Life Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants

Life insurance for undocumented immigrants often carries the same rules as insurance for citizens.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: May 24, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • If you are an undocumented immigrant in the U.S, you can still get life insurance 
  • To get life insurance as an undocumented person, you must have a bank account 
  • Rather than using SSN like natural-born citizens, undocumented persons utilize an ITIN for life insurance 

Contrary to what many assume, it is feasible to obtain life insurance for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

However, like anyone living in the United States regardless of citizen status, undocumented immigrants need to undergo several steps before they may qualify for life insurance.

How can an undocumented immigrant get life insurance? 

The Social Security Administration has assigned a Social Security number to nearly every legal resident of the United States. Both the government and private sector uses SSNs as a way of identifying and gathering information about an individual. Typically, natural-born U.S. citizens must present their SSN to qualify for life insurance.

The identification process required for undocumented immigrant life insurance looks slightly different than that of citizens with SSNs. To qualify for life insurance coverage as an undocumented person, you will need to present the following items:

  • A United States residency address 
  • Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • A functioning checking account in your name 

How does life insurance work with an ITIN?

The Internal Revenue Service explains the details of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. In short, an ITIN functions similarly to a natural-born citizen’s SSN. Both the SSN and ITIN consist of a unique set of numbers applied to you to identify you with government agencies.

You may locate your ITIN on a paystub assuming you have been employed in the United States. Otherwise, you may fill out a W-7 request form. After you send the form, the IRS may provide you with an ITIN.

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What steps do undocumented immigrants seeking life insurance need to take? 

Whether you are working in the United States on a visa or in the process of applying for a green card, you may still get life insurance as an undocumented person. Assuming you have already undergone the process of obtaining an ITIN, you may start seeking life insurance by researching life insurance companies.

Typically, you do not have to worry about authorities finding out about your undocumented status through your company. Unless a warrant mandates your information be turned over, most life insurance companies will not share your details with authorities.

Find a Desirable Insurance Company

As an undocumented immigrant, you may start applying for life insurance after all your information is in place. You will have many options to choose from while deciding on a life insurance company. Consider the following while deciding which is right for you:

  • Allstate 
  • State Farm 
  • Guardian Life
  • MassMutual 
  • Northwestern Mutual 

Remember, life insurance companies categorize applicants by risk. Your rates will rise as you age, or if you regularly ingest nicotine or other substances. If you live a healthier lifestyle, you should not have to worry about overly high insurance rates.

Select an Appropriate Life Insurance Coverage Plan 

After you settle on a company you feel comfortable with, you must decide which coverage plan suits your needs best. Each life insurance policy comes with a unique set of benefits and policy rates. The standard life insurance policies available include term, permanent, and guaranteed issue life insurance.

The Most Common Life Insurance Policy

Term life insurance is the most common and cost-efficient out of the three typical life insurance plans. This policy comes with designated coverage costs and generally lasts for a decade.

To illustrate, with term life insurance, if you invest in a plan with a $10,000 coverage cost, your policy will last up to a decade with a $10,000 amount in the event of unexpected death.

Permanent Life Insurance 

As the name implies, permanent life insurance remains in effect for as long as you are alive. Permanent life insurance can incorporate retirement and investment factors on top of similar packages displayed in term life insurance.

Other Life Insurance Policies

Guaranteed issue life insurance policies also are known as non-medical or no exam insurance policies. These life coverage plans are ideal for undocumented individuals who do not wish to be examined by a medical professional, which is typically required before qualifying for life insurance.

However, this type of coverage plan tends to be less cost-efficient despite providing the same benefits as term life insurance.

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Visit a Medical Facility for an Exam 

You must be examined by a medical professional if you wish for something other than guaranteed issue life coverage plans. Medical exams allow insurance companies to determine the risk associated with your health.

Using the results of your medical appointment, your life insurance company will determine your insurance rates. Typically, there are four categories of statuses that apply to applicants for insurance coverage:

  • The least amount of coverage or substandard
  • The next coverage upgrade, or standard 
  • A decent amount of coverage, or the preferred category
  • The most amount of coverage, or super preferred (preferred plus) 

If you are placed in the preferred or preferred plus categories, your life insurance company identifies you as an individual living a healthy lifestyle. Those with less healthy lifestyles, such as those who regularly consume addictive substances, will be put into the remaining categories.

Purchase the Right Insurance Coverage Plan for You 

Upon completing all necessary steps and deciding on a life insurance company, you may officially purchase a life insurance policy. If you are curious, you may compare policies between several companies by receiving a quote. A quote will not require you to commit to a coverage plan with that company.

Understanding Insurance as an Undocumented Immigrant 

Just because your citizenship status is undocumented does not mean that you cannot obtain some type of life insurance. There are plenty of insurance companies that offer life insurance for undocumented immigrants. Just remember that you will be required to present a U.S. residential address, ITIN, and a valid checking account.

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