Can you get life insurance if you are a felon?

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Important things to know...
  • Insurers evaluate felonies case-by-case, by their own criteria
  • Major felonies often qualify for automatic rejection
  • Minor felonies are assessed based on criteria like severity, frequency and current status

Generally speaking, people with a felony on record have a harder time getting life insurance than those who do not. Individual insurance companies evaluate candidates criminal based on their own criteria and discretion.

However, there has been an industry standard established in the sector for handling those with a felonious history.

If you have any misdemeanors or are minor felony you should be able to find an insurer eventually. If you’ve committed a series of felonies or any major felony in the past, it may prove to be much more of a challenge

If you’ve committed a series of felonies or any major felony in the past, it may prove to be much more of a challenge finding a life insurance provider willing to offer you a policy.

In the eyes of the life insurance company, individuals with felonies is a high-risk investment for a multitude of reasons.

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Life Insurance and Felony Records


Life insurance companies consider people with felony records to have a higher proclivity for high-risk lifestyles, including a greater likelihood to abuse drugs or alcohol.

A history of incarceration comes with implications or health risks associated with high stress and potentially contracted diseases. Individuals with felonies have also proven to have a greater risk of suffering accidental death as well.

Understanding Different Felonies

People with a minor felony on record may still need to do some searching before finding a life insurance policy they qualify for.

Minor felonies like vandalism, fraud, burglary and white collar crimes are enough to get your application declined, depending on the severity and frequency of the offenses.

Major felonies like arson, drug trafficking, rape and murder qualify for an immediate rejection from most life insurance companies.

Qualifying Factors for Felony Records


Depending on the severity of the minor felony, the more time that has passed, the more likely you are to find an insurer willing to take you on. The current status or any efforts at rehabilitation subsequent to the offense can help improve the likelihood of your acceptance.

If you are still on probation, you may have to wait up to a few years after it ends before you’re able to find a life insurance policy you qualify for.

Felons who are able to find a life insurer should expect to pay more than the average policyholder. People with a recent felony conviction on record will have a harder time finding a life insurance policy they qualify for.

The date of the offense, the length of incarceration and the date of the probation termination are always factors when evaluating candidates with felony records.

Realistic Expectations for Felons

Life insurance companies generally do not accept people are on probation, incarcerated or awaiting trial.

Even with waiting until a year after probation ends, life insurance may prove to be more expensive for people with a felony. For the first five years following probation, many insurers charge a flat fee of 25 percent per $1,000 in coverage.

The Risks Associated with Felonies

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Life insurance apply the similar risk assessment strategy to evaluating criminal record as they do when reviewing a candidate’s health history or occupation.

A criminal history can present particular risks that are likely to lead to early death, resulting in a payout on their death benefit. The risk of contracting a disease and intense stressors associated with prison are significant factors that could lead to an early death.

The risk of committing another crime and the drug use associated with people who have felony records is another reason insurers have an aversion to taking on these policyholders.

Research shows that over 60 percent of the prisoners released from incarceration return within approximately three years.

In comparison to the average person, research shows that policyholders are at a greater risk of suffering an early death associated with drug abuse, the commission of a crime or incarceration.

Getting a life insurance policy is possible if you have a felony on record, but it’s more unlikely for some than others.

There are several factors that determine how life insurance companies will evaluate the application, including the severity of the crime, the time it occurred, the frequency of offenses and the applicant’s legal status.

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