When Does My Life Insurance Coverage Start?

Life Insurance Policy

Thanks to the Internet, the process to secure life insurance can begin immediately, but the total process may take more than a couple of months.

The Process of Life Insurance

The process of securing life insurance begins with the application process. Regardless of whether you are interested in procuring whole or term life insurance, you will need to fill out paperwork. Depending on the type of policy you are interested in purchasing your application process may include a medical exam, blood work, urine analysis, blood pressure and pulse readings plus documenting your height and weight at exam time.

Once that paperwork is submitted, the life insurance company will review and determine both your how insureable you are and your premium costs. That process is called “underwriting” and it could take anywhere from four to eight weeks until your application is approved. The life insurance company will automatically notify you about your application status and let you know how much your premiums will be. You in turn will need to agree to the contracted terms of the policy, submit your payment and once processed, your life insurance plan will be activated.

Playing the Waiting Game

Stressing out about your lack of coverage is unnecessary. Because the underwriting process is known to be time consuming, some life insurance providers have a Plan B. Your insurance provider may provide temporary coverage (AKA conditional coverage) that will provide you with a degree of security while your paperwork navigates the system. This type of coverage will begin upon completion of the medical exam and upon the life insurance premium payment.

The key to proper planning is accepting that instant life insurance coverage does not exist. If you already have a policy in place, do not cancel it until you have received confirmation from your new carrier. Additionally those who are on the verge of making life changes like starting a family or buying a home, should be aware of the lag time in the process and plan accordingly.