“Can I get life insurance with a felony” is a question that comes up occasionally with our clients. Felons are people who made a terrible mistake at one time but still need felony life insurance once their sentence has been served.
Felons have families and loved ones who care about them and will need life insurance protection to protect them.
We look at the life insurance shopping process as a problem-solving mission. A felony conviction does not differ from a person having a heart attack, stroke, epilepsy, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. These are problems that must be worked around when shopping for life insurance.
How do felons purchase or obtain life insurance?
Insurance companies view life choices, lifestyles, and medical and criminal histories differently, so the trick is to find the life insurance company that will look at your felony history most favorably.
You are in the right place if you’re reading this article and you have a felony conviction or are shopping for a person that is a felon.
The basics of felony life insurance
Insurance companies will look at a few factors when determining your life insurance eligibility. First, they will review the crime and the severity of the offense. They will then look at the number of crimes committed and the frequency of these crimes committed.
If the crime occurred more than once, the insurance company would look at the time that has passed since the occurrence of the crime.
Do insurance companies look at felonies the same way?
Different insurance companies have different underwriting guidelines; they all underwrite their policies but often with different underwriting criteria. Each insurance company will have multiple life insurance policy types that have entirely different underwriting criteria.
For example: if you have a felony for assault, you may not be able to purchase a term life insurance policy but may be eligible to purchase an accidental death or whole life policy.
You are not alone
With nearly a third of the US adult population having a criminal record, you are not alone. The insurance companies know this and have flexibility in determining who they will accept or deny life insurance coverage.
Once a felon has served their time and has integrated back into society, they will need life insurance, just like everybody else.
Once a felon is incorporated back into society, they must earn the trust of those around them. It is no different with insurance companies; it is important they believe you make good decisions. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior; this is important when the insurance company is gambling a lot of money by offering a felon a life insurance policy.
The insurance companies know over half of all felons will commit a new crime within three years of being released from prison. The odds of the criminal getting injured or dying during the commission of a crime are also high. For these reasons, all insurance companies will be cautious when reviewing felony conviction life insurance candidates.
What type of felonies will affect my life insurance eligibility?
Insurance companies will look at all crimes (whether a felony or not) when considering your life insurance eligibility. Here are the crimes that most often affect life insurance plan eligibility:
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Drug-related crimes or drug abuse
- Property crimes
Crimes related to assault are of great concern to insurance companies. People with a history of violence or assault are more likely to get injured or killed. Insurance companies will want to know your criminal history and may ask additional questions.
Insurance companies will often require a period of 2 to 5 years from your conviction or probation period before considering you as a qualified candidate for a traditional life insurance policy.
Drugs and Alcohol
Crimes related to drugs and alcohol are responsible for over half the US prison population. Life insurance companies are conservative and hesitant to issue life insurance policies to those with drug and alcohol criminal histories.
Why is this important to life insurance companies? The life insurance companies issue life insurance policies based on risk. Insurance companies rarely view a person, who has a higher chance of being sent to prison, as a good life insurance risk for their company.
Larceny and Property Crimes
Crimes such as assault, larceny, and vandalism are often viewed differently than crimes involving drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol addictions have been shown to lead to other criminal activities, such as assault, larceny, and vandalism.
Drug and alcohol convictions will always be viewed more seriously by the insurance companies when seeking life insurance approval.
It is important to understand not all insurance companies view all crimes and criminal histories the same. It is important to have a life insurance agency that is knowledgeable in all the underwriting procedures for the different insurance companies.
You don’t want to apply for life insurance policy and get denied. You want to apply for a felony life insurance policy or plan for which you are eligible. We can help you understand your options, even if you have been denied life insurance in the past.
The insurance companies will want to know the following about your felony criminal history:
- Were you incarcerated or placed in jail?
- Have you been charged or convicted of multiple offenses?
- How much time did you serve, if any?
- How many years has it been since your felony charge and conviction?
- How many years has it been since you were released from jail or prison?
- Are you on parole or probation right now (if so, for how long?)
- If you are off parole or probation, when did your parole or probation end?
- Rehabilitation activities
The insurance companies and insurance company underwriters would be interested in your answers to these questions. It will help them determine whether you are an acceptable risk to ensure for life insurance.
Insurance companies know certain crimes or convictions have a higher recidivism rate than other crimes or convictions. The insurance companies will look at your criminal information and time served and decide on how likely it is you will return to prison or commit another felony before issuing your life insurance policy.
The insurance companies will also consider any rehabilitation activities or programs in which you participate. Your completion of any court-mandated programs (such as drug rehab, community activity, volunteer work etc.) will be viewed favorably by many life insurance companies.
Does time matter?
When you’re in prison, only time matters. When you’re out of jail, time still matters, especially to the insurance companies.
The more time that has passed since your conviction, the more it helps your eligibility for life insurance.
Life insurance company underwriters understand the more time that has elapsed since your criminal activity and time served, the less likely you will be to commit another crime. If you have been out of jail for ten years with no other criminal activity, you are a much more favorable candidate to a life insurance company than somebody released from prison six months ago.
Recidivism (the tendency of a convicted criminal to re-offend) rates are high. The insurance companies know this and will factor this into their life insurance underwriting guidelines.
Problem felonies (from life insurance viewpoint):
- Child molestation
- Drug trafficking
- Conspiracy to commit any of the felonies listed above
These crimes will most often rule you out of term life insurance policies. Insurance companies will often require at least 5-10 years to have passed before considering you for a traditional term life insurance policy.
The good news is we can help most people with criminal backgrounds purchase accidental death insurance or whole life insurance policies.
Insurance companies will consider the severity of your crime when determining what type of life insurance policy to offer you. Bank robbery is a much more significant crime than shoplifting a pack of chewing gum.
What is the best way to assure I get life insurance with a criminal background?
The best way to assure you get life insurance is to be honest with us. We can’t help you if we don’t know your entire criminal and medical background. The insurance companies will look at your past criminal history, and your age, height, weight, medications, and medical history.
The insurance companies survive off managing risk and do it with high proficiency. They are good at what they do, and they are not in the business of losing money.
This does not mean they will not offer you felony life insurance. It just means the greater risk you present to the life insurance company, the more you will pay for life insurance, or the more restrictions will be present in a life insurance policy you are eligible for.
Why should I choose Life-Wealth-Win for my felony life insurance needs?
We understand people make mistakes in life. They wish they could change the past, and if they could do it all over again, they would have made very different decisions.
Just because you have made poor decisions in the past does not mean you cannot make great decisions in the future, such as purchasing life insurance.
We have had friends and family that spent years helping people in prison ministry, prison outreach, and post-prison integration into society. We understand their needs to get their lives established after serving time.
Getting life insurance is an important part of protecting your family and loved ones once you’ve served your debt to society for your criminal activity.
Many life insurance agents go the easy route and will tell you that your only option is accidental death life insurance…it’s just an easy way to go for an agent.
The harder way for an agent to go is to create relationships with different insurance companies and underwriters to get to know their exact underwriting procedures. This takes years in the insurance industry to gather these relationships and underwriting knowledge.
At Life-Wealth-Win, we specialize in high-risk underwriting because we believe all people deserve the best chance to purchase the life insurance they need to protect their loved ones.
If you have been convicted of a felony, call us to help you understand your life insurance options.
At Life Wealth Win, we specialize in healthy to high-risk life insurance cases. We can help you understand your life insurance options with a felony or any other criminal history.
We work with clients across the nation to get the best life insurance rates possible. If you have a criminal history, we can help you get the best life insurance rates.