Buying Life Insurance For Inmates In 2022

Last Updated April 23, 2024

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Can you buy life insurance for inmates?

Yes, you can. 


It may seem like an impossible task to acquire life insurance for inmates, but it’s actually easier than one may think.

Will my rate be astronomical? Well, It certainly doesn’t have to be! 

Many insurance providers specialize in working with individuals that may pose a “risk” to other providers, and your agent especially should work to get the best rate for you. 

(like here at final expense benefits)

Below we’ve outlined a few topics and options for those that are looking for life insurance for inmates.

Although difficult at times, it’s way more possible to get life insurance for inmates then one would think.

Life Insurance for inmates may not be easy to find, but it’s definitely a plausible option for those in this situation. 

The answer is ultimately yes, although your eligibility as well as your applicable rate may change based on the circumstances surrounding your potential sentence. 

It’s important to use the options available to you, as you don’t just have to pick a provider and stick with them. 

We encourage you to leverage your options and use this to your advantage.

There are also certain insurance companies that may produce a more lucrative rate for those in a situation relative to yours.

Can I Recieve Coverage In Jail?

It’s not illegal for inmates to entertain, or receive coverage. There are also no laws dictating who may or may not buy coverage for you as long as you meet all the applicable requirements for this process, as well as acquiring the power of attorney (so long as you consent).

Unfortunately, you are almost never able to receive coverage in jail or while awaiting trial – it’s a rare circumstance if you are accepted during this time period. 

There’s also the Power of Attorney to consider, wherein someone who is given the power of attorney may argue on your behalf, either to demonstrate that coverage is necessary or go through the motions for you while you’re incarcerated/awaiting incarceration.

How To Buy Life Insurance For Inmates

Find a carrier. 

Or a brokerage firm, like here at Final Expense Benefits

Whatever you choose, make sure you trust them or have an alternative in your backpocket. 

Select a policy. 

Do you NEED a term policy? Would a whole life policy do the trick? 

Make sure you’re comfortable in your choices and that you have a backup plan in case something changes along the way. 

Assess your risk level. 

Assess your applicable risk level so that you know the boundaries you’re allowed to exist within the eyes of the provider.

How a Felony Impacts Your Life Insurance

Although the general consensus is that insurance companies will not consider candidates who are currently imprisoned, each application exists on a case-by-case basis and you should speak with your licensed agent with any concerns or questions you may have. 

We recommend being open about any potential hiccups and utilizing the resources around you. 

  1. Your current policy will most likely be voided. If you have a current policy, it’s more then likely this will no longer remain intact as soon as your provider is made aware. 

  2. You more then likely can’t get a new policy if you’re currently incarcerated. Although this isn’t always true, it’s important to note. 

  3. 5 years of back pedaling when applying for life insurance. Life insurance providers will most likely ask you to verify any unspent convictions within the last 5 years, as well as any trips in and out of jail. 

Understanding Your Risk level

With any criminal background, insurance companies will automatically consider you a higher risk applicant then someone who may not have said record. 

Specifically, how much of a risk is at the discretion of that insurance company, as well as based on the information you give them in your medical exam/questionnaire

A situation where all the above will be ignored involve a guaranteed whole life insurance policy, wherein you’re given no medical exam but as a result, a more expensive rate. This policy coincides with life insurance for inmates as a guaranteed whole life insurance policy already labels these applicants as high risk as a result of the lack of medical confirmation. 

Insurance companies will adjust your rate and/or qualification depending on the perceived risk you impose on the insurance company.

They perceive your risk by

How do providers assess your risk level? There’s a lot of different factors that go into it, but the three main factors when applying for life insurance for inmates are.

  • The severity of the crime. 

A crime like first degree murder will hold more weight then a traffic voilation, for example. Obviously we are not condoning illegal behavior but it is important to note that the insurance company will logically adjust your risk based on the severity of the crime, like a trial would with the time spent serving a sentence. 

  • The number of crimes. 

