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Potential Problems

What if I don't pay my premiums on time?
Most insurance policies offer a grace period of about a month. If you have permanent insurance, and you still haven't paid within the month, most companies will use the cash value to pay your premium. If you have term insurance, your policy will lapse (meaning your beneficiaries won't get any death benefit if you die). Most companies will allow you to renew a lapsed policy, but you will have to pay all the premiums you missed, plus interest.

However, if you can't pay your premiums because you've become disabled, some insurance policies will allow you to keep your insurance without paying any premiums (this is called a "disability waiver"). Ask your insurance agent whether your policy has a disability waiver.

What happens if I fail my medical exam and the company won't sell me insurance?
There are companies that specialize in providing insurance to people with health issues. You will pay more, but at least you will have insurance.

If I get very sick, can I use my life insurance to help pay my medical bills?
Life insurance isn't health insurance, but some policies have an "accelerated death benefit" that will allow you to use your life insurance to pay your medical bills if you are terminally ill or in long-term care. Talk with your insurance agent about what your policy allows.

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