Life Insurance with a Felony Conviction


When applying for fully underwritten traditional life insurance, most insurance carriers are going to inquire about any felony convictions you may have had in the past. It makes sense – if a life insurance company is willing to check your motor vehicle record for your driving behavior, then they would likely search your history for any felonies that may have been committed. These are just some of the things that go into the underwriting process to determine how acceptable a potential insured person will be to purchase life insurance with a felony conviction.

There is one major point that should be made here. Simply because a person has been charged with a felony does not make them a felon. Only if a person has been convicted of a felony are they classified as a felon. The vast majority of the time, the insurance carrier will need to know how much time has passed since you were convicted of your felony charge. Most carriers will also need to know the details of any sentences you were to serve for said conviction. Of all these things, the most important to almost any life insurance carrier will be, what was the nature of the charge and conviction you received.

Insurance Companies look at Felony Convictions Differently

As far as the underwriting process goes, many insurance carriers have very different criteria that are examined and weighed through the process. Each carrier interprets the information they require differently, and many have completely different types of information that is required. Infractions, (whether felony or not) that are most likely to cause problems for a life insurance applicant would be:

  • Larceny
  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol (1st offense is a misdemeanor)
  • Crimes involving property
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Assault

Because these five crimes make up over half of the current prison population, these are the offenses that pose the greatest concern to life insurance carriers. These crimes, in some cases, are not life-threatening inherently when committed. However, the time that one will spend in prison once convicted could be. Moreover to this point, convictions are much less likely to become a barrier to buying life insurance with a felony when the crime committed is larceny or assault.

Some Good News

The bright side of this story for individuals seeking life insurance coverage that have one or more felony convictions is that not all insurers have the same guidelines. There are some carriers that will offer an individual coverage, however, there are some that will not. That being said, an individual’s first step when seeking insurance coverage should be to contact us and discuss your current situation in order for our licensed insurance professionals to be better able to determine ahead of time which, if any, insurers will be able to offer coverage.

The quality of the insurance professional you utilize is just as important as the insurance carrier you choose to apply to. Submitting a life insurance application with a life insurance carrier that has a track record of denying coverage to individuals with felony records would make no sense. The independent life insurance professional that we connect you with will know exactly who will be your best option when seeking coverage.

The Deal Breakers

Some felony convictions are all but a guarantee that a traditional life insurance company will deny life insurance coverage. These are :

  • Child molestation
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Conspiracy to commit any of the offenses listed above

A conviction for any of the aforementioned charges will result in a declination of coverage from all traditional life insurance carriers. However, individuals in this category will still be permitted to purchase “Guaranteed Issue” life insurance from a carrier and also Accidental Death life insurance as well.

Drug-Related Felonies

Individuals who may have previously made an attempt to obtain life coverage through a traditional life insurance carrier and were denied may still have remaining options that are not simply limited to “Guaranteed Issue” life coverage.Generally speaking, most life insurance carriers will automatically decline applicants that have prior drug-related felonies. However, there are carriers that will still consider offering coverage depending on how the individual may answer the following questions:

  • Have you ever been incarcerated?
  • If so, how much time did you spend imprisoned?
  • How much time has passed since you were charged and then convicted of the crime?
  • How long ago were you released from your last incarceration?
  • Are you currently on probation or parole? If so, for what time frame?
  • If you were on probation or parole, how long ago was it terminated?

The answers given to these questions will be the best determining factors in allowing an underwriter to assess how eligible an individual is for life insurance coverage. The exact nature of an individual’s charges and convictions are important because some convictions have a higher recidivism rate than others. Generally speaking, underwriters use this information about an individual’s criminal record to determine how likely they are to be reincarcerated for another criminal offense.

Be mindful of the fact that being incarcerated is considered a life-threatening circumstance. The amount of time that has passed between the date of application and the date an individual was convicted and or released from prison is the most important detail here. The reason this detail is so important is that the underwriter assigned to this case will want to see exactly how much a potential insured’s lifestyle has changed since they were released from prison.

Felonies involving Alcohol or Violence

Primarily felonies involving alcohol usually are related to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. However, violence related felonies can be just as likely contributed to the use of alcohol.

