Life Insurance for Inmates

Life insurance for inmates can be difficult to understand and sometimes even impossible to buy. If you have an existing life insurance policy, it should still be valid if you go to prison. However, inmates may be better off waiting until they are released to find affordable life insurance with a criminal record. Learn more about life insurance for felons below.

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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

UPDATED: Feb 11, 2021

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Quick Facts

  • Life insurance for inmates can be difficult or even impossible to buy.
  • If you have an existing life insurance policy, it will still be valid if you are sent to prison, as long as you continue paying your premiums and don’t die during intentional criminal activity.
  • When you are released from prison, life insurance companies will want to see that you can readjust to society in order to sell you a policy.

Unfortunately, going to prison can spark thoughts about the future and what will happen to your family when you are no longer around to help offer financial support.

Life insurance for inmates can be difficult to understand and even harder to buy. Below, we’ll offer some information and tips about your best options for buying inmate life insurance coverage.

You can start comparing life insurance quotes by entering your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above.

Can I get life insurance when I’m in prison?

Getting life insurance while you’re in prison is extremely difficult and may not even be possible. Most insurance companies find the risk is just too much to insure inmates.

When insurance companies assess risk, they generally look at health, financial situation, and the beneficiary. However, being an inmate can increase risk in all three of these areas.

First, it can be difficult to assess the health of someone in prison. They may not have access to a qualifying medical exam, and they may be at higher risk for certain injuries or health risks while incarcerated.

Second, they may not have full access to their finances, meaning they may not be able to pay their premiums on time.

Third, life insurance companies may find the motives of the insured or their beneficiaries to be unclear.

The best chance for an inmate to obtain life insurance is a guaranteed universal life insurance policy, which may not ask questions about health or criminal background.

However, your coverage would be extremely limited (usually up to $25,000), and most companies require you to be over 50 for these policies. Life insurance rates for inmates may also be more expensive.

Can a death row inmate get life insurance?

A death row inmate will most likely not be able to buy a new life insurance policy. However, if they have existing life insurance, their beneficiaries may still be able to receive their death benefit. This will depend on the specifics of your life insurance policy.

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What happens to my life insurance if I’m sent to prison?

As long as you can continue to pay your premiums, and you haven’t died in the act of committing a crime, your life insurance should continue as usual.

If you are the life insurance beneficiary of an incarcerated individual, you should still receive a death benefit upon the death of the insured.

However, this may not be the case for those who get life insurance through their employer. If you don’t have the option of converting your group life insurance to an individual policy, you will most likely lose coverage.

Can a felon get life insurance?

After you get out of prison, options for life insurance for felons will be a little more open, but it still may take time.

In order to get life insurance with a criminal record, you will need to prove that you can become readjusted to society. They will want to see that you are healthy, have a job, and are upholding healthy relationships with friends and family members.

Life Insurance for Inmates: What should I do?

Life insurance for inmates can be extremely hard or even impossible to find. That’s why it is always advisable to pick a life insurance company before you need it.

If you are already in prison and would like to get insurance, your best option may be to research guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies or wait until your release to live a life that is acceptable to life insurance companies.

For help comparing life insurance quotes, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below.

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