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Why get life insurance

How to avoid having your life insurance policy lapse

This article discusses four actions you can take that may help prevent your life insurance policy from lapsing or terminating.

It can happen to anyone. Finances become tight, a bill gets misplaced, or an unexpected illness or disability results in a late payment on your life insurance policy and it lapses for nonpayment.

It's important to understand your options for safeguarding your life insurance policy against an unexpected coverage lapse when faced with a financial crisis. Here are four things you can do that may help prevent you from losing your life insurance coverage due to a nonpayment termination.

  • Set-up automatic payments
    Try and set-up an automatic deduction for your monthly life insurance premium payments from your bank account. Most insurers have this option available for this very reason. If you prefer not to have auto deduct and are able to manage it, ask about making quarterly or even annual premium payments.

  • Add a waiver of premium policy rider
    In the event you become disabled due to an accident or serious illness, chances are you may not be able to work for an extended period of time. If this happens, you may find yourself unable to make your monthly life insurance premium payments. As a safeguard, ask your insurance agent or company representative about purchasing a waiver of premium policy rider. This optional rider will waive your premium payments during a prolonged period of unemployment due to a qualifying illness or disability, allowing you to keep you policy in force.

  • Call your agent or company representative immediately
    Depending on how past due you are, the type of life insurance policy you have, and the insurance company's guidelines, you may not be too late. In fact, many life insurance companies typically have a built-in grace period in which to pay your premium before your policy terminates. Depending on your contract, that additional time could be as long as 30 days (this is indicated in your policy). If you're not sure what to do, call your agent or company representative as soon as possible to understand your options.

  • Select the automatic premium loan provision
    If you have a permanent* life insurance policy and have enough accumulated cash value, you may be able to set up an automatic premium loan provision. If your policy is in danger of lapsing for nonpayment, a loan will automatically be taken against the cash value of your policy and pay your premium. However, for this to happen, you must have enough cash value built up in your policy in order to cover the premium.

For more information on how life insurance works, visit the Protective Learning Center.


*As long as required premium payments are timely made.



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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit

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