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Life Insurance for Felons

The best life insurance for felons comes after probation. Convicted felons may have to wait between 1 to 5 years, or until they are off probation, to get a life insurance policy approved. You want the best life insurance company and the best quotes. Find the best life insurance for felons rates near you by using our free quote tool.

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Ron Attias, a licensed insurance broker. He had no particular loyalty to any one insurance company, so he was able to shop all major insurance carriers. This means that you always get the BEST plan at the LOWEST price. Each plan can be customized to fit your specific healthcare...

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UPDATED: Sep 13, 2020

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The Brief

  • Obtaining life insurance for felons can be tough, but not impossible.
  • There are life insurance options for those with misdemeanor or felony charges.
  • There are many other factors that add to the complexity of getting a life insurance policy.

We’re an independent life insurance agency that has expertise with high-risk individuals or those with pre-existing conditions. Read this guide as you start comparing insurance companies with the best coverage based on your circumstance. Getting health insurance for felons can seem daunting. Do life insurance companies do background checks? They do.

It is seldom found that a company would award life insurance with no background check. A felon can get life insurance, but they will be viewed as a high-risk client. Depending on the nature of the conviction, along with the amount of time that has passed since, you may still have some options. How else does a felony affect life insurance? Read on to find out.

Can you get a life insurance policy for felons? Because you’ll be seen as high-risk, prices will be high, so search for affordable life insurance for convicted felons now by entering your ZIP code to see what’s available in your area.

Do life insurance companies check criminal records?

When applying for life insurance with a criminal background (i.e. a convicted felony or misdemeanor) remember that insurance companies associate these individuals as high-risk clients. When applying for life insurance, an individual is assessed based on a set of potential risks to the carrier.

The agency then decides to either approve the policy without restrictions, approve it with higher rates, or deny it.

In considering an individual with a criminal history, an insurance company has to consider the impact incarceration might have had on the person’s wellbeing. Incarceration is undoubtedly a traumatic experience, one that can take a toll on mental and physical health.

But there’s also a higher chance of contracting certain diseases while in prison, which could ultimately result in death years later. Drug use is sometimes closely related to incarceration, and will also be considered by the life insurance company. These factors may result in premature death.

What will companies ask?

In the early stages of applying for life insurance, companies may ask the candidates a series of questions to determine the risk involved with the new policy. For those with a criminal background, companies may ask:

  • What type of a felony were you charged with?
  • Was it a severe was the crime?
  • Were you incarcerated? How long>
  • How long ago was it?
  • How have you turned your life around?
  • Was there a probation period?

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What life insurance options do felons have?

If you are trying to get life insurance as a felon, but have been turned down, you have three choices for a more accessible policy:

  • Group life insurance through your employer – If you work for a company and they provide life insurance, you could get a life policy through that program. Keep in mind that the coverage is effective as long as you work for them. Generally, this type of insurance does not require a background check from the insurance company. Typical coverage amounts range from $25,000 to $50,000.
  • Accidental death policy – This policy pays benefits for death caused by an accident. A death resulting in a heart attack or stroke won’t be covered. This isn’t ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Guaranteed issue – This policy has a two to three years graded benefits clause, which means that, if you die within two to three years, no death benefit will be paid, instead the beneficiaries will collect the total premium paid plus 10 percent interest. The max amount on guaranteed issue life insurance for convicted felons (or anyone) is $40,000 and you must be over the age of 40.

Can a felon get a life insurance license? Can a felon sell life insurance? There are some felonies that bar you from getting your insurance license, but can a felon work in insurance? It would be up to each insurance company if they wanted to hire one.

Life Insurance Companies For Felons

As I mentioned before, every carrier will look at your situation differently. However, the most aggressive carrier I would go with is Prudential.

Prudential uses “underwriting credits.” In plain English, that means that, if someone is overweight and between the ages of 18 and 59 and has no other medical issues, metabolic syndrome, or diabetes, he or she could get a policy for a preferred rate instead of a standard one. They give customers “credits” for overall health and don’t concentrate too much on weight.

The same goes for a felony. If you can show an outstanding recovery and rehabilitation, you may get a better rate. I highly doubt this would be preferred, but a standard to table 4 would be the norm. (You would expect to pay two to three times as much as someone who has preferred table ratings.)

