You’ve outlived your life insurance. Achievement unlocked!
This is no time to rest, though. There’s a new policy to think about, isn’t there? Yes, probably – it depends where you’re at.
Waving goodbye to your life insurance is a bittersweet moment. Like all insurance, you hope you’re never going to need it, and the fact you haven’t means you’re still around (congrats on that, by the way.)
On the flipside, it’s now all on you. That’s OK but it does mean you could be facing life’s curveballs without something to help bat them away. If you’d like a helping hand with that, you’re going to need to pick up a little more protection.
The good news is you’ve got a couple of options. But before you decide, it’s worth knowing where you stand. And the first thing you’ll want to know is what’s happened to your old cover.
End of term report
There are three basic things you should know when your life insurance ends:
- Your cover stops. When you bought it, you would’ve been asked how long you wanted your life insurance for, in years. That length of time is called the ‘term’. When that term ends, so does your cover.
- It doesn’t automatically renew. Life insurance isn’t like, say, car insurance that ticks over every year. Because you buy life cover for a set period of time – and only that set period of time – it stops altogether when that time’s up.
- It has no cash value. This might be a tough one to swallow but, if your cover ends and you’re still alive, you don’t get back the money you’ve paid in over the years. Don’t be too miffed about this, though - the fact there hasn’t been a claim means you’re still here. Swings and roundabouts.
What to do when your life insurance ends
First up, think about whether you still want life insurance at all. Odds on it’s been a few years since you bought your cover. That list of good reasons to get life insurance you scribbled down back then might look a bit different now.
For example, are your kids more able to fend for themselves, financially speaking? Have you paid off all or most of your mortgage? Have you got a healthy savings pot to dip into?
It’s possible the people you thought would need a bundle of money to carry on life without you now don’t. If that’s the case and you want to walk away, there’s nothing more for you to do.
If, however, you’d rather not worry about what happens when you’re not around, you have a couple of choices.
Keeping life insurance going
Some protection is better than no protection. With us you’ve got two main options:
- Buy a new life insurance policy to replace your old one. While this is the closest thing to carrying on as you were, a crisp new policy with similar cover usually costs more. This is because you’re a bit older now and a bit closer to, well, boarding the final escalator. Also, a new policy could mean having a once-over by a medical professional to check your general health.
- Buy an over 50 life insurance policy. This could be a good option if you’d still like to leave some money behind but maybe not quite so much. For example, if you no longer have ‘big’ debts such as a mortgage to pay off, or no one depends on you financially. You won’t need a medical with an over 50 life insurance policy, either – you’re guaranteed to be accepted.
The end is just the beginning
As always, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to sorting out your life insurance once it’s ended. To be on the safe side, we’d always recommend having a word with a financial adviser before making a decision, though.