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What is Temporary Life Insurance and How Does It Work?

Life insurance offers valuable coverage for loved ones once approved, but the underwriting process takes time, especially if the policy requires a medical exam. In some cases, applicants may need coverage more quickly without opting for a no-exam policy. Temporary life insurance can help fill this gap, with coverage for the applicant until they receive an official life insurance offer. Below, we’ll discuss how temporary life insurance works to help you decide whether to purchase it while waiting for your official policy approval.

What is a temporary life insurance policy?

Temporary life insurance is a short-term policy you can purchase from an insurer while waiting for them to finish underwriting and finalizing a review of your policy application. If you pass away during the application, generally your assigned beneficiaries should receive the temporary policy’s death benefit. The death benefit will generally be equal to your policy’s death benefit.

The application process for traditional life insurance policies can take up to four to six weeks, depending on policy type and coverage amount.1 Applying for a temporary policy can help the applicant obtain coverage after the exam, while the insurer underwrites and processes their official policy decision.

How long does temporary life insurance last?

Temporary insurance generally lasts up to 90 days, giving the insurer enough time to review your policy application without you losing coverage, if you're approved. However, temporary life insurance coverage may expire earlier in several scenarios:2

  • The insurer approves your life insurance application and activates your new policy.
  • The insurer denies your life insurance application.
  • You receive an offer but do not proceed with coverage.
  • You don’t respond to insurer requests for information on time.
  • You pass away, and the insurer pays out the temporary life insurance death benefit.
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Temporary life insurance cost

Temporary life insurance premiums may be the same as the insurer’s quoted premiums.1 These will also be your official policy premiums if the underwriter finds no significant information that would impact premiums.

For example, if your insurer quoted you $40 per month for your official policy. The insurer will likely charge $40 per month for the temporary policy. This could make it easier to budget for coverage since you may not have to adjust your expectations to a different payment amount.

Is a temporary life insurance policy right for me?

Here are some instances where getting a temporary life insurance policy may make sense:

  • You want your beneficiaries to receive the death benefit no matter what: If you pass away before your actual policy activates, your loved ones may still receive a death benefit payout.

  • You want added peace of mind during underwriting: Temporary life insurance helps bridge the gap from application to approval of coverage, offering added peace of mind during underwriting.

  • You’re willing to pay the additional premiums: Temporary life insurance can work if you’re okay with paying additional premiums.

  • You worry about application complications: Complications during the application process, such as missing information, can increase the process. A temporary life insurance policy could help provide protection for a specified period, helping to prevent a loss before your official coverage is approved.

Learn more about life insurance

Life insurance applications can take time. Fortunately, temporary life insurance can offer coverage and added peace of mind while the insurer finishes underwriting your actual policy application. To learn more about life insurance and explore your options for long-term coverage, speak with an Aflac agent today.

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