How to Purchase Life Insurance for Felons in 
Applying for life insurance for convicted felons is a little more involved than most conventional life insurance applications. But the applicant can succeed if they use the right life insurance company. The life insurance industry knows that people are only human and can all make mistakes, but they still consider felons a higher risk.
A felony conviction on your record is not the world’s end when purchasing life insurance for convicted felons. Unfortunately, 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.
Table of Contents
- Can Convicted Felons Get Life Insurance?
- About 68% of Applicants With Felonies Are Approved
- Is the Time Element of My Criminal Record Important?
- Life Insurance for Death Row Inmates
- Is Life Insurance Available to Convicts in Prison?
- Do Carriers Consider the Nature of My Crime?
- What Do Companies Take Into Consideration?
- Questions Your Application Will Focused On
- Will My Age Factor Be Taken Into Consideration?
- Will Having a Felony On My Record Affect My Rates?
- How Do Health Conditions Affect My Rates?
- Life Insurance Health Classifications for Felons
- What Are Life Insurance Flat Extra Fees?
- Run a Simple Medical Pre-Screen Before You Apply
- Can I Apply for Life Insurance for Felons Over the Phone?
- Can I Apply Without Having to Take a Medical Exam?
- Cost of Life Insurance With a Felony Conviction
- In Conclusion
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. Trying to qualify for life insurance with a criminal charge can go from no problem to 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 same 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. For example, a person convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation will be out of the question. Felony convictions are steadily rising in the United States. The request for life insurance for convicted felons has increased 8% in the last year.
Life insurance companies that insure felons are going to easily add up to well over 75% of the carriers in America. Getting approved will depend on the nature of the individuals crimes and their track record of total felony arrests and convictions.
Many applicants with a criminal record can be approved for life insurance because most have mild and nonviolent criminal offenses. Individuals with more severe felony charges, which are usually violent, usually have no interest in buying life insurance in the first place. In addition, many of these convictions are for a white-collar crime which is more acceptable from an insurance company’s standpoint than a person convicted of assault, battery, or a sex crime.
One essential concept to remember is that no death claim will be paid out if the beneficiary was killed while acting in the commission of a crime!
All life insurance companies want to zero in on when you committed the crime you were convicted of. If the crime appears to be an isolated incident and the conviction date was several years in the past, we will consider this. On the other hand, if you were convicted multiple times for a felony degree crime. This will indicate that you did not learn from your experience and will likely decline your application.
If the crime was an isolated incident that occurred years earlier, there is a likelihood that your application could be approved. You can expect your application to be declined if you are actively on probation or parole. However, you still have the opportunity to re-apply at a later date. If you apply for life insurance for convicted felons and your application is declined, you can re-apply later.
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 for paying the full face amount after the execution has been performed.
Suppose you are a convicted criminal confined to a state or federal prison. Your chances of getting approved for conventional life insurance are incredibly slim. However, you can apply for a final expense policy, otherwise known as guaranteed issued life insurance. These policies have guaranteed acceptance, usually with two years for the policy to pay the face amount.
Death benefits are generally 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 number of your premiums. These are Whole Life policies.
Most of all, the life insurance companies will be mainly concerned with what type of crime you committed. Also, applications with violent crimes against people, such as murder, battery, or rape, will undoubtedly decline. Life insurance companies that insure felons put a lot of weight on the nature of the crimes.
Crimes such as drug sales convictions far enough in your past could be approved as long as you have been clean from corruption for 3-5 years. Repeat offenders will never meet the guidelines and can be declined from coverage, as many Americans with college diplomas have felony convictions.
These categories are all prevalent to law-breaking offenders and the usual 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
Life insurance companies consider felons low-risk, and the statistics support this belief. However, purchasing life insurance for felons with a serious offense with bodily injury is more complicated.
Almost 44% of criminals released from prison return before their first year out of prison! Insurers are concerned about the criminal’s likelihood of being re-incarcerated later.
Here are some essential questions the companies will want answers to before they proceed with processing your application.
- The Type of Crime You Committed – The severe felonies such as murder, armed robbery, terrorism, rape, sexual assaults on minors, and narcotics sales will decline right from the get-go. However, you have an excellent chance of being approved if you were charged with a minor charge such as vandalism, fraud, or theft.
- When You Committed a Crime – The more mild crimes are reviewed less severely as time passes. 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 committed in the past.
