Can I Postpone My Life Insurance Application?

    Need To Postpone Your Life Insurance Application? Here Are Your Options

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    Sometimes, applying for life insurance isn't as simple as filling out an online form and paying your first premium. Depending on the type of life insurance you want, you'll likely need to go through a phone interview and a life insurance medical exam.

    While it's ideal that you complete the life insurance application process within four weeks, that's not always achievable. There's a possibility that you might need to put your life insurance application on hold due to unforeseen events, like a family emergency.

    In this guide, we'll outline what happens if you need to move your life insurance application to a later date. We'll also talk about your options in case you need a postponement.

    How To Apply For Life Insurance

    The process of buying life insurance is generally the same for most insurance companies. You'll submit your personal information online, undertake a phone interview, then complete your health check. Life insurance carriers will also review your driving record, bank records, and any previous life insurance application.

    During your phone interview with a life insurance underwriter, you'll be asked to confirm any information you've sent them in your online application. You'll also answer questions about your future travel plans and hobbies – doing this will allow them to gauge how dangerous your current lifestyle is.

    Meanwhile, for your physical, you'll have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. Doctors will also check your height and weight to ensure that your BMI doesn't fall outside of the ideal range. Finally, you'll be asked to submit a blood and urine sample.

    Completing these steps allow life insurance companies to determine your risk class. The price of premiums and the amount insured will vary depending on the result of this assessment.

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    What Happens If You Need A Postponement?

    There are several reasons that people might not be able to complete their life insurance applications. Examples include bankruptcy or a criminal case.

    These days, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a good idea to postpone your application if you have any minor symptoms. Anything as simple as the flu or the cold can hurt your chances of getting approved.

    In most cases, you can delay your exam by up to six months after your phone interview. Even if only a couple of months have passed, however, you'll want to inform your life insurance agent if you suddenly develop a medical condition.

    In the same way, results from your physical are valid for up to six months. You'll need to redo the process if your postponement exceeds this time frame.

    What If My Life Insurance Company Wants My Application Postponed?

    Sometimes, the life insurance carrier itself may also ask an applicant to postpone their application. Oftentimes, this is because of one of the following reasons:

    • You've just recovered from a chronic illness
    • You have plans to go to a country that the US Department of State deems unsafe to visit
    • You have an upcoming surgery
    • Some results on your physical screening are abnormal
    • You have a recent DUI
    • You filed for bankruptcy
    • You are currently in your third trimester of pregnancy

    The good news is, most life insurance companies will keep you informed as to why you need to postpone your application. They’ll also provide instructions on how you can qualify for a policy at a later date.

    If the life insurance company asks you to postpone applying due to abnormal results from your paramedical exam, you may ask if you can retake it. Most insurers will allow you to do this if examiners find a health condition which you don’t have a prior history of.

    You can also appeal if your application was postponed due to out-of-date financial records, incorrect details about your occupation, or even lapsed driving offenses. Your agent should be able to guide you on how you can do this.

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    Alternatives To Postponement 

    If you’re thinking of postponing your insurance application for medical reasons, you can get no-medical life policies instead. These types of insurance don't require a tedious physical check or an interview. 

    Ask your life insurance agent about the options below in case you want to skip a few steps in the application.

    No-Exam Life Policies

    If you really can't complete your physical screening in person, you can purchase a simplified-issue whole or term life insurance policy. For these, you'll only need to answer a few questions about your physical condition and lifestyle.

    However, because you’re skipping the medical examination, insurers cannot accurately determine your life expectancy. That makes it risky for them to insure you. To compensate, they usually charge high rates. 

    Final Expense Plan

    Most seniors opt to get final expense insurance, which doesn't require a thorough background check. As with simplified-issue products, premiums are more expensive compared to traditional insurance.

    However, keep in mind that the face value for a final expense plan can only reach up to $25,000. You also need to be at least 50 years old to qualify for this option.

    Temporary Life Insurance Coverage

    If you really need to get insured as soon as possible, you can get temporary coverage. This isn't a distinct product, but a way to get insured while you're waiting to complete the process.

    There are a couple of life insurance providers that offer temporary coverage of up to $1,000,000. This temporary option terminates automatically after the following:

    • You get approved or declined for the product you originally applied for
    • 60 or 90 days have passed (depending on the insurer)
    • The insurance company revokes the temporary coverage (for any reason)
    • You ask to terminate the temporary plan
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    Final Thoughts

    There are a variety of reasons that you might find it hard to complete your life insurance application. Rules vary depending on the insurer, so it's best to work closely with your insurance broker in case you find it difficult to complete some requirements.

    If you want to learn more about postponing insurance, get in touch with Wesley Insurance, LLC! We'll help you navigate application delays and get the coverage you need.

    Written By Cameron McDowell
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