Changing life insurance guide
When you first took out life insurance, the cover would have been based on your personal circumstances at the time. But things often change. You might get a bigger mortgage. Or you might have a new child join your family. These events might make you think about changing life insurance.
If you're looking to change life insurance, this guide will cover the main considerations.
Can you change life insurance provider?
Yes, you have a right to switch life insurance providers. You don’t have to stay with one provider for the rest of your life. If you find another provider who offers a better deal, changing shouldn’t be a problem. Or you might find a provider who offers a very specific kind of cover that suits you better.
There could be some things to keep in mind with changing life insurance provider. You might have to pay surrender fees to the first provider if you’ve got whole of life insurance . This is a sort of cancellation fee. There could also be age limits when you switch provider. As you are now older when you apply for a new policy, you could end up paying more. And you will normally have to do some health checks.
There is also the 'contestable period'. This is usually 1-2 years after you take out a policy where the provider can review your coverage. In certain circumstances they may refuse to pay out for a death during this time.
Should you review your life insurance cover?
Yes, it’s a good idea to review your life insurance from time to time. If there are big financial changes in your life, this might affect how much life insurance you’re going to need.
Having new children will mean you’ll need more cover. Or you might want to reduce your life insurance once they have grown up and no longer depend on you.
Another reason to change life insurance is if you’ve bought a bigger home or extended your mortgage. As your family would need more money to make repayments if you died. You might also want to change life insurance when you make big improvements to your home. For example, if you add an extension.
Changing life insurance policy is also worth thinking about if your working circumstances change. If you’ve recently received a pay rise, you might think about increasing your premiums so your family would receive money that reflects your new salary. The same goes if you decided to quit your job and set up your own business.
Should I change life insurance provider?
Changing life insurance provider might be a good idea if your circumstances change. Before you shop around, you may want to talk to your existing provider to see if they can provide a better deal. Sticking with them can save you the effort of medical checks or paying surrender fees. But if they say your cover can’t be changed, or if your premiums will go up too much, it is always good to see what else is available.
A benefit of changing life insurance policy provider is that it might reduce your monthly premiums. Or it could give you a better deal that reflects your new circumstances.
What are the alternatives to changing life insurance provider?
If you don’t want to change life insurance provider, you have a few options.
One possibility is to switch from whole of life to term life, vice versa, or between other products. Because you’d be staying with the same insurer you might not need to pay surrender fees or do extra medical checks. You could then choose a policy that matches your new situation. This might be an option later in life when you have fewer people depending on you. For example, if your children have grown up and are now working. Or if you’ve paid off your mortgage.
Another option is to keep your whole of life insurance with your first provider and take out a ‘top up’ policy with someone else. You’d need to tell the second provider about your first policy. This approach means you’d get extra cover for your new circumstances.
Changing life insurance policy
If you want to change life insurance policy, there are a few things to do.
First, decide how much cover you would need. What are your family’s living costs? This includes mortgage/rent payments and other debts. It also includes everyday living expenses and even holidays and hobbies.
Next, think about the kind of life insurance you want. Whole of life insurance is more expensive, but means you’ll always receive a payout when you die. Term life insurance has lower premiums, but you only get a payout if you pass away during the term.
Speak with your current insurance provider. They might be able to change your existing policy to match your new circumstances. But also shop around and get quotes from other providers.
If you decide to switch, always read the small print. Find out if there are surrender fees if you leave your existing policy. Also check if there are any price increases and waiting periods with the new provider.
Changing life insurance policy provider can often save you money. But always double check to make sure you are getting a better deal. Because once you sign the contract it is usually final.
Relevant guides and articles
Term life guide
Thinking about life insurance? Find out everything you need to know about term life cover and whether it suits your needs in this guide.
Joint life insurance guide
How is joint life insurance different to single cover? Find out the answer to this question and learn all about whether this is the best option for you and your partner.
Whole of life guide
Whole of life insurance guarantees a payout to your loved ones when you die. Find out how this cover can protect your family's financial security.