To Switch, or Not to Switch.
That is the question.
Circumstances in life change all the time — but does this also mean you should switch from your current life insurance policy to another?
The answer depends on a number of factors. The first step you take should be a thorough review of your current policy.
When Should You Switch?
The decision to replace your current life insurance – in other words, switch from one life insurance policy to another – should never be a light one. There are good reasons to switch though.
You might consider changing your current life insurance policy if:
- You undergo a significant life change, and you need to increase your coverage; for example, you get married or find out you’re expecting a child.
- Your health drastically improves; you may qualify for lower premiums or better coverage for the same premiums.
- You change your financial strategy; for example, you want your life insurance policy to build up cash value*.
- You find a better policy for your situation; insurance companies frequently release new products, so something that is a better fit for you might come available.
- You want to change the type of policy; for example, you want to go from a term life insurance policy to a permanent one.
- You want to add riders; you can’t add riders (extra coverage) to your current policy.
Of course, if your current policy is expiring, you will need to make a decision. You can replace it with a new policy, or depending on the type of policy you currently have, you could renew, extend, or even convert it.
These are all decisions to make with the help of a licensed insurance agent.
When Shouldn’t You?
Switching life insurance policies is not always a good idea.
You might question whether you should switch or not if:
- There is a negative change to your health. You won’t do as well on the medical examination and may end up paying more for the same coverage you currently have. Poor health means higher cost. The insurance company may even decide that you are uninsurable.
- An insurance agent tells you to switch but doesn’t give a good reason why. This is called ‘churning‘ and is not allowed.
- A family member or friend insists you need far more coverage than you already have. Maybe they have an ulterior motive.
- You just want to change or update your beneficiaries. You don’t need a new policy to do this.
Things to Remember When You Are Replacing Your Life Insurance Policy
Keep Your Current Coverage
The most important thing to remember is to wait until the new policy is in place before canceling the first.
Otherwise, if something happens to you in the time between the first policy’s cancellation or lapse and the new policy going into effect, no benefits will be paid. You are effectively and technically uninsured during that gap.
Know What You Are Getting
Be sure you are familiar with all the provisions and ramifications of your new policy. For example, find out if there is a contestability period.
How does the new policy actually compare to the current one in terms of costs and coverage? Your age will likely have to be assessed again, and any health changes will be considered in determining the amount of your premiums. Ask many questions before you sign the new policy application.
If your current policy allows you, you might consider converting your current policy rather than replacing it altogether. Or you can buy a second policy and keep the original – this can be particularly helpful if you need more coverage, but your health has declined.
Get Personal Help
Your insurance agent will be able to tell you the best options for fulfilling your needs, and it may even save you money staying with your current insurance carrier. Since you have quite a few options, seeking the advice of a financial professional is the best course of action.
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Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplements, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. To find out more, click on the ‘Learn More’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your email? Just enter your email address below and click ‘Subscribe.’
This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.
*Accessing cash values may result in surrender fees and charges, may require additional premium payments to maintain coverage, and will reduce the death benefit and policy values.
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