As we all know, finding the right life insurance and policy can be time-consuming. Even with no health problems, it takes time to find that one policy that matches all our needs for an affordable price. Therefore, it becomes even harder once you throw a curveball into the mix, such as life insurance after a felony.
In the past, we have given advice on what to do if you have an existing health condition or even if you have been rejected previously. However, there is one topic we haven’t yet addressed: getting life insurance with a criminal record.
Felonies, Misdemeanors and Life Insurance
All things considered, it isn’t completely impossible to obtain life insurance with a felony. Sure, you will need to be smart and we have some tips for you today. In the following article on life insurance with a felony or misdemeanor, we are going to cover the topic extensively including the dependent factors, how to be smart, and what premiums you can expect moving forward!
Life Insurance with Misdemeanors
Let’s start by saying that misdemeanors are typically not going to preclude you from getting life insurance. Ultimately, it will come down to the misdemeanor and how long it has been since you received the misdemeanor. If you are looking for life insurance with a misdemeanor, give us a call and we can offer a free consultation on what you can expect when your criminal background check finds some questionable activity.
Now on to why felonies matter.
Why Felonies Matter
First and foremost, we should explain why felonies cause a problem because this is the root to everything. If they weren’t a problem, we wouldn’t need to provide this guide today. Essentially, life insurance companies have to assess your lifestyle and various other factors so they can judge how safe their investment will be with you. With previous felonies on your record, you are a higher risk compared to someone with a clean record.
At first, this sounds as though you have little option but to give up on your search but there is a saving grace. Over the years, each felony has been granted a weighting to see how severe your case may be. Much like the ‘signal’ we see on cell phones, each company will weigh felonies in a different way so the same felony can get you rejected from one company but accepted from another.
Also adding to the weighting, other factors will be considered such as time frame, type of felony, and frequency. As long as you work with a reputable agent who knows the market like the back of their hand, you will be in a great position to get yourself covered. Below, we have listed the most important considerations for the most felony friendly life insurance companies.
Overall, this will be the biggest piece of information the provider needs and it will go a long way to deciding whether they will accept or reject you instantly. Since you become a higher risk with more severe offenses, they will dig deeper to find the circumstances of the felony as well as the positive steps you have taken ever since. If you were arrested for some sort of drug use, for example, you would need to show some improvement since then and positive action such as rehabilitation.
Here is a list of crimes that will most likely rule out most life insurance policies and companies. If your felony falls into one of these categories, consider coverage from one of the best final expense burial insurance companies.
- Drug Trafficking
- Child Molestation
- or Conspiracy to commit any of the above
After this, they are likely to see how long you served (or whether you did at all) to further gauge the situation and see how severe the offense was. Although all companies are different, you will find that most companies require you to be two years out from your probation period. If you have passed this time frame, you should find it much easier to obtain coverage.
If it has been a good amount of time since your last felony, this will be a positive too as it reduces the risk once again. If all dues have been served, you start to look like a more positive risk and coverage should be achievable.
Felony Within One Year
With the probation period, you might find a handful of companies that cover people between one and two years. However, you will not find anything under one year because they can’t get enough information about whether you have changed or the frequency of your felonies. If this is the case for you, you might want to look towards accidental death insurance or even a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
As the name suggests, accidental death insurance will cover you and provide the death benefit to the beneficiary if you were to die from an accident.
On the other hand, guaranteed issue life insurance means that you cannot be rejected but you will have to pay premiums that are higher than other options. Furthermore, a graded benefit means that the full benefit will not be available until a couple of years into the policy.
Although these might not be your desired options right now, at least it has you covered in the short-term as opposed to having nothing and leaving your loved ones vulnerable.
Being Smart with Your Application
With all of this information in mind, let’s provide you with some more information if you believe that normal life insurance with a felony is achievable.
If you aren’t sure what to do, get in touch with a professional, such as the pros at JustBuryMe, as they will have seen cases like yours in the past.