In cases of this sort, underwriters are on the lookout for at least a two-year gap between the time of conviction and the time of probation before considering the opportunity to offer life insurance coverage. In the event you have been denied life coverage after two years has passed, you have likely applied for coverage with the incorrect insurance carrier and should give our office a call for help.

Challenges Agents Face when You Reveal Your Felony

Good insurance agents know on initial contact that it will take a considerable amount of work to find life insurance coverage for an individual that has a record containing a prior felony conviction. If you take the typical call center agency approach, most likely you will be denied coverage based on criminal history due to the agent not being motivated to spend additional time and resources on your case because it may result in a declination even after the agent has invested the necessary time to properly scout the potential carriers to obtain life coverage for you.

This, however, should not deter you from contacting an independent insurance agent that has access to multiple life insurance carriers and is willing to put in the time, energy, and effort to see to it that you acquire life insurance with a felony conviction.

A knowledgeable independent insurance agent will know after your first conversation if traditional life insurance is the route that you should take, or if a “Guaranteed Issue” life insurance carrier will be more suited to your needs based on your particular situation. Your agent will have the necessary experience and know how to assist in your life insurance purchasing decision to allow you to make the most informed decision possible.

Independent insurance agents that specialize in hard-to-place and high-risk cases appreciate the challenge that comes along with this type of business and are more than willing to represent you and your best interest to block any hindrances and help you obtain the life insurance coverage you need.

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10 ways to save money around the house



Have you ever considered how many ways you can save money around the house? Here are 10 of them:

1. Unplug your electronics at night
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. household spends about $100 per year to fuel appliances left on standby mode. Save some money by plugging your devices into power strips and switching them off before bed.

2. Collect spare change
That loose change you find around the house can really add up. Start collecting coins, and then take them to the grocery store to exchange for dollars at the end of every month.

3. Use what you already have
Instead of going on a shopping spree every time the refrigerator seems bare, browse through the pantry and eat the items you already have.

Browse your pantry before making that emergency trip to the grocery store.

4. Start clipping coupons
If you collect the newspaper and have time to set aside on a Sunday morning, start clipping coupons. But don’t just use them to buy something because it’s on sale and seems like a great deal – only make the purchase if it’s an item that won’t go to waste.

5. Grow your own herbs and vegetables
Why buy herbs and vegetables when you can grow your own? Even if you don’t have room for a full garden of veggies, U.S. News & World Report said you can likely find enough space inside or outside to plant herbs. Try growing your own dill, basil and mint to save money and spruce up your dishes.

“Baking soda and vinegar can sanitize most of your appliances.”

6. Clean with baking soda
Who needs expensive cleaners when you have baking soda? You can replace most chemicals when you mix a natural solution of baking soda and vinegar. The combination can clear out a clogged drain, remove dirt and grime from your kitchen sink and sanitize most of your other home appliances.

7. Use a programmable thermostat
By using a programmable thermostat, you can set your heating and cooling systems to turn down when you’re gone for the day. The Environmental Protection Agency said this update can save you up to $180 every year in energy costs.

8. Consider streaming
With all of the options you have for online streaming nowadays, you might want to give it a try. Consider lowering costs by joining , two options that you can access on your laptop or other connected devices.

9.  Seal your windows and doorways
By sealing your windows and doors, the EPA estimated that you can save about 15 percent on heating and cooling costs every year. Consider adding insulation in the attics and crawl spaces, and use caulking to seal any cracks in your window and door frames.

10. Invest in a E-Exchanger Home Warranty
What happens when one of your heavily used appliances breaks down? You can’t just avoid getting it repaired or replaced. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to put down an entire paycheck to get it up and running again. When you invest in a E-Exchanger Home Warranty, you’ll receive a plan that helps cover the cost of repairs or replacements in your major appliances and systems. With a home warranty, you can rest assured knowing you won’t have to hand over an arm and a leg when an issue occurs.

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Is Term Life Insurance Worth it?

We write endlessly about the times in your life when you need life insurance, how to pick your beneficiaries, and even why buying life insurance online might be the best option for you.

