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Can You Get Life Insurance if You’ve Been in Jail?

By Byron Udell | December 8, 2009

Will a felony or misdemeanor affect your life insurance?

Let’s face it.  Nobody likes to reveal the skeletons in their closet.  But when applying for life insurance, it’s important to answer all of the required health and lifestyle questions truthfully in order to get an accurate quote.  But I bet you’re wondering why they ask about felonies and misdemeanors?  The answer is simple.  Life insurance underwriters want to be sure that you are not a violent person.  Violent people tend to have an elevated mortality rate compared to non-violent people.  Therefore, it is risk to be violent, similar to how underwriters classify skydivers and bungee jumpers as risky applicants.  When your life insurance agent asks you this question, it’s important to tell the whole story at that time.

All too often, we have to conduct follow-up calls because the information was not given accurately or entirely.  But if you give the information correctly during the initial phone conversation with your agent, you may still be eligible for life insurance coverage, even if you’ve been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.  You’ll have to answer the following questions:

  • Was there jail time?
  • How long?  And how long ago?
  • Was there probation or parole?
  • How long?  And how long ago?
  • When did probation end?

Keep in mind that underwriting guidelines vary among the best term life insurance companies, but the key is to be honest.  No matter what your circumstances are, underwriters will give your individual case a fair evaluation.

We only work with highly rated insurance companies – brand names you trust. You may be able to save money without sacrificing quality and strength.