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Life Insurance Basics

How does life insurance work if I pay my premiums late?

Life insurance contracts can vary greatly from carrier to carrier, so it is vital to know your policy's terms and conditions when it comes to late premium payments.

At one time or another, it has happened to nearly all of us. Whether it's a misplaced utility bill, a credit card statement that got lost in the daily shuffle, or simply having too much month at the end of the money, sometimes bills get paid past their due date and become late.

If this happens and you find yourself running late in paying your life insurance premiums, don't panic. Unexpected expenses can happen and when they do, your first plan of action is to contact your life insurance agent or company representative. Depending on how past due you are, the type of life insurance policy you have, and the insurance company's guidelines, you may be able to quickly resolve the problem.

For example, if you missed a premium payment, you may still have coverage if you can make your payment soon after the payment due date. In fact, many life insurance companies typically have a built-in grace period in which to pay your premium. Depending on your contract, that additional time could be as long as 30 days. If you're not sure, this information is indicated within your life insurance policy.

If you find you have gone beyond the allotted grace period, the life insurance company may terminate your policy. Again, depending on your contract, you may not be allowed to simply get caught up on your premium payments and request to have your policy reinstated. In fact, some insurers may require that you provide some evidence of insurability in order to consider a policy reinstatement.

Life insurance premium payments are required in order to keep your coverage in force. You may be asking, “How does life insurance work?” For this reason, it's important to understand your policy's terms and conditions to avoid the potential consequences. If possible, try to set up a reminder of when you're premiums are due. Other options include having your payments deducted from your bank when due — if you can manage.

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



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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.

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