Do insurance companies cover felons and convicts?

Can Felons and Ex-Convicts get Life Insurance?

When deciding whether to provide a person with life insurance, life insurance companies weigh the risks associated with that person.  The riskier the person, the less likely the insurance company will provide a policy.  The risks associated with a person include, for example, the person’s medical history.  If the person has been diagnosed with aggressive skin cancer, the life insurance company may choose not to provide this person with coverage because, should the person die in a short period of time, the insurance company will have to pay out the policy sooner than they would like and issuing the policy would be a losing financial proposition.  Insurance companies examine other risks, such as a person’s job (Is the applicant a race-car driver or a telemarketer?), their recreational activities (Do they often deep-sea dive or sky-dive?), and even the person’s criminal record.  If you have a criminal record, insurance companies will likely view you as leading a “high-risk lifestyle” because they believe you are someone prone to making bad choices.  If you are having difficulty obtaining death benefits, make a good choice by contacting the Boonswang Law Firm so we can help you get your life insurance or accidental death proceeds after your loved one has passed away.

Having a criminal record, however, does not automatically bar you from getting life insurance.  (There are some exceptions to this statement explained below in #3.)  When deciding whether to insure a person with a criminal history, insurance companies often consider the following:

  • Whether you were convicted of a felony. This post discusses a person’s ability to obtain life insurance after they have been convicted of a felony.  If you have only been charged with a felony, or you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, this post may not answer your questions.  Contact the Boonswang Law Firm and we will be happy to discuss your specific situation.
  • Whether the person was incarcerated. Incarceration is a traumatic experience in and of itself, so it inherently takes a toll on a person’s mental and emotional well-being.  Aside from the psychological trauma that incarceration can have on a person, it can have physical impacts on people as well.  While in prison, people are at a higher risk of contracting diseases that can then lead to untimely deaths down the road.  Additionally, drug use is sometimes associated with incarceration and may also lead to premature death.  Whether you were incarcerated for your crimes, how long you were incarcerated, and how long ago you served your time are all very important information to insurance companies.
  • The nature of your crime. The nature and charge of your conviction is important for two (2) reasons.  First, insurance companies use the nature of your crime to determine how risky your behavior has been in the past.  If you have been convicted of murder, rape, drug trafficking, kidnapping, child molestation, and/or conspiracy to commit any of those crimes, you will likely be barred from obtaining life insurance.  Second, life insurance companies want to know the nature of your criminal conviction because some convictions have higher recidivism rates than others.  Essentially, the company will use this information to determine how likely it is that you will return to prison for another felony conviction.
  • Whether there was a probation period. Under normal circumstances, you will be unable to get life insurance while on probation.  Life insurance companies normally require a period of five (5) years to pass from the date that the probation ended until the date that they will agree to provide a life insurance policy to an applicant.  The more time that has elapsed since your criminal activity, the better it is for your life insurance application.
  • Whether you have changed your life around. One good tip is to write the life insurance company a cover letter in which you explain exactly what happened and specifically how you have improved your life since your felony conviction.  Taking responsibility for your decisions and showing that you now have some form of steady employment, some education, and a connection to service and your community will all increase your chances of getting approved for life insurance.  When it is time to submit a claim, the Boonswang Law Firm can help ensure that your beneficiary receives payment of the death benefit.

Philadelphia’s Life Insurance Lawyers

At the Boonswang Law Firm, we are here to help you with all your life insurance questions.  If your loved one had a criminal conviction and you have questions regarding payment on their life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment policy, contact the Boonswang Law Firm and we are happy to discuss any of your concerns.