Once they are released from prison, felons are looking to get back into society and re-establish family connections.
For many, it means strengthening those relationships that had become so damaged by their conviction.
Felons look to do things most other people do in living their lives.
One of the things that so many in society do who have a family and provide the best for them is, of course, to have a job. That is certainly a major challenge in itself for felons.
One of the other things they do is provide for their families’ future, especially in the event that they die and are no longer there to take care of their families financially.
For many, this means having life insurance.
This blog post will address the issue of whether a felon can get life insurance.
- Factors in Getting Life Insurance
- Risk Factors for Felons
- Other Life Insurance Options
- Making a Case for Insurance
- Supporting Felons in Getting Life Insurance
Factors in Getting Life Insurance
Life insurance companies offer coverage based on certain factors.
Insurance companies inquire about basic information, demographics like age, as well as health, lifestyle, and financial status.
These factors make up the risks of insuring an individual.
Risk Factors for Felons
When considering offering life insurance, the company see felons as representing a more complex set of risk factors.
These include the effect that incarceration has had on an individual’s health, especially for those who have served a lengthy sentence.
There is the cumulative effect that the stress of being in prison has on felons’ health.
They are also concerned about diseases and illnesses felons may have contracted in prison.
Some of these, even if successfully treated at the time, may affect their health later on, including resulting in an earlier death.
Insurance companies tend to see felons as having a high-risk lifestyle, certainly in the past, but for some, on into the future also.
One of the factors considered is the risk felons present for returning to prison.
They realize the high number of felons, at least 2/3 returning to prison within the first two years. They are reluctant to insure those they perceive as going back to prison and possibly dying there.
Among other factors looked at by life insurance companies is the type of crime committed.
The companies refer to a list of different crimes to determine if an applicant’s crime is on that list.
These include the top five reasons for a felony conviction: drug abuse, property crimes, DUI, larceny, and assault.
The most concerning category is that of drug-related offenses. They look at the statistics for those crimes, with at least half of those in prison being there for drug offenses.
Insurance companies see applicants who have been convicted of a drug offense as being exceptionally high insurance risks because of the drug lifestyle, health effects of drug usage, and the high rate of recidivism.
Most companies would prefer to consider felons with a different, lesser type of conviction as a result.
Even so, felons would have to have been out of prison, including probation, for at least two years before insurance companies will consider them.
There are some of the most serious crime categories for which felons must wait at least ten years before being considered for insurance.
These crimes include murder, rape, drug-trafficking, kidnapping, and child molestation. Some in these categories may never qualify for life insurance.
Other questions life insurance companies examine are the type of drug offense for those with this felony. Lesser drugs, such as marijuana, tend to receive more favorable review than narcotics.
They also look at the age of felons at the time of their conviction, the length of time since their sentence ended, and their age at the time of application.
Younger felon applicants tend to have a better chance of approval. Older felons may have a much more difficult time finding life insurance.
For those who are struggling to find life insurance, they need to look at different insurance companies and consider independent agents, who typically have access to more diverse policies than larger insurers.
Other Life Insurance Options
Felons should also be willing to look at different type of policies than just regular life insurance.
Other types of life insurance options include an Accidental Death policy. This is a policy that pays out for deaths that are due to an accident. If the death is due to criminal activity or natural causes, the policy will not pay.
Another type of policy is a guaranteed life insurance policy. This type of policy accepts anyone with only minimal information required.
The difficulty here is that under this policy only a portion of the death benefit will be paid during the first three to four years of the policy. The benefit does increase with time during those first several years.
Importantly for felons, life insurance companies do consider the different factors involved with felons.
In addition to looking at the type of felony, length of time since the conviction, and age of the applicant, many companies will want to see how felons have made their lives different and better since their release.
Making a Case for Insurance
They will consider the circumstances of the crime and the positive steps felons have taken since their release.
For those convicted of drug offenses, they will want to see if they have successfully completed an addiction treatment program. They will also consider the stability of the lifestyle since release.
This means whether felons have a stable employment history since then and their standing in the community and relationships with their families.
These factors all indicate the change from a higher risk lifestyle to one that is more typical of those they would agree to insure.
For felons, making their case for their rehabilitation is important.
Supporting Felons in Getting Life Insurance
For families of felons, support your loved one’s efforts to establish an honest lifestyle.
For many a major sign is the fact that they are demonstrating caring about their family to want to provide for them financially, especially in the event of their death.
Help them succeed in handling an essential family responsibility, such as getting life insurance, in an appropriate manner. Help them become the right kind of statistic!
So what do you think about this blog post about whether felons can get life insurance? Have you or someone you know gotten life insurance after a felony conviction? What was that experience like and how were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.