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Life Insurance for Felons & Criminal Records

Life Insurance for Felons & Criminal Records | Complete Intuitive New Guide for [2022]

Applying for life insurance for felons is a little more involved than most conventional life insurance applications. But thelife insurance for felons applicant can be very successful if they apply with the correct life insurance company. The life insurance industry is fully aware that people are only human and we can all make mistakes but they still consider felons as a higher risk.

Having a felony conviction on your record is not the end of the world when it comes to purchasing life insurance for felons with criminal records. The statistics show that people with criminal histories tend to live shorter lives. This blog post will go over everything you need to know to enable you to apply, get approved, and receive the lowest rates possible with a criminal record.



How Can I Get Approved for Life Insurance for Felons?

The statistics show that about 87% of life insurance applicants have no idea that a criminal charge on their record could inhibit them from buying life insurance. Attempting to qualify for life insurance with a criminal charge can go from no problem at all to totally impossible depending on the offense. The felony class of convictions makes it much harder than misdemeanors. One in every three American adults has a criminal record.

The exact specifics of your felony, especially the exact offense and how severe it was, are examined closely by the underwriting team at the insurance company. The bottom line is what you did to get arrested and convicted will determine if you will get approved or declined. Just as an example, a person convicted of murder, rape, child molestation will be out of the question. Felony convictions are steadily rising in the United States. The request for purchasing life insurance for felons has gone up 8% in the last year.


Approximately 68% of Applicants With Felonies Are Approved 

Many applicants with a criminal record can be approved for life insurance because the majority have more mild and not violent criminal offenses. The individuals with the more severe felony charges which are usually violent usually have no interest in buying life insurance in the first place. Many of these convictions are for a white-collar crime which is more acceptable from an insurance companies standpoint than a person convicted of assault, battery, or a sex crime. 

One very important concept to remember is, there will be no death claim payment made if the beneficiary was killed while in the commission of committing a crime!

Is the Time Element of My Criminal Record Important?

All life insurance companies want to zero in on when the crime you were convicted of was committed. If the crime appears to be an isolated incident and the conviction date was several years in the past, that will be taken into consideration. If you have been convicted multiple times in the past for a felony-degree crime, this would indicate you did not learn from this experience and your application will likely be declined.

If the crime was an isolated incident that occurred years earlier, there’s a reasonable likelihood that your application can be approved. If you are still actively on probation or parole you can expect your application will be declined. You would still have the opportunity to re-apply at a later date. If you apply for life insurance for felons and you are declined, you can always re-apply at a later date.


Life Insurance for Death Row Inmates

Unfortunately, purchasing life insurance for death row inmates is out of the question. If a death row inmate already has a life insurance policy, the life insurance company is responsible to pay the full face amount after the execution has been performed.


Is Life Insurance Available to Convicts Confined to a Prison?

If you are a convicted criminal confined to a state or federal penitentiary. Your chances of getting approved for conventional life insurance are extremely slim. However, you can apply for a final expense policy otherwise known as guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies have guaranteed acceptance usually with a two-year waiting period for the policy to pay the full face amount.

The death benefit is normally up to $25,000 with some companies having a $35,000 maximum. If you die before the two-year elimination period the policy will only pay out the full amount of your premiums paid in. These are Whole Life policies.


Do the Carriers Consider the Nature of My Crime?

Most of all, the life insurance companies will be especially concerned with what type of crime did you commit. Also, was it a violent crime against people such as murder, battery, or rape? Specific crimes such as murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, or assault with a deadly weapon will certainly be declined.

Crimes such as drug sales convictions far enough in your past possibly could be approved as long as you have been clean from crime for 3-5 years. Repeat offenders will never meet any of the guidelines and can be declined from coverage. As many Americans that have college diplomas have felony convictions.


What Do the Companies Take Into Consideration?

These categories have all been found to be prevalent to law-breaking offenders and the normal associations that they keep:

  • High-risk lifestyles
  • Poor overall health due to incarceration
  • Heavy tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Narcotics use and addiction
  • Serious Diseases contracted in jails
  • Greater chance of accidental death
  • Death from the commission of a crime
  • Filing a bankruptcy

The life insurance companies look at criminal offenders as a very poor risk and the statistics support this belief. Purchasing life insurance for felons with a serious offense where there is bodily injury is much more difficult.

Almost 44% of criminals released from prison, return before their first year out of prison! Besides the chances that a criminal can be killed acting in the commission of a crime. The carriers are very concerned about the great chance the individual will be re-incarcerated later. 

Important Questions Your Application Will Be Based On

Here are some of the most important questions the companies will want answers to before they move forward with the processing of your application.

  • The Type of Crime You Committed – The very serious felonies such as murder, armed robbery, terrorism, rape, sexual assaults on minors, sales of narcotics are all going to be declined right from the get-go. If you were charged with a more minor charge such as vandalism, fraud, or theft, you have a very good chance of being approved.
  • When You Committed the Crime – The more mild crimes are reviewed less severely as time passes by. The longer it’s been since you committed the crime the better. This holds unless you have committed additional crimes since then. Purchasing life insurance with a criminal record is much easier if the crime was initially committed far in the past.
  • Number of Crimes You Committed – Committing multiple crimes will peg you as a repeat offender and will drastically reduce your chances of being approved for life insurance for felons.
  • The Current Status of Your Crime – Are you still on probation or parole for the crime you were convicted of?  
  • Crime Severity – If your crime was a violent crime against persons inflicted physical or mental injury, your application can easily be declined. 


Will My Age Factor Be Taken Into Consideration?

