Q

Can I postpone my life insurance application?

A

You can postpone your life insurance application, but your life insurance interview and medical exam are only valid for a certain amount of time.

Headshot of Policygenius editor Nupur Gambhir

By 

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

Updated December 9, 2021 | 2 min read

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Because the life insurance application process usually takes about five to six weeks, you typically don’t need to worry about the expiration date on your interview and medical exam. But there may be circumstances where you need to postpone purchasing life insurance. Your interview and exam results are valid for six months; after that you’ll need to restart application process.

If you’re postponing your life insurance application due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you can still ensure you have some coverage with a temporary or no-medical-exam life insurance policy.

Postponing your life insurance application

In some situations, you may decide or be advised to postpone your life insurance application. Usually, this is because of factors that could earn you high rates or disqualify you from life insurance altogether, such as pending travel to a dangerous location, a criminal conviction, or bankruptcy.

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, some people are choosing to postpone their life insurance applications in accordance with social distancing mandates. The decision to postpone can be your choice or the insurance company's.

Why you should get life insurance as soon as possible

The cost of life insurance increases by 4.5% to 9% every year that you age. And while the pricing disparity if you postpone purchasing a policy for just one year may not break the bank, any changes in your health can. If you’re diagnosed with a medical condition between now and when you resume your application, you might end up paying more for your coverage.

Additionally, waiting to get a policy runs the risk of a coverage gap. This is when your dependents would financially suffer if you died unexpectedly, but you don’t have any life insurance to protect them. Thankfully, there are non-traditional coverage options that you can pursue if you need to postpone coverage for the foreseeable future.

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Coverage options if you postpone your life insurance application

All life insurance policies require some sort of initial phone call with a life insurance agent. However, some policies allow you to secure some death benefit payout for your loved ones even if you need to postpone taking the medical exam:

Postponing your life insurance application isn't ideal, but sometimes it is necessary. If you have to postpone your application, your labs are valid for six months. You can also pursue alternative coverage options to ensure you're covered in the meantime.

Frequently asked questions

Should I postpone my life insurance application?

You should not postpone your life insurance application unless you need to. The cost of life insurance increases 4.5% to 9% every year you age.

How do I postpone my life insurance application?

To postpone your life insurance application, simply tell your agent that you need to pause the process. Your medical exam and labs are valid for six months if you decide to resume the process later.

What are the coverage options if you postpone your life insurance application?

If you need to postpone your life insurance application, you can still ensure you're covered by getting no-medical-exam or temporary coverage.