no-money

What happens if I can’t make a life insurance payment?

Information verified correct on April 25th, 2017

If your life insurance premiums are becoming too high, you have options.

You never know when you’ll need to make a life insurance claim, so it’s important to maintain active cover whenever possible. Unfortunately, circumstances change, new expenses arise and it’s not always possible to keep up with premium payments.

Three readily available options to consider include:

What happens if I simply stop paying?

If your premiums go unpaid for too long, you will lose your cover. If they continue to go unpaid, your policy will be cancelled all together.

Should I just cancel my policy and look for one later on

A common mistake is to cancel your life insurance policy when the cost gets too high. If you do this, it will probably cost more to sign up again later, because you’ll be older and might not be as healthy as you were before.

The good news is that you don’t need to do this. Everyone’s financial situation will change from time to time, and insurers have several options to make sure you don’t need to cancel your cover.

Compare cover with flexible payment options

Please enter your full name
Please enter a valid email address
It's important to give us a valid phone number
Gender
Smoker
Date of Birth
Coverage is the amount of money that you will be paid in the event of a claim. An insurance consultant can help you determine an appropriate amount. Calculator
Provides a lump sum payment if you become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to return to work.
Provides a lump sum payment if you suffer a serious medical condition. Cover can be taken out for 40-60 medical conditions depending on the policy you choose.
By submitting this form, you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy
Compare Quotes

Compare quotes from these brands

Rates last updated April 25th, 2017
Product details Maximum cover Maximum Entry Age Cooling-off
(days)
Life Insurance
Life Insurance
Choice of cover options and flexible premiums to suit budget. No lock-in contracts and fast application. $1,500,000 65 30 Get quoteMore info
Insuranceline Life Insurance
Insuranceline Life Insurance
Get up to $1.5 million in life cover with no medical tests required. $1,500,000 69 30 Get quoteMore info
Real Family Life Insurance
Real Family Life Insurance
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™ . $1,000,000 64 30 Get quoteMore info
Term Life Insurance
Term Life Insurance
A simple life insurance product that can offer up to $1,500,000 in a lump sum payment on death or diagnosis of terminal illness. $1,500,000 69 30 Get quoteMore info
Life Insurance
Life Insurance
Get flexible life insurance up to the sum of $2,000,000. $2,000,000 59 21 Get quoteMore info
NobleOak Term Life Insurance
NobleOak Term Life Insurance
Save 20% on NobleOak life insurance and pay no premium in the first month. $15,000,000 69 30 Get quoteMore info
Woolworths Life Insurance
Woolworths Life Insurance
Receive a discount of 10% on life insurance as a Woolworths Rewards Member. T's and C's apply. $1,500,000 65 30 Get quoteMore info
Ezicover Life Insurance
Ezicover Life Insurance
Get up to $1.5 million in life cover. 10% discount available on a second life insurance policy when two policies are issued at the same time. $1,500,000 69 30 Get quoteMore info

What is a premium freeze?

A premium freeze is only available with stepped premium life insurance policies, where the cost rises with age. Applying for a premium freeze is generally as easy as filling out a form and sending it to your insurer.

Things to consider

  • Not all policies will include this option. If you’re interested, check whether your current policy includes it or if it’s available with new policies.
  • Limited window to activate option. If your premiums have recently gone up, you may have a limited window in which to activate a premium freeze. Typically a premium freeze must be activated within 30 days of policy renewal.

How does a premium freeze work?

When frozen, your premiums will stop rising with age, for a set period of time. Typically it can last until you choose to cancel it, or make a claim or adjust your level of cover in some other way. You will still have to pay premiums but the price won’t increase with time, as long as it’s active.

What’s the downside?

Can I ‘unfreeze’ my policy later?

Yes. You can generally unfreeze your policy whenever you are ready, but certain conditions might unfreeze it sooner, depending on your policy. It may unfreeze when you make a claim, reach the next policy renewal date, change your sum insured or otherwise adjust your cover.

Should I freeze my premiums?

It might be the right option if your premiums are becoming unaffordable. However, there are downsides, so it’s a good idea to consider the other alternatives first.


How do I temporarily suspend my cover?

Functionally, suspending your cover is a lot like temporarily cancelling your policy, with the advantage of not actually needing to cancel it. Not all life insurance policies will include a suspended cover benefit, and where they do it may be variously known as a premium holiday, premium pause or other variation.

Key conditions to consider

  • Suspended cover works differently between insurers and policies. Some may require you to provide evidence of financial hardship while others might let anyone suspend cover without condition.
  • Length of suspension. Some insurers might let you suspend cover for a full year, while others will limit you to only a few months.
  • Terms and conditions will apply. For example, you might be limited to only one premium suspension over the policy lifespan, and it might be restricted to no more than three months. Make sure you are familiar with all conditions before committing to this option.

How does suspended cover work?

Unlike a premium freeze which merely stops premiums from increasing, this option means you stop paying premiums entirely. The downsides are also more severe. You will typically lose all your cover, and cannot make claims for anything that occurs while your cover is suspended.

Should I suspend my cover?

This will depend on your personal circumstances. Some examples where suspending cover might be a sensible cost-saving measure include:

  • If you’re between jobs
  • If you’re on long-term leave
  • When you’re otherwise not earning your typical income

Note: You may be left without any cover if you suspend your premiums. This step should not be undertaken lightly, and it’s a good idea to consider the alternatives first.


Other ways to reduce costs

Life insurance policies are often more complex and multifaceted than others. This can make it more difficult to navigate, but also means there are many ways to reduce costs.

For more details on ways to lower your premiums, and other options to consider, try going over our guide to reducing life insurance premiums.


Compare life insurance with an adviser or direct

Maurice Thach

Maurice is a publisher for finder.com.au. Daily research of Australia's insurance offerings allows him to breakthrough the noise of the many policies out there to uncover what can (and can't) be covered. Maurice hopes to make finding the right insurance easier for all.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback