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Dry January 2024 – Guide to alcohol life insurance

Having an alcohol-free month for Dry January could be a great way to improve your health and reassess your relationship with alcohol as we move into 2024. This January, people across the UK will take part in the 31-day alcohol free challenge to see how this affects their physical and mental health.

Alcohol awareness charity Alcohol Change UK have stated that 86% of people who take part in Dry January will save money over the course of the month. On top of this, 70% of people will find their quality of sleep has improved and 66% report having more energy after cutting out alcohol.

Most life insurance applications will ask about your alcohol consumption while assessing your overall health and lifestyle. Cutting back on how much you drink can help you to reduce the cost of your cover – with the added bonus of improved health!

Dry January began as a way to promote a healthier lifestyle and has millions of participants every year. In this challenge, you give up drinking alcohol for a month to start of your new year.

Alcohol Change UK first started this campaign back in 2013 and they continue to promote this challenge every year, with 2023 being the 10th anniversary of Dry January. The aim of this challenge is both to encourage better drinking habits for both yourself and maybe even your friends and family too.

While this challenge started in the UK, there are also more and more Dry January participants in the U.S., as can be seen in the below video. Here, Dry January is discussed on popular talk show Good Morning America.

What you need to know about Dry January | Good Morning America

What you need to know about Dry January | Good Morning America

Anyone can take part in Dry January, whether they are a frequent drinker or only have the occasional drink. It is designed to be a doable challenge for most people and a good opportunity to examine our relationship with alcohol.

What are the rules of Dry January?

The main rule for Dry January is to stop drinking alcohol from the 1st January – 31st January. Many people decide to continue the challenge for longer and others don’t, and this is completely fine. If you are someone who is ‘sober curious’, you may decide to abstain from alcohol permanently after January is over.

There aren’t any other set rules for this challenge and you may choose to avoid places where you could be tempted to drink alcohol or go and have a soft drink. The choice of how you complete your Dry January challenge is completely up to you.

Is Dry January good for your liver?

It is thought that Dry January can be beneficial for your liver, especially if you are someone who drinks often. Binge drinking and alcohol dependency can both cause significant impact to your health and even small amounts of alcohol can still have some effect.

There are also various other health and lifestyle benefits that can be linked with taking part in Dry January including feeling more energised and improvement in mental wellbeing.

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Drinking alcohol has various associated risks such as damage to your liver and it’s known to have a notable impact on your mental health. One of the best benefits of dry January can be encouraging you to have a healthier relationship with alcohol year round.

Pausing your alcohol intake for a month (or possibly longer) can also help with lowering high blood pressure which will be beneficial for your overall health. Many people participating in Dry January also report weight loss due to taking a break from alcoholic drinks.

Though you can of course continue drinking once Dry January is over, many people end up drinking more healthily throughout the rest of the year. If you are thinking of reducing your alcohol intake for longer, Alcohol Change UK released this helpful video in 2023 during Alcohol Awareness Week. It contains some simple and easy tips which could help you to reduce how much you drink longer term.

Top tips to help you cut down on alcohol : Alcohol Awareness Week

If you are someone who is dependent on alcohol, you should speak to a GP or doctor before quitting to make sure you have the support you need. Suddenly stopping drinking could lead to serious symptoms, so it’s best to have the right advice in place first.

You may find the first few days or weeks of this challenge the hardest, if you’re used to having a glass of wine with dinner or a weekly trip to the pub.

There are however lots of fun alcohol-free ways to have fun this January such as trips to the cinema, getting outdoors or even grabbing a non-alcoholic beverage while out with friends.

If you’re not sure how to start Dry January or how to stay on track, Alcohol Change UK has some useful resources on their website. They also have their ‘Try Dry’ Dry January app which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Is it too late to start Dry January?

Ideally, most people will start Dry January on January 1st, but the health benefits can be felt no matter when you begin. You may just wish to carry over any additional days into February instead to complete the full challenge.

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YES – You can usually still get life insurance if you drink and/or smoke but it can be more expensive which is why it is important to speak to an expert first.

High levels of alcohol consumption can affect the cost of life insurance, as this has an impact on your overall health and lifestyle. If you have ever experienced issues with alcohol use, it’s worth talking to a life insurance expert before you apply to make sure you contact the right insurers and get the fairest price.

An experienced life insurance specialist will be able to tell you which insurers are most likely to approve your application, so you don’t waste any time. There will usually be options available to you no matter your situation and our team of friendly experts are ready and happy to help. You can call 0800 009 6559 or click here to speak to an expert.

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Is it worth paying for life insurance?

Yes, if you’ve got children or financial dependents then you should have life insurance to protect them if you die. Martin Lewis and the Financial Conduct Authority recommend that you take out life insurance to protect your family and your home. Generally, life insurance premiums start from as little as £5 per month and will be cheaper for younger adults.

Common myths about life insurance:

  • Life insurance won’t pay out (pays out 98% of claims)
  • People with medical conditions can’t have life insurance
  • Life insurance is expensive
  • Savings can be just as effective as life insurance
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Is life insurance worth it? - iam|INSURED

What is the average cost of life insurance per month?

Based on recent research carried out, the average cost of life insurance is approximately £38 per month and the average level of cover is £152,000. Life insurance premiums also vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another and you can reduce your monthly premiums by shopping around.

Fundamentally, life insurance premiums vary depending on your age, health and the amount of cover that you need, starting from as little as £5 per month. You can also get life insurance to protect your family and your home against financial loss if you die.

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Average cost of life insurance - iam|INSURED

What does life insurance cover you for?

Life insurance is a monthly renewable ‘term insurance’ contract that pays out a cash lump sum or regular payments on death to your family or beneficiaries. Policies are most commonly used for family protection or mortgage protection for your loved ones if you die and your household income reduces, plus the additional issues of losing a parent or carer.

Traditional life insurance will not exclude any pre-existing medical conditions and will cover suicide after 12 or 24 months. You can also use life insurance for business protection purposes as well as tax-efficient business life insurance for directors or key people.

What are the disadvantages of life insurance?

The biggest and most common problem that consumers have with life insurance is the cost and the monthly premiums. This is the top reason for policy cancellations and why more people don’t take out life insurance to protect their family.

Another key disadvantage with life insurance is that it holds no investment value, nor can you cash it in. Life insurance works like any other traditional general insurance policy (e.g. car insurance, house insurance, pet insurance etc.), you pay a monthly premium and it will pay out in the event of a claim. Some people decide to use savings instead of taking out life insurance but you need to make sure that you have sufficient savings to cover the costs of death for your family.

Why do I need life insurance?

The fact is that nobody actually ‘needs’ life insurance, but it is strongly recommended that families and couples have cover to protect their loved ones in the event of death. Martin Lewis recommends life insurance and says “this is something that every parent, partner, or person with any other type of dependent needs to consider”.

Life insurance financially protects your loved ones if you die and pays out a cash lump sum to repay your mortgage, pay for school fees, replace lost income, and pay for regular outgoings. Mortgage life insurance is not linked to your mortgage debt so you can use it to pay off some or all of your mortgage.

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