Life Insurance

Temporary Life Insurance: What You Need to Know

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When you purchase a life insurance policy through Ethos, your coverage begins immediately. But that's not the case with many other insurers. If you're shopping around, it's important to understand waiting periods and temporary life insurance. With some policies, it could even take several weeks for your application to get approved. That's more time that you're uninsured.

However, some providers offer temporary life insurance coverage to give you peace of mind while you're waiting for your final policy to go into effect. The alternative to waiting or holding temporary life insurance is an online life insurance policy through a company like Ethos, allowing you to instantly secure affordable coverage without the extended waiting period.

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The traditional paper process can take weeks, even months. Ethos speeds up this process, saving you time and money.

What is temporary life insurance?

Temporary life insurance is a form of short-term coverage some providers offer to individuals applying for a term or whole life insurance policy. It protects you and your loved ones during the underwriting period or time frame while you're awaiting a decision. You may have to complete a medical exam before securing temporary life insurance, but it's not mandatory with all providers. 

In the unlikely event you pass away before your policy is approved and issued, the temporary policy will pay out a death benefit to your beneficiaries. This amount is generally equal to the amount of coverage you're requesting through a term or whole life insurance policy. Some providers cap this amount, so it's best to confirm the limit if you're considering a temporary policy. 

How much do temporary life insurance premiums cost?

Premiums depend on the amount you're quoted when you apply for life insurance. Most providers assess this amount for temporary life insurance. Be mindful that your premiums could change when the final policy is issued, depending on the findings during the life insurance underwriting process. 

If your application for coverage is approved, any payments made will be applied to your first month's premium. But, if you withdraw your application for coverage, refuse the final offer, or you're denied term or whole life insurance, the provider will issue a refund of the premium payment. 

How long does temporary life insurance last?

Temporary life insurance is typically valid between 60 and 90 days. If the insurance provider approves your application sooner, temporary coverage ends once you make your first payment to activate the final policy. 

What if your application for term or whole life insurance is denied? In that case, temporary life insurance coverage would end right away. 

Here are some scenarios that would prompt the termination of coverage under a temporary policy: 

  • The life insurance company fails to decide on your application during the coverage window. 
  • You lie on your application, and the insurance provider denies you a policy. 
  • You withdraw your application for coverage. 
  • You're approved for coverage but decide you no longer want the policy. 
  • You commit suicide before the final policy is issued. 

Is temporary life insurance a good purchase?

There are several reasons why temporary life insurance could be a worthwhile purchase: 

  • You can protect your loved ones during the coverage gap or while you await a decision from the insurance provider. 
  • If you're in-between jobs, you can possibly get coverage to meet your life insurance needs. 
  • Your premium payments act as a deposit and are applied to the final policy. 
  • It won't cost you anything if you're denied coverage since the insurance provider refunds premium payments. 

Temporary life insurance isn't the only way to protect your family's financial future, though. You can even skip short-term coverage altogether and get a policy today through Ethos. Our online platform offers two types of life insurance that you may qualify for: 

  • Term life insurance: Designed for individuals between 20 and 65 years old, coverage is available in 10, 15, 20, or 30-year terms. The death benefit is capped at $2 million. Plus, you'll get a 30-day "free-look period" to decide if term life insurance through Ethos is right for you (and you can cancel without incurring fees). When your policy expires, you can request a renewal or purchase a new term or whole life policy. 
  • Whole life insurance: This policy guarantees approval if you're between 66 and 85 years old. It provides coverage until you pass away, and you can secure a death benefit between $1,000 and $30,000. If the policy is still intact when you turn 100, you'll no longer have to pay premiums. 

Another plus of working with Ethos is there are no medical exams or blood tests required. You won't have to speak with a live agent to qualify for either option. Simply answer a few online questions, and you could get same-day coverage on an affordable policy from a top-rated carrier in minutes. 

Don't put off getting coverage any longer. Take the first step towards securing faster, better, and more manageable life insurance online, and get started with Ethos today.

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10 years
Please note that all prices quoted are subject to change, including due to underwriting.