Life insurance is an important safety net to have to make sure that in the event of your passing, your family members and beneficiaries are left financially stable. However, there are risks that are assessed by insurance companies that impact your plan and premium. Anyone can sign on for a life insurance policy, at any age, and with varying terms and conditions, but what about those who have been convicted of a crime and are currently serving time?
Life Insurance Options for the Incarcerated
Life insurance policies are made available through a variety of insurance companies, but can you get life insurance for someone in prison? While insurance coverage is hard to find for inmates, there are options out there in the marketplace. Most life insurance for felons is limited to two options: accidental death and dismemberment coverage and guaranteed life insurance policies. Additional coverage requires the need for an attorney or someone with power of attorney to purchase high-risk life insurance on your behalf.
State insurance laws can restrict life insurance for inmates, and most insurance companies have their own protocol for an applicant that has a history of priors. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage provides coverage for death due to an accident. It generally also pays if you lose a limb or a function from an accident. It’s effectively a term life insurance policy but with significant restrictions on payout potential. Guaranteed life insurance policies handle burial and other final expenses and often come with other limitations from insurance providers.
If you had signed up for a life insurance policy before being placed in prison, it can still be in effect so long as the premium is being paid, and your death is not a result of a crime. If you need to purchase life insurance for an inmate, it’s important to reduce as much risk as possible. Every insurance company assesses risk differently, so you’ll want to specialize in high-risk life insurance coverage. These providers do offer up free insurance quotes and may require you to still go through the same practice to issue coverage such as an annual medical exam.
Having power of attorney can allow someone to argue on your behalf and be available to, in essence, endorse you for a particular life insurance policy. Family and other dependents will suffer financially after your death, so you may qualify for high-risk life insurance for inmates through particular insurance companies. A felony conviction may be grounds to turn down high-risk applicants, but beneficiaries that are listed may be able to protect you under their coverage, depending on the specialty insurer and underwriter in the process.
Impacts on Premiums for Felons
Premiums for incarcerated people are oftentimes larger than that of those who are not in jail because of the increased level of risk that comes with being behind bars. However, the cost of all types of life insurance is also impacted by similar factors to those who are not carrying a felony record or on home confinement. Large premiums are quite common for people with certain health risks, and one of the most common risks that are a red flag is tobacco and drug use.
The length of the term of the life insurance plan can impact the cost. It’s important to remember that guaranteed life insurance coverage cannot be purchased for an applicant until the age of 50. There are a few insurance companies that will offer these kinds of policies to those as young as 40. In summary, yes, an incarcerated person can obtain life insurance. However, the options for that insurance coverage are limited.
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