Alcohol Awareness Week

July 7, 2023

Alcohol Awareness Week

This week is ‘Alcohol Awareness Week’. We’ve taken some time to analyse the data which flows through the Protection Platform so we can review what customers disclosed around alcohol consumption across the last 12 months.

We found that 7% of customers disclosed drinking more than the NHS-recommended 14 units per week in the last 12 months, compared to 5.2% in the previous year (June 2021 – June 2022). This shows us that people are disclosing more, which could be down to individuals being more aware of their alcohol consumption. However, research shows that in the UK, 23% of adults reported drinking more than 14 units per week*, showing a disparity between what Alcohol Change tell us and what we see disclosed on the Protection Platform.

In response to our findings, Andrew Misell, Director for Wales at Alcohol Change UK, said:

“These figures reinforce what we’ve known for many years – that when people are asked about their alcohol consumption, they often underestimate or downplay how much they drink. The reasons for this are varied – embarrassment, wishful thinking, or just not really keeping count. As adults, it’s important that we’re honest with ourselves about how much we’re drinking and how it’s affecting our health and our relationships. That’s the all-important first step to taking control of our drinking.

“A great way to start is by recording what you drink for a few weeks to help you understand your drinking pattern. Use the free app Try Dry to help you keep track and set personalised goals to help you cut down.

Additionally, less than half a per cent of customers told us that they have been asked to change their relationship with alcohol (reducing intake, attending Alcoholics Anonymous or needing medication to help stop drinking).

Looking at all the data we find that 99.6% of customers receive a standard decision based on what they disclose their current alcohol consumption to be.

“Steve Baldry, Director of Underwriting and UnderwriteMe said: “Andrew shows us that although people understand the risks associated with excess alcohol, they also still tend to underestimate the amount they consume. When asked to disclose consumption to an insurer, that sense of underplaying intake might be compounded. As underwriters, we acknowledge the importance of moderation, the harmful effects of excess, and the necessity of making the right disclosure. We have come a long way in our understanding of alcohol consumption, and the risks associated with it, which is why 99.6% of our customers are now offered a standard decision where alcohol consumption is disclosed.”