Having a criminal record can make it hard to secure basic necessities like employment, housing, and life insurance. This is particularly unfortunate, especially when it comes to purchasing life insurance because in may ways, felons may have an even greater need for life insurance as it can help them take responsibility, make amends, and break the cycle of poverty, crime, and instability.
This is why, we here at JustBuryMe, always try our best to help those who have already been told no.
Can I qualify for a life insurance policy with a felony on my record?
Qualifying for life insurance with a felony is kind of like trying to get a job as a barista at Starbucks with a mugshot as your profile picture. It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely not going to be easy.
But just like there’s always that one boss who’s willing to give a person with a checkered past a chance, some life insurance companies may also be willing to overlook your past transgressions.
So, in short, can you qualify for a life insurance policy with a felony?
Sure, it’s possible!
But it’s also like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole… it can be done, but it might take a bit of extra elbow grease. And in some cases, you might have to settle for something less than you originally hoped for.
Can I qualify for a life insurance policy while on parole?
This is a much easier question because when it comes to being on parole, you’re not going to find a life insurance company willing to offer you a traditional life insurance policy. This is because is viewed as being an unstable situation.
First, because, “active parolees” have a tendency to go back to prison pretty frequently and you can imagine that most life insurance companies don’t want to insure someone while they are in prison.
And secondly, if you are currently on parole, that probably means the crime you committed wasn’t all that long ago.
And like time heals most wounds, time also has a tendency to mature people and make them less foolish as they age (hopefully). This is why some life insurance companies will limit how far back they’ll look into someone’s past.
How far back will a life insurance company look for a felony or misdemeanor?
Ah, the age-old question of how far back a life insurance company will dig into your past… it’s like trying to remember how much you had to drink at that wild tailgate party from 10 years ago. Some things are best left in the past, but insurance companies have a way of digging them up.
In all seriousness, life insurance companies typically look at an applicant’s past several years when evaluating their application. However, the exact time frame will vary from company to company. Some may look as far back as five to ten years, while others may only look back a couple of years.
In general, the further back the time frame, the more information the insurer will have about an applicant, which can help them make a more accurate risk assessment.
This is why most life insurance companies will ask the question:
“Have you EVER been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?”
Other insurance companies may take a hybrid approach, by which they will ignore some felony charges after a period of time, but not other more serious charges. Serious charges such as murder, sexual assaults, etc.
In general, though, the most recent information on one’s record is usually what’s given the most weight, so if you have a spotless record and have been living a healthy and stable lifestyle, the past may not be as much of a concern.
OK, but what happens if I qualify for a life insurance policy, then I get sent to prison? Will my life insurance policy be valid in prison?
Whether or not your life insurance policy will be valid if you go to prison after you have been approved for coverage will depend on the terms of your policy and the specific circumstances surrounding your imprisonment.
Generally speaking, most life insurance policies will remain in force as long as the policyholder continues to pay premiums and does not commit suicide within the first two years of the policy.
However, if you are convicted of a crime and sent to prison, you may find it difficult or impossible to continue paying premiums.
Additionally, a few policies have a provision where if you are incarcerated, the death benefit will not be paid out, so it’s important to check the terms and conditions of your policy in order to understand what exactly would happen.
It should also be noted that most life insurance policies will contain a “contestability clause” which states that during the first couple of years that a life insurance policy is in place, the company has the right to investigate whether the contractual agreement was made in good faith.
Now, insurance companies will usually only investigate claims where an insured dies from a natural cause of death shortly after purchasing a new policy to see if the insured intentionally omitted information about their health.
For example, something like they failed to mention that 2 weeks before applying for their life insurance policy they suffered from a heart attack while in Mexico, meaning that there were no records of the incident here in the United States. Well that would be considered by most life insurance companies as intentional omission or fraud.
Conversely, if an applicant were to be arrested for the manufacturing of a controlled substance 2 weeks after applying for a life insurance policy, it is reasonable to assume that the insurance company might want to reconsider their approval.
