Life Insurance

Can You Renew a Term Life Policy?

family sitting together on couch
Most term life insurance policies allow policyholders to renew their insurance after the term expires. Extending term life insurance usually comes with a significant increase in premiums from the amount paid during the initial term. However, an extension allows coverage to remain in place without underwriting.

This means no medical examinations, blood work, or new applications are required, which could justify the increase in cost—especially if medical conditions make you otherwise uninsurable. 

In most cases, renewals occur on a year-to-year basis; premiums will generally increase after each year passes. 

What happens when term life insurance expires?

A term life insurance policy provides coverage for a specific length of time, typically 10 to 30 years. Most policies feature guaranteed level premiums, meaning the annual cost doesn't fluctuate from year to year. Since term life insurance doesn't build cash value like whole life or universal life policies, it exists solely for the death benefit provided. Generally, the cost of term life insurance is a fraction of permanent life insurance. 

At the end of the term, some term life insurance policies simply expire. No further action is required if you can't or don't want to convert or renew the policy. Your insurance company won't collect any more premiums, nor will it pay out any portion of the death benefit on an expired life insurance policy.  Other policies will automatically renew, generally with increased premiums.  If you have a renewable policy, you can pay the renewal premium to continue coverage or tell the company that you want to terminate.

Life insurance and pre-existing conditions
Even if you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get life insurance—there are options out there.

What to do when your term life insurance is expiring

When term life insurance expires, your options typically include renewing or finding a new policy. If a term life insurance policy can be renewed, it will require the least amount of effort and represent the fastest way to maintain coverage, though it may not be the least expensive. Review your policy's terms to be sure you have the option to renew and understand how to extend term life insurance. 

If you're contemplating what happens if you outlive your term life insurance, it may be a good time to consider buying a new online life insurance policy. Since your financial obligations and the age and status of your dependents may have changed since the last time you applied for coverage, begin by calculating how much insurance you need with a fast, free quote for a new term life insurance policy. 

Our no-obligation online calculator allows you to easily adjust the amount of coverage so you can see the impact on premiums. When you're ready, you can begin the application process on our website. 

No matter what you decide to do when life insurance reaches maturity, it's important to plan your next steps. Review your policies every year and be prepared for what happens at the end of term life insurance coverage so you can continue to protect the financial stability of your family.

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