Can you change your life insurance policy?

There are all sorts of reasons you might want to change your life insurance policy. But can you do it? And, if so, how? Here’s everything you need to know.

There are all sorts of reasons you might want to change your life insurance policy. But can you do it? And, if so, how? Here’s everything you need to know.

Mubina Pirmohamed
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 22 NOVEMBER 2022

Can I switch my life insurance provider?

Yes, you can switch to another life insurance provider whenever you want. You can either take out a new ‘top-up’ policy in addition to your existing one or cancel your current policy and replace it with a new one.

However, if you switch to a new provider, you can’t transfer over your original medical results. This means you may need a new medical exam based on your current health. There might also be a new waiting period and, of course, upfront fees to pay again.

Before deciding whether switching providers is a good idea, find out if your current provider is willing to amend your existing policy and adapt your cover to suit your needs. This might be simpler and more cost effective than starting the whole process again from scratch.

If you want to go ahead and cancel your existing policy, wait until you have your new one in place or you could find yourself with no cover at all.

Can I change my life insurance policy?

Yes, there are lots of situations where you might need to reassess your life insurance – for instance, if there’s a change in your personal circumstances or family situation. Many financial advisors go so far as to say you should review the terms of your life insurance policy every year. 

When can I change my life insurance policy?

Various situations might lead you to change your life insurance policy, including:

A change of mortgage

Your life insurance policy is probably geared to cover your mortgage if you’re not around to do so. But what happens if you move to a more expensive house or take out a bigger mortgage to cover the cost of renovations? You may need more life insurance to cover the debt.

Alternatively, you might move to a cheaper house, leaving you with less to pay off. Or you could become a homeowner for the first time. You may even be lucky enough to pay off your mortgage, meaning you don’t need as much cover as before. Whatever the situation, you’ll need to adjust your life insurance policy accordingly. For example, you could take a look at over 50s life insurance.

A change to your home life

It could be that your family situation changes. You might get married or divorced, have a new baby or grandchild, or lose a loved one. Whatever life throws at you, you’ll want to make sure your life insurance policy is still ticking all the right boxes for you.

Changes to your personal finances

You may find that your financial situation changes and you suddenly find yourself with a lot more – or less – money than you’d expected. Again, this could have a bearing on the level of cover you need.

Inflation

It’s likely that your policy will adjust for inflation, but even so, the value of your cover could decrease over time. Again, it’s worth reviewing your policy every so often to make sure it’s still offering the protection you need.

To save money

Perhaps you want to see if there’s a cheaper life insurance policy for you? It only takes a few minutes to get a quote for life insurance to see if you can get a cheaper deal. 
 
Remember that the younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance will be. If you’re switching life insurance policies later in life, you may find the additional cost isn’t worth it. 

How do I change my life insurance policy?

If you want to change your life insurance policy, there’s a few things you should do first: 

  1. Review your cover and calculate if it’s still enough for your needs, especially if your circumstances have changed. Our life insurance calculator can help you work out the minimum cover you may need.  
  2. Compare life insurance quotes to see if you’re still getting value for money or could save by switching to a better deal. 
  3. Check your policy or contact your insurance provider to find out if your policy can be amended – not all providers will let you change the terms of your life insurance. 
  4. If you want to stick with your current provider, let them know what changes you’d like to make. Be prepared for questions about your current situation that could affect the cost of your premium. 
  5. If you’ve found a better deal, wait until you have a new policy in place before cancelling your existing one, or you could end up without any cover at all.  

Can I change the beneficiaries of my life insurance policy?

Yes. It’s not uncommon to want to change the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy, particularly in the event of a divorce. If you call your insurance provider, they should be able to sort out the paperwork for you.

But watch out – it may be that you can’t change a beneficiary without their written consent. Obviously, in the case of a divorce, this could be awkward. So when you’re taking out a life insurance policy, think twice about naming what’s often referred to as an ‘irrevocable beneficiary’.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I need to increase my life insurance policy?

You’ll need to speak to your insurance provider, as there’s usually a few options available. You could change your current policy or top up your existing cover. Alternatively, you might want to cancel your policy and find a new one that better meets your needs. 

How often should I change my life insurance policy?

You should change your life insurance policy whenever your personal circumstances alter. This could be every year or it could be every 10 years – it depends how eventful your life is. But it’s certainly worth sitting down every so often and taking stock of what’s different, whether that’s your finances or your family situation.

Can I cancel my life insurance policy?

If you’ve just taken out a new life insurance policy, you’ll typically have up to 30 days to cancel free of charge. After that, you may have to pay a cancellation fee. If you do cancel, there won’t be a pay-out if you die and it’s unlikely you’ll get a refund on the premiums you’ve already paid.

How can I switch my life insurance provider?

If you want to switch life insurance provider, you’ll need to apply to make sure you meet the new provider’s criteria. It’s likely that they’ll want to know your age, lifestyle and medical history, and will make an assessment based on that. If you’re over 50, you could consider over 50s life insurance which offers cover without the need for a medical.

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