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Life Insurance With A Criminal History

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There’s no denying a criminal record makes finding life insurance much more difficult.

Yet, it can be done. And that’s exactly what we do.

In fact, depending upon the specifics of your record, there’s a good chance you will qualify for traditional coverage.

There are few instances where we won’t be able to get you a normal life insurance policy, and, even then, we have alternate options available for you.

It’s our goal to help you find the best life insurance with a criminal history of any kind. Here’s what you need to know.

Getting Approved For Life Insurance with a Criminal History

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, roughly 68 million Americans have a criminal record of some kind.

About 5 million of these are felonies. While many of those with criminal records are still behind bars, the better portion are now leading normal lives. There’s a very small chance they’ll commit another crime.

Past crimes stay on the record for several years, sometimes forever. Past mistakes then haunt you when it comes to doing otherwise normal things like getting a job, buying a car, and buying life insurance.

There’s no getting around the fact purchasing life insurance with any kind of criminal history is frustrating, especially if you have a felony conviction. In some rare cases, it’s next to impossible.

But our team of experts is here to help. We understand what life insurance companies look for and can help you increase your chances of qualifying for coverage. We also know which companies are most likely to offer a policy, and which ones will save you the most money.

The All Important Application Process

Life insurance companies are all about avoiding risk. They don’t like to extend their services to clients who pose an extremely high risk to their company.

Usually, they look at a potential client’s medical history. Serious illnesses and injuries can disqualify the client from coverage. A criminal history is sort of the same.

Simply put, these life insurance companies are wary of those with criminal histories. Not only because those with a criminal past often lead a high risk lifestyle which could result in early death, but also because the chance of re-offending is high.

While looking over your application, underwriters at the company will assess the level of mortality risk you pose. This will be their basis for accepting or denying you coverage. It’s also how they calculate how high your premium will be. The more risk, the higher the premium. The less risk, the cheaper the policy.

The U.S. Department of Justice states a few of the reasons those with a criminal history are considered high risk include:

  • Riskier Lifestyle
  • Higher Risk of Accidental Death
  • Greater Chance of Drug Use
  • Potential Diseases Contracted in Prison
  • Poor Physical and Mental Health Caused by Incarceration

All of these reasons make life insurance companies wary. In fact, those with recent histories might find they’re denied coverage by several companies before finding a match. One of our main goals is to make sure you don’t denied at all; we’ll ask for a pre-approval, when necessary, to avoid a decline.

This is why doing your research is so important. Be ready to answer many queries, including the following questions:

Type of Crime – What kind of crime did you commit? Those who committed major felonies including rape, murder, and arson are not accepted.

Severity of Crime – How severe was the crime? Those who committed minor felonies like burglary and vandalism are often accepted. The same goes for those who committed most misdemeanors.

Number of Crimes – How many crimes are on your criminal record? The fewer you have, the better your chances of being accepted.

Time Since Crimes – How long ago was the last crime committed? The farther in the past they occurred, the better.

Type of Sentence – What are the specifics of your sentencing? How much time did you serve for your crimes?

Rehabilitation – What have you done to change your lifestyle since you were convicted? If your crime was drug related, did you attend a drug treatment program afterwards?

Another factor to keep in mind is probation. Those currently on probation have an almost 0% chance of qualifying for life insurance coverage.

Felonies never disappear from your criminal history. In other words, a felony conviction will always influence a life insurance company’s decision on whether to offer you coverage or not.

A life insurance company will also vet you just like any other applicant. They’ll want to know about your medical history and your current lifestyle (diet, exercise, and smoking habits). All of this is needed to assess your risk to them.

Be sure to note each company treats potential clients with a criminal history differently. If one company turns you down, there might be another just around the corner who will accept you. If you’ve already been denied, please let us know who you applied with so we can better assess our recommendations for you moving forward.

Common Results You Might Expect

The fact of the matter is you will more than likely pay more than someone without a record.

Though some people with very minor records might receive a Preferred or Standard rating, those with more serious records will likely receive a Sub-Standard rating, or be subjected to Flat Extra fees.

Felons, on the other hand, will be very lucky to receive traditional coverage, especially those with relatively recent crimes. These people might need to look for an alternative form of coverage like a graded policy or guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

If this is the case, we’ll explain your options to you.

What to Do Next

It’s our goal to help you find the best life insurance regardless of your criminal past. We work with several of the top companies and know which are most likely to accept you.

Working with us saves you a lot of time and significantly increases the chances you’ll find the policy you’re interested in. Not only will we help you with the application process, we will also show you which steps you can take to increase your chances of acceptance, and pay the least.

Contact us with questions, or get a quote on this page at no better than the Regular rating.


Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of, LLC. and a multi-state licensed life insurance agent who has helped over a million Americans seek out affordable coverage, compare quotes, or get their family and businesses covered.

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