But there’s usually a question that lingers when you’re going through the researching and buying process: Is life insurance really worth it? If you have a spouse, children or other family members who rely on you financially, then the answer is pretty simple: It’s absolutely worth it.

Why Is Life Insurance Necessary?

You have to approach life insurance like you would any aspect of your life that poses a risk and ask yourself, “What’s the worst case scenario?”

If you’re on the fence about buying coverage, then consider how your family might fare if you were no longer around. How would they keep up with day-to-day bills? Or, how would your spouse afford childcare or education expenses?

Most people would agree that, without a financial cushion from life insurance, their family might face a dire money situation. That’s why term life insurance is so valuable. It’s an affordable way to protect the people you love most financially.

Life insurance helps provide financial security if you were to die suddenly so that your family won’t struggle to cover day-to-day expenses. It can help:

  • Replace lost income and cover living expenses, like rent or a mortgage
  • Spare your family from needing to pay off debts you leave behind
  • Provide for your kids’ care if you are a stay-at-home parent
  • Cover burial, estate taxes and other final expenses
  • Fund college expenses
  • Cover unpaid medical bills or taxes
  • Create an inheritance or supplemental retirement fund through an income tax-free death benefit

Your family’s savings shouldn’t be depleted to cover those expenses.

Even if you’re living the single life with no spouse or kids, term life insurance may still be necessary. It can help protect your parents or other co-signers from needing to pay off the mortgage, student debt, credit card debt, or even a car loan that you leave behind.

However, for most people, life insurance becomes necessary when you get married and have a spouse and children who rely on your income.

How Term Life Insurance Works

Term life insurance is one of the simplest (in a good way) and most affordable types of life insurance. It insures your life for a period of time of your choosing, such as until your mortgage is paid in full or your kids are adults. This helps ensure that none of your financial obligations will burden your family if you were to die unexpectedly during the term length.

Most insurers offer term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. You make (in the case of E-exchanger Term policy owners) monthly payments for the policy term, and in the event of your death, the policy pays out a death benefit to your beneficiaries.

If you are young and have many working years ahead of you, a long-term policy (30 years) might make more sense. If you have small children, the same is true. Perhaps you want your term length to end around the time your home mortgage or student debt is paid off — in that case a shorter term length might make sense to protect your co-signers from needing to take over loan repayment before it’s paid in full by you.

Determining which term length you need is actually very easy. You can use an online life insurance calculator to receive a recommendation on a coverage amount and term length that best fits your financial situation.

 

How Much Does Term Life Insurance Cost?

Many people don’t realize how affordable term life insurance can be. It usually offers ample coverage at a much lower premium amount than many other types of life insurance.

 

That’s over 4 times more than a policy would actually cost. A 20-year, $250,000 E-exchanger Term policy for a healthy 30-year-old woman would cost about $12 per month. That’s less than your online TV streaming services.

And even if you’re slightly older, you can get affordable coverage to protect your family. A thirty-six-year-old man in excellent health can buy a 20-year, $750,000 policy for as little as $31 per month, for example.

Your individual rates will depend on a range of factors including your age and your overall health. If you’re curious how much (or little) your premiums might be, you can get a free estimate online.

Why Term Life Insurance Versus Other Types?

There are many types of life insurance policies. If you’re looking for a policy that offers more than $100,000 in coverage, term life insurance is usually the most affordable choice.

Another type of life insurance coverage that offers high death benefit amounts if permanent life insurance, but it’s usually far more costly. For example, a $500,000 whole life insurance policy for a healthy 35-year-old male would likely cost more than $500 per month, compared to $21 per month for a no exam term life insurance policy.

The price difference can be attributed to the fact that permanent life insurance policies cover you for a lifetime versus a term length. They also have a cash value component that you can borrow from over time – although, borrowing from the policy cash value can reduce the total death benefit for your family.

Overall, term life insurance is a simple and affordable life insurance option. It has no investment components to track, and no cash value or loans that impact the final payout. You simply make the monthly payment, and you’re covered for the specified term length. Term life also requires only minimal maintenance – just a review of your financial needs periodically – like when you have another child or if your income increases considerably from when you first took out the policy (a good problem to have.)

