The United States had 1,430,000.800 prisoners at the end of 2019. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly half of federal prison inmates were either parents, step-parents or guardians of minor children between 2018 and 2019. Because of the high risk associated with their felon status, it can be difficult to get life insurance coverage to protect loved ones’ financial interests.
Although it is more difficult to get life insurance coverage for convicted felons, it is possible. Prisoners can take steps to get life insurance coverage that will provide financial protection for their loved ones in the event of their death.
How to get life insurance for a felon
Understanding your risk profile is the first step in buying life insurance. Understanding the factors that insurance companies consider when offering life insurance to felons is also important to ensure you get coverage.
Reducing your risk
Inmates are usually considered high-risk clients and insurance companies are reluctant to accept them as clients. Each insurance company evaluates risk differently. You can minimize your risk by making sure you have the details about your imprisonment available. The following factors are usually used to determine a felon’s likelihood of being charged with a crime:
- The gravity of the crime
- The frequency and number of crimes committed
- The time since the crime took place
You may be eligible for coverage as soon as you are released from jail, depending on the nature of your crime. Life insurance companies may be more open to accepting evidence that you have made changes in your life, such as proof of stable employment and no other charges.
Locating a carrier
As we have already mentioned, not all insurance providers are equal in terms of risk. Before you inquire about a policy, it is important to thoroughly research each company. It is possible to get coverage from companies that have had experience in providing life insurance coverage for felons.
You may also be able search for carriers that specialize in high-risk applicants to find one. Before making a decision, make sure you get quotes from several carriers.
Selecting a policy
A guaranteed issue policy is the best choice for obtaining life insurance as a felon. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies provide coverage regardless of criminal or medical history. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies can be more costly than other types, so they may not be the best option if you have a tight budget.
What a felony can do to your life insurance
Important to remember that life insurance companies will only consider applicants who aren’t currently in prison. You will likely not be eligible for coverage if you are currently in jail or awaiting trial.
Insurance companies will review each case individually. Each applicant will be evaluated based on their unique situation. To learn more about how you can get coverage, it is a good idea to talk to an agent.
Be open about any felony convictions when applying for life insurance. Insurance agents often cross-check your data with public records. False information will most likely lead to your application being denied.
There are other options available for coverage
Felons may also be eligible for life insurance beyond the guaranteed issue option.
- Group life insurance: You may be eligible to sign up for a policy if your employer offers life insurance as part of its employee benefits package. You don’t have to disclose your criminal or medical history as required for individual policies. Therefore, felons are able to sign up for these policies. Group insurance rates can be much cheaper than individual policies, as they are shared between a group of people. It is important to remember that group life insurance coverage does not cover you for your entire employment.
- Accidental death and dismemberment: Although not a life insurance policy but a financial aid policy for family members in the event of death or serious injury, felons may be able to provide financial assistance to their loved ones. Beneficiaries will not receive a benefit for death if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or have underlying medical conditions.
It is difficult to find life insurance for felons, but it is possible. Felons can ensure their loved ones have the financial protection they deserve by taking the time to research, reduce risk, and choosing the right policy. A guaranteed issue policy can be a great option for felons who cannot get an individual policy.
Questions frequently asked
If I’m in prison, can I still apply for life insurance?
You will likely not be eligible for life insurance coverage if you are currently in jail or awaiting trial. Before you can apply for life insurance, you will need to wait until all charges have been dropped and your trial ends.
What are the most common questions life insurance agents ask felons about their criminal history?
It is important to prepare for the questions that you will have to answer when applying for insurance. The following questions are often asked by insurance agents:
- Which type of felony have you been charged with?
- What was the severity of the crime?
- What time has passed since the crime occurred?
- Are you currently in jail? Did you go to jail?
- Did you serve a probation period?
- What have you done to help yourself and others since your conviction?
- Are you guilty of any other offenses, either before or after the felony?