view, underwriters recognize that biochemical, psychological, and cultural factors can lead to varying levels of acceptable alcohol consumption.

However, people should not kid themselves into thinking that alcohol consumption will not increase life’s hazards. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair the ability to drive a car or operate machinery. For some people, even a moderate amount of alcohol can lead to inflammation of the liver and elevated liver enzymes. For people with hepatitis or other liver disease, alcohol consumption can prove deadly.

How Underwriters Determine If Drinking Is Excessive

To determine if a life insurance candidate’s alcohol consumption is excessive, underwriters typically look at three indicators:

  1. Elevated Liver Function (LFT). If a candidate’s alcohol consumption is leading to liver impairment (symptomized by elevated liver enzymes), then that has to be dealt with medically—and the underwriter needs to know how the treatment is progressing.
  2. DUI or DWI. A single occurrence may not present an underwriting problem. Multiple convictions, however may point to a lifestyle issue. Full details, including dates of convictions and court-ordered treatments, must be provided.
  3. APS Comments. Physicians do make comments in their patients’ files about alcohol use. Isolated comments may amount to nothing in terms of life insurance underwriting. Patterns of comments, however, may trigger an underwriting concern even if there is no history of liver disease, elevated liver enzymes, or DUI convictions. (By the way, we strongly believe that everybody should have a copy of his or her own medical file to enhance communication and understanding between doctors and patients.)

Elevated Liver Enzymes and Life Insurance Rates

What life insurance rates can you get?

As a guide, here are sample life insurance quotes for people with elevated liver enzymes. These are real cases, taken from my own files, with names withheld for privacy. Please view it as an educational guide to what’s possible.

Typically, candidates with elevated liver enzymes can qualify for rates ranging from standard, to slightly rated, to a high rating. On rare occasions, candidates are declined. Due to the risk of declination or rating, we strongly advise every client to seek life insurance prequalification before submitting a formal application.

By not submitting a formal application, your application history is completely protected. At the same time, prequalification provides completely reliable quotes. You can read more about life insurance quote prequalification, to see if this methodology feels right for you.

We wish you good health and much success!