Finding a place to live as a felon is very challenging. But what hasn’t been since their conviction?
Felons who are in the position of owning or buying a home have the opportunity to feel good about themselves and provide a place for their family to live.
An important aspect of owning a home is to protect their possessions.
This blog post will address the issue of homeowners insurance.
- What is Homeowners Insurance?
- Applying for Homeowners Insurance
- Credit Report
- Finding an Insurance Company
- Supporting a Felon in Getting Homeowners Insurance
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a type of insurance policy intended to protect an individual’s home against damages to the house or the possessions in the house.
Standard homeowners policies typically cover:
- The structure of the house. The homeowners policy will pay to repair or rebuild the house if it is destroyed by fire, hail, lightning, hurricane, and other disasters. Usually the policy will not cover damage from a flood, earthquake, or normal wear and tear.
- Personal belongings. Furniture, clothes, and other items are covered if they are stolen or damaged by a disaster included in the policy. Items stored off the property are also covered.
- Liability protection. Liability protects against lawsuits for bodily injury, or property damage of other individuals.
- Additional living expenses for situations where the homeowner cannot live in the house due to an insured disaster. Additional living expenses will be paid for living away from home due to a covered disaster.
Applying for Homeowners Insurance
Most insurance companies offer homeowners insurance. Each state has its own laws regarding homeowners insurance.
There are a number of factors considered by an insurance company in evaluating a homeowners insurance application.
Insurance companies typically deny coverage if they consider the house at risk of damage. Felons convicted of an offense that might put their home at risk, such as arson.
Insurance companies might deny coverage if the insurance company believes the house may be used for illegal purposes.
There are home characteristics that can help determine qualification for homeowners insurance. Older homes, especially ones built of wood are more difficult to insure.
Lifestyle choices can affect approval. Claims history is also important.
A major factor for many felons following incarceration is that their credit rating has been negatively affected while incarcerated. This is because of an inability to establish a credit history and make regular payments.
The typical credit report contains several categories of information:
- Identifying information – This includes Social Security Number, birthdate, and employment status.
- Trade Lines – These are the credit accounts, including type of account, date account opened, credit limit, account balance, and payment history
- Credit Inquiries – This is a list of everyone who has accessed this credit report in the past two years.
- Public Record and Collections – This is public record information from state and county courts and information on bankruptcies foreclosures, liens, and judgments.
The credit area is one that many felons have difficulty with and typically is the main reason to be denied homeowner’s insurance coverage.
Having been in prison, being unemployed, and being unable to find a job puts most felons in a precarious situation. Their financial history may include bankruptcy because of the inability to meet their obligations, especially during incarceration.
But, remember that if felons are seriously considering homeowner’s insurance that means they have likely found a house to buy. This is a huge step in the battle to get homeowner’s insurance.
Finding an Insurance Company
If felons already have another form of insurance, such as auto insurance, this would be the insurance company to begin with in looking for homeowner’s insurance.
While the first insurance company that felons approach may not be the one, there are other insurance companies available.
Felons must remember that it is essential that they are honest about their criminal record when applying for homeowner’s insurance. If not, they can easily put themselves in the position of being denied coverage.
Not every company they contact may accept them.
Being denied coverage by one company makes it even more difficult to find homeowner’s insurance. They may have to keep searching, so they shouldn’t make it more difficult by lying on an application.
Not only that, but if they lie and are turned down by one company when they do find an insurance company that will accept them, they run the risk of paying an even higher premium than the first company quoted them.
So, they should give themselves the best chance from the start.
In making their case, felons may want to have their record expunged to wipe it out and increase their chances of qualifying for homeowner’s insurance.
Persistence will pay off. Just stick to it and keep trying.
Supporting a Felon in Getting Homeowners Insurance
For families of felons wanting to get homeowner’s insurance, stand by them. All of you have been through extremely difficult times already. Don’t let your loved one give up.
Be square with them and let them know the importance of not lying on an insurance application. After all, not being honest put them in the situation they are in now.
While most state laws disallow homeowner’s insurance to be canceled, a policy can be canceled for lying on the application.
So felons who already owned a house and had homeowner’s insurance probably will not lose their coverage as a result of their conviction. That is, unless premiums are not paid.
Remind them of how proud they will be to live an honest life, find a house, and be able to get their property insured. That will provide them the opportunity to establish more responsibility again.
They will not only be able to own a home, but they will be able to protect their property.
So what do you think about this blog post about getting homeowner’s insurance with a felony? Have you or someone you know gotten homeowner’s insurance after a felony conviction? What was that experience like, and how were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.