Asked by John  |  Submitted October 18, 2013

When can they cancel my life insurance policy?

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  Answers  |  6

October 18, 2013

A life insurance company can cancel your policy for non-payment of the premium or for material misrepresentation. Each life insurance contract will have a provision about termination conditions as well as a suicide clause. If a policyholder commits suicide within two years of the effective date of the policy the company does not have to pay the death benefit. The standard procedure would be to return all of the premiums that had been paid up until the suicide.

A “term” policy will expire at the end of the term selected and usually a renewal offer would be made to the policyholder. This is not a cancellation but just an expiration based on the term purchased.

States regulate the policies sold within their borders so a person should always check with their state insurance department but also remember to read the actual policy. The policy will contain definitions and explanations.

Also, once you purchase a policy it stays with you for the length of time you purchased it and you do not have to change it if you move to a different state. You must always provide the company with a current address and be sure the beneficiary clause is kept current.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.20.18 @ 14:33


October 19, 2013

Nancy is correct in her answer to this question. However, some exception exist when considering the question "can an insurance cancel your life policy".

Exceptions are a whole life policy that the policy owner has failed to make required premiums and the policy has depleted its cash value.

If the policy is a life policy where you would pay for x number of years then in this case once that point has been reached no further premiums remain due and coverage stays in force.

Another exception if you reach the age of 100 for most whole life insurance policies (which is known as the maturity date for a whole life insurance policy).

All the best,
Dante Thompson

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.20.18 @ 14:33


January 26, 2015

They can't if you pay your required premiums on time.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.20.18 @ 14:33


March 03, 2015

It depends what type of insurance you have. Most if you pay your premiums you will not be cancelled. There are a few that are based on interest and returns, so if the underlying fund isn't performing you might need to pay more to keep the policy going.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.20.18 @ 14:33


March 09, 2016

Hi John,

This question could have a few different answers depending on what state you live in not to mention the various riders and different types of policies. Term policies will expire at the end of the selected term and you normally have an option to renew. Permanent policies can have various rules and regulations that must be met.

My best

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.20.18 @ 14:33


March 15, 2017

The insurance company can cancel for nonpayment, but depending on the state they may let you reinstate anywhere from 3 to 6 months with repayment of the missing premiums. The other way is during the contestability period of the policy where most states give 2 years to find a material problem with the underwriting you provided for coverage. After two years, the contestability window closes in most states for most things. Some state actually can cancel a policy for lying on the application where smoking is involved. Depending on the state purchased misrepresenting smoking status NEVER ends contestability.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 07.20.18 @ 14:33


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