Do you repeatedly keep committing crimes? Was it a one time offense? The latter will at the bare minimum ensure that you are considered for coverage. If you’re constantly landing yourself in trial/jail then it is very likely that you will not even be deemed applicable for coverage in the first place. Again, the only exception may be a guaranteed whole life insurance policy where you are not even screened for applicability. 

  • The time that has passed since the crime was committed.

It’s important to demonstrate that you’re at the very least not interested in committing additional crimes. Like above, if you’re repeatedly committing crimes and showing little remorse then the insurance companies are going to deem you as extremely high risk/not applicable for coverage.

What Questions Can I Expect To See On My Application?

Type of felony

This will heavily act in qualifying/disqualifying you for coverage. 

Severity of crime

This goes hand in hand with the type of felony, and will work to heavily encourage/discourage you from coverage. 

How much time has passed

How long since your sentence/conviction? Are you making an effort to remain outside of jail? 

Did you go to jail? Were you sentenced to jail time? Just a fine? 

This is another important factor when applying for coverage. 


Are you currently on probation? Were you ever on probation?

Have you committed any other crimes? 

Do you continue to land yourself back within the conversation of jail/sentencing? 

What steps are you taking now? Are you actively showing signs of improvement?

Selecting a policy

There are a few policies that may be more lucrative than others when buying life insurance for inmates. 

Below are our top choices when considering what policy to get with life insurance for inmates.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole Life Insurance, or also known as traditional life insurance, is a permanent form of life insurance that contains multiple forms. The most common form of Whole Life Insurance involves a fixed premium as well as lifetime coverage in which payout will be received so long as premiums are paid. Whole Life Insurance’s payout contains a cash value that may be grown over time. In most cases, whole life insurance does not require you to fill out a questionnaire or undergo a medical exam. Most of the time, open care final expense plans applies as a guaranteed whole life policy.

Universal Life Insurance

Similar to a whole life insurance policy, a Universal Life Insurance Policy offers long-term protection and coverage, although without the luxury of fixed premiums. As a result, your premium can change depending on current economic conditions. With this in mind, your policy could potentially substantially increase as you get older. The upside to this policy type, though, is the fact that the payment schedule associated with such a policy is very flexible and allows for payments to be made at the discretion of policyholders.

Final Expense Insurance

Burial Insurance for seniors, or Final Expense plans, involves final expenses such as a funeral, ceremony, cremation, burial, what have you. These policies are similar to a guaranteed whole life policy, although at a lower premium for a lower overall payout value. Although marketed for final expenses, the payout does not actually withhold any restrictions, meaning the beneficiary may use the funds for whatever they wish.

How Much Does Life Insurance For Inmates Cost?

Here is a sample chart demonstrating some rates you can expect to see when applying for these carriers. Please keep in mind, your rate may not match these numbers exactly, even if you have similar stats to those in the column. 

Company 50 y/o Male 50 y/o Female 60 y/o Male 60 y/o Female 70 y/o Male 70 y/o Female

These figures were obtained from the NFDA and are estimates only. For a detailed quote, please contact an agent. 

Finding a Carrier

If you’re ever in need of resources, or of an agent to work on your behalf, then never hesitate to call us. We at Final Expense Benefits partner with over 20 carriers, with:

Being some of the ones that stand out among the crowd. Reduce the stress involved with life insurance for inmates and let us do all of the heavy lifting for you. 

Give us a call at 1(866)311-4338 M-F, 9-5.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to your life insurance if you go to jail?

Most policies unfortunately are voided upon entering prison. You’ll have to re-enroll for a new policy. 

Do insurance providers check your criminal record?

Yes, as they believe it’s relevant to the risk you pose to the company. 

Can you get life insurance as a death row inmate?

most likely no, as a guaranteed acceptance policy will accept you, they will have a two year waiting period. 

How long do I have to disclose a criminal conviction?

Most of the time, it’s 5 years for unspent criminal convictions. All spent convictions may be omitted. 

What happens if you don't tell insurance about convictions?

At the very least, the providers can ask for your money back and/or void your claim. At worst, this could be considered fraud. 

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