Keep in mind that underwriting guidelines are changed frequently, and what is true today may not be accurate in a few months. If you have a felony conviction on your record, talk to a broker who is familiar with the underwriting guidelines of every carrier out there. It costs you nothing, and you have someone on your side who wants you to have a policy because this is how they make their living.

Can I get life insurance while on probation?

Unfortunately, that’s not usually an option. Life insurance companies require a one- to five-year waiting period after probation has ended to obtain coverage with a standard rating class. (It all depends on the company’s underwriting.) The further back your criminal activity happened, the better.

Many life insurance companies don’t want to insure a person on probation because there is a higher likelihood of returning to jail and life insurance for inmates is nearly impossible to obtain. The criminal justice system is still monitoring someone on probation, and any small violation can place him or her in prison once again.

If you would like to buy life insurance and you have been convicted of a felony, the best advice is, to be honest—don’t hide it. The first thing the carrier does when they get an application is a background check.

If you lied on the application, they will deny your application without giving you a chance. And keep in mind that being denied for life insurance with one carrier will open the doors for others to follow suit.

How to get life insurance with a felony conviction?

The reality is that it isn’t easy for people with felony convictions to get life insurance. It can be very frustrating, and the underwriting process might be longer than the usual four to six weeks. The way I see it, there are two routes you can take:

  1. Call and apply to all the carriers out there and hope to get your application issued. Lots of time and trouble go into this.
  2. Call one broker who deals with all the insurers, and just be honest about what happened. Then, you will get a clear answer on your chances of getting a life insurance policy and how to accomplish it. (Once again, the type and severity of the conviction, along with the period of time that has passed since, will have a major impact on the kind of coverage you’ll be able to get, how much you will pay, or whether you will get one at all.) An independent broker can advise you about other options you may have if your application for a conventional policy is declined.

Life insurance with a misdemeanor is less hard to obtain; often, insurance companies won’t ask about it.

Important Tips

When applying for life insurance, be sure that you write an exceptional cover letter describing your situation. Tell the company what happened, and take full responsibility for your conviction.

If you can show a stable workplace, some education, and connection to service and the local community, you will have a far better chance of getting your life insurance policy issued. Also, be sure to research policies specific to your area.

The table below will give you an idea of the average cost for life insurance from some of the larger life insurance companies.

Average Annual Life Insurance Rates by Age & Gender
Policyholder Age and GenderAverage New York Life RatesAverage Prudential Financial RatesAverage Lincoln National RatesAverage Massachusetts Mutual RatesAverage Aegon / Transamerica RatesAverage John Hancock RatesAverage State Farm RatesAverage Annual Rates
25-year-old female$158.00$195.00$187.00$132.00$164.00$172.00$143.00$164.50
25-year-old male$152.00$237.00$231.00$147.00$176.00$178.30$164.00$183.61
35-year-old female$164.00$196.00$191.00$137.00$161$178.30$166.00$170.47
35-year-old male$160.00$248.00$238.00$151.00$17.00$189.80$175.00$190.40
45-year-old female$262.00$314.00$239.00$209.00$229.00$241.50$238.00$247.50
45-year-old male$245.00$378.00$283.00$230.00$255.00$292.10$239.00$274.59
55-year-old female$414.00$496.00$435.00$373.00$453.00$407.10$341.00$417.01
55-year-old male$696.00$584.00$615.00$451.00$527.00$533.60$396.00$543.23
65-year-old female$924.00$941.00$903.00$763.00$1,139.00$937.30$684.00$898.76
65-year-old male$1,416.00$1,412.00$1,577.00$1,049.00$1,367.00$1,380.00$955.00$1,308.00
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Insurance companies want your business, but not for any price. The underwriting method provides them with time to perform their groundwork and get to know you before deciding whether or not you are a good match for them.

Find Out More About Your Options

Despite the hurdles, obtaining a life insurance policy with a criminal background is possible. Are you ready to buy life insurance for felons? Find life insurance for felons quotes now by searching by your ZIP code and start comparing life insurance companies that offer policies to felons.

References:

  1. https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter

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