The life insurance companies will also take into consideration the life insurance applicant’s age when they were found guilty of committing a specific crime. For example, was the applicant 17 years old or in his mid-forties? The applicant’s age just likes how long ago did he commit the crime is very important. Many times you people will make mistakes because of lack of experience and learning about respect for the law. Getting life insurance with criminal records is a case-by-case system that takes a lot of thought and consideration.


Will Having a Felony On My Record Affect My Rates?

Normally unless your criminal charges were very mild. Your rates will be affected in one-way shape or form. Anytime a risk exposure increases for a life insurance company, they have to charge for that additional risk based on their statistic reports. A life insurance companies rates are built on the statistics that they pay statisticians every year. This is the only way to be able to be fair with the consumers and with their ability to pay death claims as they are requested every year. 


Can Health Conditions Affect My Rates?

Having health conditions is the number one concern on your application for life insurance for felons and criminal charges. In this case, your history with any brushes with the law will be secondary. Depending on the health conditions you may have. The health classification that you will be assigned will be adjusted accordingly with the added risk your health conditions impose. If your health conditions are not in any way life-threatening, they probably will not make any difference in your premium. If you apply for life insurance for felons and you have any serious medical conditions. The life insurance company will be more concerned with your health than your criminal record.


Life Insurance for Felons and Health Classifications

A health classification otherwise known as a rate classification is a system that analyses the potential health risk of the life insurance applicant. This dictates the amount of risk the insurance carriers are assuming by issuing the applicant a life insurance policy.

Here is the basic health classification most people have remembered being exposed to when they applied for life insurance:

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard Classes
  • Smoker Rate Classes
  • Sub-Standard Rate Classes

An individual applying for life insurance with a felony charge will more than ever be placed into the standard rate class area and not preferred.


What Are Life Insurance Flat Extra Fees?

Most people have never heard of flat extra fees but they are another way life insurance rates are adjusted accordingly.

Life insurance flat extra charges are additional fees based on a dollar amount that is added to each $1,000.00 of life insurance coverage which is known as the policy face amount or death benefit.

This dollar amount would commonly be, for example, $1.50, $2.50, $3.00, $5.00, etc. The exact amount of the flat extra would be determined by the exact risk involved and its intensity towards a possibly fatal outcome of the beneficiary.

Here is an example of a flat extra fee being used:

A professional Ironworker who has a high-risk job walking on beams 40 stories in the air wants to purchase a term life insurance policy that has a premium of $1,200.00 per year. The life insurance company decides due to the added risk to add a flat extra fee of $3.00 per $1000.00 of coverage. The Ironworker is purchasing a $250,000 policy.

The calculation of the flat extra fee would be $3.00 x 250 which would equal $750.00. You would then add the base policy premium he already has of $1,200.00 per year for a total of $1,950.00 per year.

This addition of the flat extra fee covers the additional risk the life insurance company is assuming in case this Ironworker falls off the building to his death which would trigger the death benefit in this simple example. These types of fees can also be added to an applicant with a criminal charge on his record applying for life insurance for felons.


Running a Simple Medical Pre-Screen Before You Apply

Taking out the ten minutes to run a quick medical pre-screen is the smartest way to eliminate any unwanted surprises in your application process. A pre-screen will expose anything negative to your health history, high risk occupation, hobby, or sport. This would also pick up information about your arrest record background. A pre-screen is simple a questionnaire constructed by your agent and is not connected with the government or any databases.

Medical pre-screening can also help choose what life insurance company to apply with. Choosing the correct carrier is going to be the most important step you can take. We use over 40 of the top life insurance companies in the nation.

Can I Apply for Life Insurance for Felons Over the Telephone?

You have three different ways you can apply for life insurance for felons. The first way is the paperlife insurance with a felony conviction application, the second is the online application using your computer. The third and by far the best way is to simply apply using the telephone. Applying over the telephone is simple, it takes much less time and it gives you a great advantage of explaining all your answers in detail if needed.

Typical life insurance for felons telephone application can take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and all you have to do is simply answer a few questions. All of the other work is mostly done by your agent.


Can I Apply Without Taking a Medical Exam?

Another option you have is applying for life insurance with a felony and skipping the medical exam. This plan design is referred to as No Medical Exam Life Insurance otherwise known as Non-Med life insurance. The best part about no medical exam life insurance is no medical records are normally requested. Also, no paramed exam appointments with the blood test, blood pressure test, height & weight, etc. 

Non-Med policies have very short turn-around times where you can be approved within 24-48 hours with some companies. The number of questions that are asked is far less than their full underwriting counterparts.


How Much Does Life Insurance for Felons Cost?

The actual cost of your life insurance will depend on many variables such as mainly your health history, a hazardous occupation or sport, your parent’s longevity, and several other factors. Due to your criminal offense, you should simply give us a call 7 days a week and we can pre-screen your situation and point you in the right direction.

After we know what the terms of your criminal offense are, we will contact several companies to find who will offer you approval along with the lowest premiums. The situation is quite simple but we want to make sure you receive accurate information.


In Conclusion

Hopefully, this blog post has given you some insight concerning purchasing life insurance for felons. The easiest thing to do is give us a call 7 days a week from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM and we can answer any of your questions. Applying for life insurance with a criminal offense is not difficult, but it does require a little more legwork on your agent’s part to zero in on the best carriers for your specific situation. Thank you very much for reading this post, I hope it helped you.

All the best,
Jack Venturi

You may set up a time at your convenience to get all your questions answered within minutes to get you pointed in the right direction. There is never any cost or obligation for our help!



Jack Venturi Independent Life Insurance Agent

Jack Venturi

Independent agent and founder of

Jack Venturi has over 30 years of experience selling all forms of individual and commercial insurance including Property & Casualty, Health, Disability and Life insurance. Jack has helped thousands of people all across the United States purchase the best life insurance products at the lowest possible premiums over the phone (800)-897-5699 and online.