Policy Types

When Your Term Life Insurance is Expiring

Term life insurance has an expiration date so there are things to consider as that date nears and you find yourself still needing life insurance coverage. Some options are covered in this article.

Term Life Insurance: 3 Options When Your Policy Is Getting Ready to Expire

Unlike permanent* life insurance, term life is considered temporary coverage. And depending on the length of the term policy you purchased, your coverage term could be anywhere from one, five, 10 or even 30 years. But what happens then?

If your term life insurance is coming up close to the final year and you still need to have coverage in force, there are a few options that might be available for you:

Buy a new life insurance policy

You may want to compare rates from different companies and consider replacing your policy with a new one. This will mean a new application and most likely a life insurance medical exam. The downside of this option is that your new policy rates will be based on your current age and health. For example, if the 20-year term policy that you bought when you were 30 expired, your new rates will be based on your current age of 50. In addition, certain medical conditions may disqualify you from obtaining a new policy. So if you're still in good health, shop around and consider applying for a new term or even a permanent policy.

Combine policy types

If owning a permanent life insurance policy that earns cash value appeals to you but won't fit in your budget, consider a combination of term and permanent life insurance. For example, if you need $500,000 of coverage, you may want to buy $250,000 of term and $250,000 of universal life (or any other combination). This way, you have your needs covered while securing a permanent policy. Ask your agent about running various quote combinations to see what works for you.

Convert your policy

Check with your agent about your policy's conversion options. Depending on your type of policy, you may be able to convert all or a portion of your policy into a permanent policy without having to prove your insurability (commonly referred to as a guaranteed convertibility provision). Some term policies allow you to do this only at certain intervals or dates, so check your policy. These are just a few options that you may have available when your term life policy expires. Remember, when your policy expires or you stop paying your required premiums, your coverage ends. The following are considerations before you make that initial term life purchase:

  • Try to approximate the length of coverage (term) that you may need, and try to buy the longest term you can afford when initially securing a new policy.
  • Ask your agent about options for a renewable term policy, as well as policy riders that include allowing you to purchase additional insurance at a future date regardless of your health, or converting a portion of your term into a permanent policy.
  • Consider buying a permanent life insurance policy such as whole or universal life that won't ever expire as long as premiums are paid.

Don't wait until your term life insurance policy has expired to review your options. If your term policy will be expiring soon, discuss with your agent options that may be available to you.


*As long as required premium payments are timely made.

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Term Life Insurance Options

It is important to understand your term life insurance options before your existing term life policy expires. You may have conversion options that might enable you to extend your coverage. This article explains a few options that may be applicable to you. For more information, visit our learning center.

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 www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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