Important Facts

What Happens if I'm Late on My Life Insurance Premium?

All life insurance contracts are different, so it is vital to know your policy's terms and conditions when it comes to late premium payments. Some allow a grace period and others cancel the policy.

How Does Life Insurance Work If I Pay My Premiums Late?

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 policy.

If you find you have gone beyond the allotted grace period, the life insurance company may cancel 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 good health in order to consider a policy reinstatement.

Life insurance premium payments are required in order to keep your coverage inforce. 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 account every month, paying quarterly, or even annually – 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 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.

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 www.protective.com.

How Does Life Insurance Work

How does life insurance work if you pay your premiums late? The answer to this question is explained in this basic article on how life insurance works if you happen to get behind on your life insurance payments. For more information, visit our learning center.

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