In addition to affordability, term life is a product you can build on. If you start out with just $100,000 in term life insurance coverage when you’re young, for example, you’re not stuck with that coverage amount forever. Provided your health allows you to qualify for more coverage, you can continue adding term life policies as your lifestyle and situation changes. As we mentioned already, having another child might give you a reason to buy more term life insurance coverage. Earning more money over time or advancing in your career is another smart reason to buy additional term coverage to replace your income upon your death.

Employer-Provided Life Insurance is Often Not Enough

Many people assume that if they have life insurance through work, they’re set. Usually, employer-provided life insurance is not worth it if you are paying for coverage.

The fact is that most people don’t have enough term life insurance through their employer if they are married, have kids, or hold significant debt like a mortgage. Typically, employer-provided policies only cover, at most, two to three times your income, while the often-recommended amount is at least six to ten times.

Another important consideration is that coverage usually ends when you leave your job, which could leave your family without coverage.  Your best option is to hold an individual policy to ensure you have enough coverage and to lock in an affordable rate while you’re young and healthy.

Keep in mind, it’s perfectly acceptable to have an individual term policy on top of the coverage offered by your employer. More coverage means more protection for your family. However, when many people realize they need additional coverage, they usually think it would be easier to add on more coverage to their existing work policy. Employer-provided policies are at group coverage rates, which means insurers charge everyone the same amount of money. If you’re young and healthy, you’ll likely be paying significantly more for coverage than if you were to receive an individual rate because you’re making up for the risk insurers take on some of the older, less healthy people at your company.

No matter what your employer offers, it’s worth it to carry your own coverage that keeps you covered no matter where you work.

Understanding Your Needs

Term life insurance isn’t a complex financial product and is a necessary part of financial protection. What’s most important is that you understand what your coverage needs may be and if you do need coverage, make sure you’re not putting off the purchase.

Like we mention above, term life insurance (and most life and health insurance for that matter) is more affordable when you’re young and healthy. The earlier you buy your term policy, the better your rates. So the time to comparison-shop and act is now. Given its low cost and high value, a term life policy that fits your coverage needs is clearly worth it. Picture the alternative: dying without a policy and the potential for leaving your family with a huge financial burden. That’s a high cost to pay.

Life insurance needs aren't one-size-fits-all.

Five Steps to Buying Life Insurance

If you’re someone who is unsure of where to begin, consider these steps as you search for the right amount of coverage to protect your family.

Step 1: Fill out a life insurance calculator.

The best way to get a general idea of how much life insurance coverage you need is to toy around with a life insurance calculator. By entering details like your age, income, overall health, and family status, you can find out how much term life insurance coverage is suggested for your family and compare quotes to top insurers. Check out our free term life insurance calculator.

Step 2: Ask yourself if you want additional coverage for any reason.

Our life insurance calculator can guide you to the average amount of coverage you’ll need based on the information you provide, but it’s possible you have other, personal factors to consider as well. Maybe your goal is buying enough coverage to leave behind a legacy for your children, or to financially care for an elderly parent or relative. Either way, you can and should buy whatever level of coverage will help you sleep better at night.

Step 3: Pick a process.

There are two main ways to buy a policy: through an agent or buying life insurance online. We’re partial to online, because it allows you to get covered immediately and on your own time. Also, because it’s what we offer. If you’re comfortable shopping and banking online, this is probably the best choice for you.

Step 4: Check the rating of the provider.

A company such as A.M. Best does the homework on an insurer’s claims-paying ability and record, to help determine whether the provider is considered reliable and in good financial standing. We’d recommend providers rated A+ or better. Our E-exchanger Term policy is issued by MassMutual, an A++ rated insurer.*

Step 5: Get the coverage you need.

Once you’ve decided how much coverage you need, how you want to purchase it and from which insurer, it’s time to get covered. There’s no reason to delay buying life insurance because it’s now easier than ever with thorough and simple online services. And the peace of mind is absolutely worth it.

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