If you want to change your life insurance policy, you should first review your cover and see if it's still enough for your needs. You can then shop around to compare life insurance policies and find what cover is best for you.
In this guide we'll look at the certain steps you need to follow to change your life insurance policy.
Can I change my life insurance policy?
Yes, it’s possible to make changes to your life insurance policy when you need to. There might be a fee for doing so and your premiums could change, but you must be told about these before you make any changes.
It’s important your policy is accurate because if a claim does need to be made but the policy is out of date, it could be invalidated.
How do I change my life insurance policy?
To change your life insurance policy, you need to:
- Review your cover and calculate if it’s still enough for your needs and if not, think about how much life insurance cover you really need. This is the amount you need to tell your insurer about.
- Compare life insurance policies to check if yours is still the best for you, at the right price.
- If you want to stick with your insurer, you need to contact them - usually by phone - and complete questions about your current situation. Not all policies can be changed so check this with your insurer.
- If you’ve found a new insurer you want to switch to you can sign up to the new policy. Then contact your old provider to let it know you’d like to end your policy.
- The older you are when you buy life insurance, the more expensive it might be. So if you want more cover but you’re not able to make changes to your policy, you could buy more protection from a different insurer. There’s no limit to the number of life insurance policies you have, but you’ll have multiple premiums to pay.
When might I need to change my life insurance policy?
To cover a new mortgage
One of the most common reasons for taking out life insurance is to cover a mortgage. The following scenarios may be reasons why you want to change your life insurance policy:
- If you move to a bigger property, you might need to increase the amount of cover you have.
- If you remortgage or release equity from your current home, or extend your mortgage, your previous policy might not cover the new amount.
- If you've paid off your mortgage, thanks to an inheritance lump sum, and need to reduce the amount of cover within your life insurance policy.
- If your property value rises and you want to make sure your life insurance policy covers the mortgage payments for the increased amount.
- If you pay off your mortgage faster than expected you no longer need insurance to cover the loan. You could either end the policy completely. Or, if you still need it to cover other costs such as childcare, you could keep it in place but lower the amount paid out.
If your family changes
Life insurance policies are usually set up to last for 25 years and in this time lots can change. You may have children, get married, or divorced.
If any of these things happen it’s time to look into changing your life insurance to make sure it meets your current family dynamic. The following scenarios may be reasons why you want to change your life insurance policy:
- If you have single life insurance but you are now a couple, it might be cheaper to open a joint policy. This only pays out one payment on the first death in a couple.
- If you have a joint life insurance policy but you’ve separated from your partner, it’s time to find a single life insurance policy instead.
Can I switch life insurance companies and is it easy?
Switching life insurance is easy and straightforward and it’s possible to do at any time. Once you’ve found your new policy, you can contact your previous insurer and cancel the policy. Just remember to check the price of premiums before you move. It could be more expensive to take out life insurance as you get older because your risk of claiming on the policy might have increased.
What do i need to check when changing my life insurance?
Here are some checks you should do before changing your life insurance:
- Start your new policy on the same day so there isn’t a period of time when you’re left without cover. When you cancel your life insurance policy, you should be told the date it comes to an end.
- Make sure your new policy is agreed and set up before you cancel your old policy. The last thing you want is to cancel one and not be accepted for another policy, leaving you without cover.
- Make sure you're told the price of your new premium before you sign up. There may also be a waiting period before you can claim on a new policy.
- Before signing up to a new policy, read up on your new insurer. Make sure you choose an insurer that is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means if the insurer goes bust, up to £85,000 of your money is protected. All of the insurers we list at Confused.com are FCA registered.
- Make sure you’re aware of these fees, how much they are, and how they’re applied. Some life insurance policies, such as whole-of-life policies, allow policyholders to access their life insurance money early in certain situations. There might be fees for this, known as ‘surrender charges’.
What are the alternatives to changing life insurance provider?
If you don't want to change life insurance but want more protection, you could buy a second insurance policy to cover this. This could be useful if you’ve extended your mortgage for example and need your policy to cover the extra money
It’s known as a ‘top-up’ policy and it should cover the amount missing from your first policy. Before you do this, look at all the costs involved as it also means you need to pay premiums on more than one policy.
You might also be able to change the type of life insurance policy you have. There are several different types of life insurance available.
The three most common are mortgage life insurance, term life insurance, and whole-of-life insurance. Speak to your insurer about changing the type of policy you have. This could change your premium, but could be a better option for you if the cost of switching to a new insurer is too high.
How do I change who benefits from my life insurance policy?
To change the beneficiary to your life insurance, you should speak to your insurer. It’s usually a simple process but how it happens - and if it can happen at all - depends on the type of policy you have and how it was set up.