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How To Get Temporary Life Insurance When You Buy Coverage

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If you’ve decided to buy a life insurance policy, know that your beneficiaries aren’t financially protected as soon as you submit your application. The review and approval process known as underwriting can take six weeks or even longer. In the meantime, you won’t have coverage unless you buy temporary life insurance.

What Is Temporary Life Insurance

Temporary life insurance provides very short-term coverage specifically during the underwriting process when you’re applying for a life insurance policy.

Life Insurance underwriting is the process an insurer uses to determine whether you qualify for a policy and, if so, at what price. The insurance company will review your application materials and, if applicable, the results of your life insurance medical exam.

The insurer may also need to verify certain records, such as your prescriptions. It can then determine your risk class and your life insurance quote.

Your insurance company may offer temporary life insurance when you apply for a term life or permanent life insurance policy.

Not everyone qualifies for temporary life insurance. Whether or not temporary life insurance is offered depends on the particular insurer and policy type.

This type of temporary insurance should not be confused with term life insurance, which covers you for a set period of time (usually 10 to 30 years).

How Does Temporary Life Insurance Work

Temporary life insurance provides coverage while you are waiting for your life insurance application to be approved. If you die before underwriting is complete, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit from your temporary life insurance policy.

Once you have signed your life insurance application and submitted payment for the temporary life insurance, your temporary coverage kicks in.

Often, temporary life insurance lasts a maximum of 90 days. Within that timeframe, your temporary coverage will typically end for one of a few reasons:

  • Your life insurance application was approved and your new policy is now in effect.
  • Your life insurance application was denied.
  • You decided not to proceed with the life insurance application.
  • You didn’t respond to requests from the insurer information in a timely manner.
  • The death benefit was paid out under the temporary life insurance.

Where Can I Get Temporary Life Insurance

Temporary life insurance is commonly offered by life insurance companies such as:

  • AIG
  • Lincoln Financial
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Pacific Life
  • Protective
  • Prudential

How Much Does Temporary Life Insurance Cost

Your insurance company will estimate your temporary life insurance premium based on the coverage amount you are applying for. You’ll be billed for the equivalent of one month’s premium, and once that payment is received, temporary coverage starts.

Keep in mind that some insurers may cap the coverage amount for temporary life insurance, such as a maximum of $1,000,000.

Once the underwriting process for your new policy is complete, you’ll receive an official approval (or rejection), and your premium will be adjusted to reflect the actual cost of your new policy.

It’s possible that the payment you made for temporary insurance may be applied toward your first month’s premium.

If your policy isn’t approved, the insurer will generally refund you for the temporary coverage.

Is Temporary Life Insurance Worth It?

Ask your life insurance agent if temporary coverage is available. If it is, locking in temporary life insurance is a smart move because it costs no more than your regular life insurance will. And it gives you peace of mind that insurance is in place while you wait for your application approval.

Alternatives to Temporary Life Insurance

There may be instances when you don’t want or can’t qualify for traditional life insurance but have a desire for short-term life insurance. If you want life insurance for only a short period of time, you might consider buying a renewable term life insurance policy.

Unlike traditional term insurance, which offers level premiums for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, renewable term life insurance provides coverage for one year. At the end of each year, you can renew the policy, at a higher rate each time. Therefore it’s best for those who want to fill a short gap.

For the most affordable way to buy a longer period of coverage, consider term life insurance.

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