Now, does that mean they definitely will? That’s not something for us to decide, all we can say for sure is that you really ought to be as honest as possible when applying for coverage so that if and when you are approved, your policy will never be in doubt!
What if my felony prevents me from being able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy?
If your felony conviction prevents you from being able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of options.
One possible alternative is to look into Guaranteed Issue life insurance policies. These policies don’t require a medical exam or a review of your criminal history, which makes it easier for people with a criminal record to qualify for coverage.
However, these policies are typically more expensive and offer lower death benefits than traditional life insurance policies and will contain a graded death benefit limiting when natural causes of death will be covered.
Accidental Death Insurance
Another possible solution might be to purchase an accidental death policy which will provide coverage in the event that you die from an accident.
Unfortunately, these types of insurance policies won’t provide coverage for natural causes of death, but they do provide some protection to their insured and can be a great way option for those who may be eligible for traditional coverage later in life (ie: after they are off parole, or after enough time has passed since their offense).
And there you have it…
Getting life insurance with a felony on your record may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. Just remember, the key is honesty and transparency.
The insurance company may ask you a lot of questions, but just keep in mind that they’re only trying to get to know you better, and hopefully, insure you for a long and prosperous life.
So don’t be afraid to come clean about your past, because at the end of the day, the most important thing is making sure your loved ones are taken care of in the event of the unexpected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply for life insurance with a felony on my record?
Yes, you can apply for life insurance with a felony on your record. However, your eligibility and the cost of the policy may be impacted by the severity of the offense, the length of time since the conviction, and other factors.
Will my felony conviction affect my ability to get life insurance?
Your felony conviction may affect your ability to get life insurance, but it’s not an automatic disqualification. The insurance company will evaluate your application based on factors such as the severity of the offense, the length of time since the conviction, and your current circumstances.
Will my premium be higher if I have a felony conviction?
Your premium may be higher if you have a felony conviction. Insurance companies typically view individuals with criminal records as higher risk, so they may charge higher premiums or limit the coverage options available to you.
What if my felony was a long time ago?
The length of time since your felony conviction may impact your eligibility and the cost of the policy. Generally, the longer it has been since the conviction, the better your chances of being approved for life insurance.
Can I get life insurance while on probation or parole?
It’s possible to get life insurance while on probation or parole, but it can be challenging. The insurance company will evaluate your application based on your criminal history and current circumstances, including the terms of your probation or parole. In general though, most life insurance companies will automatically deny any application applying for traditional term or whole life insurance until the applicant has completed their parole period.
Should I disclose my felony conviction on my life insurance application?
Yes, you should disclose your felony conviction on your life insurance application. Failing to disclose your criminal history can result in your policy being canceled or your beneficiaries being denied the death benefit.
What if I’m denied life insurance because of my felony conviction?
If you’re denied life insurance because of your felony conviction, you may still have options. Options such a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, a group life insurance policy (through your employer) or an accidental death policy.
Are there any types of life insurance that are easier to get with a felony conviction?
Some types of life insurance may be easier to get with a felony conviction than others. For example, guaranteed issue life insurance policies don’t require a medical exam or health questions, but they may have higher premiums and lower death benefits.
Can I get life insurance if I’m still in prison?
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get life insurance if you’re still in prison, but you can start planning for life insurance once you’re released. Working with a life insurance agent who understands your situation can help you prepare for the future.
What if I have multiple felony convictions?
Having multiple felony convictions can make it more challenging to get life insurance, but it’s not impossible. The insurance company will evaluate your application based on the severity and number of the offenses, as well as the length of time since the convictions.
How can I improve my chances of getting approved for life insurance with a felony conviction?
Improving your chances of getting approved for life insurance with a felony conviction may involve working with a life insurance agent who specializes in helping individuals with criminal records, improving your credit score, and demonstrating that you’ve made positive changes in your life since the conviction.
Can I get life insurance for my children if I have a felony conviction?
Yes, you can get life insurance for your children if you have a felony conviction. Your criminal history typically won’t affect your ability to purchase life insurance for someone else, such as your child.