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How do I cancel life insurance?

If your circumstances have changed you might be wondering ‘can you cancel life insurance?’ Or maybe you’ve found a better deal and you want to switch insurers. 

Or you simply don’t need it anymore, perhaps because you’ve paid your mortgage off. There are many reasons why you might want to end a policy.

Let’s take a look at how to cancel your life insurance policy.

A woman on the phone and writing notes

If you’re looking to cancel your life insurance, this means your protection ends. It also means your family may no longer receive a life insurance payout if you were to die, or any other dependents. It could also impact the price you pay for life insurance if you decide to get another policy in the future. This is because as you get older premiums tend to be more expensive when taking out a new policy.

So, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before you cut ties with your life insurer. Once you’ve decided to end the policy, the specifics on how you do it depend upon your insurer and the type of policy you have. 

Here we look at how to cancel life insurance, how to switch to a different insurer and how to cut the cost of your life insurance bill.


Can you cancel life insurance at any time? 

The first thing to check if you’re looking to cancel your life insurance policy is what the terms and conditions of the policy are.  

When the policy is first set up you usually have a 30-day window to cancel, also known as the cooling-off period. You can cancel at any time during this window and you should be refunded any money you’ve already paid out.

However, if this initial period has passed and you cancel a life insurance policy, you usually won’t get a refund for any premiums you’ve already paid. 

There might also be a fee applied if you make changes to your life insurance when you’re mid-way through a policy. Your reasons for changing the policy could be a child being born, a divorce, or you wanting to extend your cover if your mortgage payments have increased. 

The fee applied should reflect any extra work your insurer has to do such as reassessing your risk levels.

You should be told about any fees before you make changes. It might be the case these are waived or don’t apply if your policy is coming up to its renewal date. If this is the case the best option could be to wait until this happens. 


How to cancel a life insurance policy 

It’s easy to cancel a life insurance policy and you should be able to do it at any point. While you usually won’t get a refund on any premiums you’ve already paid you shouldn’t have to pay anything more and the policy should come to an end

To cancel the policy you need to contact your insurer and explain to them you’d like the policy to end. You can’t just cancel your direct debit payment - instead call your insurer or you may be able to email them. 

You should find the contact details on anything you’ve been sent, such as a statement or a welcome pack, or you can look these up online.  

If you’re switching to a different insurer or life insurance policy, be careful not to leave yourself uninsured. Don’t cancel your policy until a new one has been agreed and accepted. Arrange the start of the new policy to coincide with the date your old policy ends. That way you should be continually covered and you won’t be left with a gap without insurance. 

Here are details from some of the most well-known insurers on how to cancel a life insurance policy:

How to cancel Vitality life insurance: call its customer service team on 0345 601 0072

How to cancel Legal and General life insurance: call its customer service team on 0370 010 4080

How to cancel LV= life insurance: call its customer service team on 0800 678 1906

How to cancel Aviva life insurance: call its customer service team on 0800 285 1098 if you bought your policy after February 2015, or on 0800 404 9538 if you bought it before 

How to cancel AIG life insurance: call its customer service team on 0345 600 6820

How to cancel Royal London life insurance: call its customer service team on 0345 602 1885

If you’ve cancelled a life insurance policy, and you want to start it again - such as if it is cancelled because you have missed a payment - you might be able to do so. However, there’s usually a time limit for doing this so check with your insurer. It might be the case, for example, that you need to continue making payments within a month for the policy to be set up again.


How do you cancel your life insurance policy if you can’t get through to your insurer? 

Many insurers are running reduced hours because of the coronavirus pandemic or you may have to wait slightly longer than usual when trying to get through on the phone. There should be information about how they’re dealing with the pandemic on the website and this should give you advice on the best way to contact them.

You could try contacting your insurer by email or post instead. But most insurers might still need to speak to you before a life insurance policy can be cancelled. 


Why would you want to cancel your life insurance? 

There are many reasons why you might want to cancel a life insurance policy. They may include the following.

You no longer need it

The whole point of having this type of protection is to be able to leave a sum of money to anyone who’s financially dependent upon you. This is usually for family members or young children. If you no longer have someone who’d need this money, your children have become adults for example, you may not need a policy in place anymore. You might also have it to protect your mortgage payments, but if you’ve managed to pay it off early, you won’t need this anymore.  

Divorce or separation

Let’s say you have a joint life insurance policy with a partner but you are now separated or divorced. You might want to cancel this policy and take out a new single insurance policy

It’s too expensive

We’re in the middle of an economic crisis thanks to the pandemic and if you can’t afford your life insurance payments, you could consider cancelling. Insurers are aware of the current situation and so it’s always best to speak to your insurer first. They might be able to arrange a break from payments, rather than cancelling the policy altogether leaving you with no cover. You could also lower the amount you’re covered for which could result in lower premiums, on a temporary or a permanent basis. 

You’ve found a better policy 

It’s always important to keep an eye on the insurance market to make sure you still have the best deal around. If you find a cheaper insurance policy, this could be a good reason to switch to a different insurer. Just make sure you read all the terms and conditions carefully first. 

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Should you cancel your life insurance policy? 

The decision to cancel your life insurance policy is dependent on your own circumstances. If it’s a policy you no longer want or need, or one you’re paying too much for, then there’s no reason to carry on paying out for it. 

However, it’s not a decision to make lightly. When it’s cancelled you no longer have this protection in place, unless you have a new policy set up. If you don’t need it, then this shouldn't be a problem. But if you do still want this protection, you might need to find a new policy. 

The market is competitive but it’s worth remembering the older you are, the more expensive life insurance gets when buying a new policy. This is because the risk of you dying increases. So it could be harder to find a cheaper policy - although the only way to check this is to compare life insurance prices and see what different insurers are offering


Can I reduce my life insurance cover? 

If you want to reduce the amount of cover you have, speak to your insurer. They could lower the lump sum available if you were to die and this should also result in lower monthly premiums. 

You might want to do this if your life insurance covers your mortgage, but you’ve paid off a lump sum of the loan and therefore need to reduce your life insurance cover. You could also lower the amount you’re covered for if you’ve come into some unexpected money, for example, through an inheritance payment.

There may be a small cost for changing your life insurance but you should be told what this is before any changes take place. The cost reflects any extra work your insurer needs to do such as assessing if your risk level has changed or writing a new policy for you. 


Can I cancel a life insurance policy and switch to a new insurer?

Yes, you can cancel a life insurance policy and switch to a new insurer if you want to. Most people do this if they find a better deal - either a cheaper life insurance policy or a policy that better suits their situation. 

There are lots of insurers, and policies, on the market. So it’s well worth taking the time to compare life insurance policies with us to find your best deal.