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“Can I Get Life Insurance With a Criminal Record?”

Throughout my career in the life insurance industry, I have come across an amazing number of people with a criminal record. Some examples include:

  • a male teacher having sex with a (willing but technically underage) girl (and not his student);
  • a pharmacist who became addicted to painkillers, stealing from his store’s inventory;
  • a business owner who had hung out with the wrong, drug-running crowd in his younger days;
  • a businessman caught up in a racketeering crackdown because he made an innocent mistake with cash;
  • an attorney busted for possession of cocaine during his frenetic law school days;
  • a corporate executive arrested for assault after he and his wife were mugged.

The arm of the law is indeed long, and I think sometimes it is too long. Some of these folks had it coming, but others were caught up by government agents, cops, or prosecutors with an agenda – and wound up with a criminal record. (My own opinion is that the vast amount of time in America, the law works to protect the innocent and prosecute the guilty – but that is a topic for another post.)

As a life insurance broker, my job is to get people coverage. This involves addressing the concerns life insurance companies have about people with a criminal record. Carriers know that jails and prisons can be dangerous places, and want to be confident you won’t end up there again. If you had been running with the wrong crowd, they want to know you have upgraded your choice of friends. If prior addictions led you to criminal activity, they want to be sure you have turned the corner. If you unfortunately were victimized by “the man,” they just want to see that your life is back on track.

The fact of the matter is that things happen. The extent to which you have stayed straight or become straight goes a long way towards making you insurable. A stable family life, a successful business, a growing career, and community involvement are all indications of someone who stays away from trouble. They can encourage a life insurance company to want your business.

Do you have blemishes on your criminal record that need some polish?