- Number of Crimes You Committed – Committing multiple crimes will peg you as a repeat offender and drastically reduce your chances of being approved for life insurance for felons.
- 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 violent against persons inflicted with physical or mental injury, you could quickly decline your application.
Life insurance companies will also consider the life insurance applicant’s age when they are found guilty of committing a specific crime. For example, was the applicant 17 years old or in his mid-forties? The applicant’s age and how long he committed the crime are critical. People will often make mistakes because of experience and respect for the law. Getting life insurance with criminal records is a case-by-case system that takes a lot of thought and consideration.
Usually, unless your criminal charges are mild, your rates will be affected in one way, shape, or form. This is because anytime a risk exposure increases for a life insurance company, they have to charge for that additional risk based on their statistical reports. Life insurance companies’ rates are built on the statistics that they pay statisticians every year. This is the only way to be fair with the consumers and their ability to pay death claims as requested yearly.
Health conditions are your primary concern with your application for life insurance for felons and criminal charges. Your history of any brushes with the law will be secondary in this case. Depending on the health conditions you may have. The health classification you will be assigned will be adjusted accordingly with the added risk your health conditions impose.
Suppose your health conditions are not in any way life-threatening. In that case, they probably will not make any difference in your premium if you apply for life insurance for convicted felons and have any severe medical conditions. Again, this is because the life insurance company will be more concerned with your health than your criminal record.
A health classification, otherwise known as a rate classification, is a system that analyzes the potential health risk of the life insurance applicant. For example, a medical condition could impact the insurance carriers’ risk by issuing the applicant a life insurance policy.
Here are the primary health classifications most people remember being exposed to when they applied for life insurance:
- Preferred Plus
- 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.
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 fees based on a dollar amount added to each $1,000.00 of life insurance coverage, 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 for the beneficiary.
Here is an example of a flat extra fee being used:
A professional ironworker with a high-risk job walking on beams 40 stories in the air wants to purchase a term life insurance policy with a premium of $1,200.00 per year. Due to the added risk, the life insurance company decided to add a flat extra fee of $3.00 per $1000.00 coverage. As a result, 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 risk the life insurance company assumes if this iron worker falls off the building to his death, triggering the death benefit. This simple example can also add these types of fees.
Taking ten minutes to run a quick medical pre-screen is the most intelligent way to eliminate unwanted surprises in your application process. A pre-screen will expose anything harmful to your health history, high-risk occupation, hobby, or sport. This will also pick up information about your arrest record background. A pre-screen is simply a questionnaire constructed by your agent and not connected with the government or databases.
Medical pre-screening can also help you choose which life insurance company to apply to. Selecting the correct carrier will be the most critical step you can take. We use over 40 of the top life insurance companies in the nation.
There are three different ways you can apply for life insurance for felons. The first is the paper application, and the second is the online application using your computer. The third and best way is to apply using the telephone. Spreading over the phone is simple, takes much less time, and gives you the significant advantage of explaining 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 answer a few questions. All of the other work is done mainly by your agent.
Another option is applying for life insurance with a felony and skipping the medical exam. The plan design is called No Medical Exam Life Insurance or Non-Med Life Insurance. The best part about not having medical exam life insurance is that no medical records are typically requested. Also, no para-med exam visits with the typical blood test either.
Non-Med policies have very short turnaround times, and some companies can approve you within 24-48 hours. The number of asked questions is far less than their full underwriting counterparts.
The cost of your life insurance will depend on many variables, such as your health history, a hazardous occupation or sport, your parent’s longevity, and several other factors. However, due to your criminal offense, you should call us seven days a week, and we can pre-screen your situation and point you in the right direction.
Once we know the terms of your criminal offense, we will contact several companies on your behalf to find out who will offer the lowest premiums. The situation is simple, but we want to ensure you receive accurate information.
Hopefully, this blog post provides insight into life insurance for felons. The easiest thing to do is give us a call seven 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 tricky, but it does require a little more legwork on your agent’s part to zero in on the best carriers for your specific situation.
All the best,
If you have any questions about life insurance for convicted felons. Contact us today to help you at no cost or obligation. We are brokers and work for our clients, not insurance companies. Our job is to help you get approved for the best policy for your needs with the lowest possible rates. You can also set up a time at your convenience to talk.