According to a recent report, over 32% of American adults have some form of criminal record. Sure, they won’t all be felonies but it shows that this problem is more common than you might have thought.
As we discovered earlier, life insurance companies are hesitant to insure felons because of the potential lifestyle, diseases that can be contracted within the prison walls, relationship between prison/felonies and drug/alcohol abuse, stress of incarceration leading to health problems, and the increased chance of accidental death. Even after all this, there is the biggest concern of all; re-incarceration. Since over 50% of all felons are repeat offenders, you can see exactly why providers are so cautious.
Therefore, you have to be smart during the whole application process. With everything we have seen to this point, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to be rejected at the first attempt. For many, it takes time to find the right company who are willing to forgo what has happened in the past as long as you have made positive changes to your lifestyle.
Find the right Agent
Something we have touched upon so far but not gone into too much detail, we also recommend talking to a professional agent. For some reason, there is a negative perception of agents and people say they are a ‘waste of money’ but the opposite is actually true. With superior knowledge of the industry, they will know exactly where to look which saves you the process of getting rejected time and time again.
Avoid Captive Agents
Beware of captive agents, for example State Farm agents, who can only offer one company. When looking for life insurance with a felony you need options. A captive agent will not be able to provide you with options.
As long as you find the right agent, you will be in touch with some of the biggest names and best policies in the life insurance marketplace. After first contacting your chosen agent, they will ask you a number of questions similar to the considerations we have already seen.
For example, they need to know what type of crime it was because murder, drug trafficking, and other serious offenses call for an automatic rejection of ordinary life insurance. If that is the case, consider either simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance.
In addition to this, they will ask for the severity of the crime as minor felonies and white collar crime will be less of a problem to carriers.
Also, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem if your one and only felony was some time ago so frequency will be another factor.
Finally, they will talk with you about your current status and what has changed since your incarceration. At this point, we should note that there isn’t a time limit on your criminal record which means that felonies will always be considered with life insurance regardless of the time that has passed since.
Once these key considerations have been discussed, the agent will inform you of whether they can help. If so, the process will start as soon as possible.
This being said, there are some other common issues that do have time limits and bankruptcy is a perfect example of this. Normally, it will be removed from your record after around eight years. With health issues, they don’t necessarily get erased from your record over time but they certainly become less of a concern. Therefore, it gives you an insight to how seriously felonies are taken when it comes to life insurance.
Life Insurance with a Felony Rates
Despite being able to help significantly with your application process, agents aren’t magicians and they won’t be able to lower the premiums you will pay. As it has been for many years, felons generally pay a higher fee for the luxury of life insurance because there is still a risk involved. Even if you can calm most worries with the depending factors we have discussed, there is still more concern compared to someone with no felonies so this will put you in a higher risk category.
Find an Agent that Can “Shop Around”
When working with your agent, you will need to scour the market for the very best deals because the offers you receive will vary greatly. As well as those who reject you completely, you will find those willing to insure but for an extortionate fee. Once you filter these out, you will find some options that you can consider ‘affordable’ for the time being. If the considerations are just too severe and you have no other option, you might be left needing guaranteed issue policy or an accidental death policy.
There we have it, your complete guide to finding life insurance with a felony on your criminal record. Many years ago, it would be much harder for felons to obtain life insurance but now there are some extremely valuable resources that make the whole process easier including agents and the internet. Before you even contact an agent, there is nothing wrong with doing some research online just as you have by finding this guide. As you visit different sites, you will pick up numerous tips and different pieces of advice.
Ultimately, life insurance companies will open their conversations with you in a nervous fashion but it is your job to prove them that you are now responsible and have made positive steps since your conviction. At all times, you just need to be honest and the companies will help you out wherever possible. Whatever you do, never lie because this will have you rejected from potential companies that would have accepted you if you had just been honest. Let’s not forget, providers have access to all sorts of files and systems so it is only a matter of time before they find out the truth!