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What is the Insurance Grace Period?

Insurance Grace Period
April 17, 2024


The concept of a grace period is especially significant in the complex insurance market, where policies and premiums often dictate financial security. If a policyholder is temporarily unable to pay their premiums every month, they still have the option to maintain coverage during the grace period. This grace period insurance may save individuals and families facing unexpected financial hardships, enabling them to maintain insurance coverage and safeguard themselves from potential risks. But what exactly is this insurance grace period, and how does it function regarding insurance? Let us go further into this vital aspect of what is grace period in insurance so that we may comprehend its significance and the repercussions it brings.

How Does an Insurance Grace Period Work?

Policyholders are granted a grace period to avoid instant coverage cancellation if their premiums are paid late. State governments regulate the minimum length necessary for various coverage and insurance grace periods.

Insurers in certain states may be able to cancel policyholders' coverage immediately and without notice if they fail to pay their payments.

During the insurance grace period, the insurer will cover any services the policyholder receives. After an insurance policy is cancelled due to non-payment, there is no method to get your money back; you will likely have to resume the application process from the beginning.

Understanding Insurance Grace Period with an Example

Let us understand grace period meaning in insurance with an example. Mrs. Mathews has a Term Insurance plan for which she must pay an annual premium of Rs 15000/- on 5th  March. Now incase Mrs. Mathews forgets to pay that premium by the 5th of April, she gets a grace period of 30 days to do the same by 5th May. If she makes the premium payment within the insurance grace period, her policy continues without any penalties or fines. However, if she does not pay her premium till the 5th of May as well, her policy will lapse. Mrs. Mathews will also loose the cover and all associated benefits.

Therefore, a grace period acts as a buffer for you to get an extended time for premium payment. It caters for unexpected incidents as a contingency plan to help you keep your cover despite delays. 

Grace Period for Life Insurance Policies

It is common practice to allow thirty days after the premium due date to insure a life insurance. The method of premium payment might be relevant in some cases as well. For instance, there is a fifteen-day insurance grace period if you pay your life insurance payments monthly.

Keep in mind the following details:

  • Insurance companies will not charge interest on life insurance premiums paid during the grace period insurance.
  • Coverage continues throughout the insurance grace period as per the policy requirements.
  • Insurers can deduct unpaid premiums from the death benefits payable under the policy if the life insured passes away while the insurance grace period is still running.
  • Your insurance coverage will be terminated if the payment is not made before the grace period ends. However, you may still use the grace period, which starts when the first payment is due but not paid. The insurer has the last say on accepting or rejecting the insurance revival application.
  • After the life insurance revival period ends, you will no longer be able to receive benefits, and the policy will be cancelled. However, you can still receive the applicable surrender value per the plan's terms and conditions.

Why is it Important to Pay Your Premiums on Time?

Below is highlighted the importance of paying your premium on time: 

  • Loss of Insurance Coverage

    To get insurance, you must pay your payments on time. If your premium payments are consistently late, your insurance provider may terminate your coverage. Insurance protects you and your family financially, but only if your policy is up-to-date. This means that you might be economically vulnerable in the event of a covered event, like an accident or critical illness riders.
  • Exclusion of Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

    Insurance companies typically refuse to cover pre-existing illnesses to prevent adverse selection. The insurer may undertake an underwriting review if you want to reinstate coverage after your policy expires due to non-payment. This means they may assess your health status when you're reinstated and refuse coverage based on any pre-existing conditions you might have.
  • No-Claim Bonus (NCB) Loss

    Many insurance policies give policyholders a bonus for going a certain length of time without filing a claim. Not paying your premiums on time may cause your insurance to lapse, and you will lose any no-claim bonus you may have accumulated. Because of this, you may see an increase in your insurance premiums or be unable to renew at a reduced rate.
  • Waiver of Waiting Period Intended for Critical Illnesses

    A specific rider in insurance policies, particularly the one that covers severe conditions, may have a waiting period before the benefits become effective. You may avoid these waiting periods by keeping your coverage current with on-time premium payments. Because people with critical illnesses often need immediate access to healthcare and financial support, this is a crucial issue.
  • Higher Renewal Costs for Lapsed Policy

    If you let your insurance policy lapse due to non-payment, restoring coverage can cost you. Your insurer can levy penalties or recover unpaid premiums plus interest. Factors like your age and changes in your health condition might lead to higher premiums renewal charges than your original premiums.
  • Loss of Policy Portability

    Thanks to policy portability, you may retain all of your benefits and continuity of coverage even if you transfer insurance carriers. However, you risk losing this mobility benefit if your coverage lapses due to non-payment. Consequently, you may find it very challenging to get inexpensive coverage elsewhere or be unable to transfer insurers at all.
  • Hassle at a Later Age

    Postponing premium payments might lead to issues, especially as you age. If you have health issues, you may find getting insurance more challenging or having your expired coverage reissued. It may cost more to reactivate an expired policy since insurance premiums tend to rise with age. You may feel emotionally and financially burdened by this and the other challenges of aging.

What Happens After Grace Period in Insurance is Over? 

When the insurance grace period of an insurance policy expires, the specifics of what occurs next are type-specific and policy-specific. It is common for insurance policies to have lapsation if premiums are not paid by the specified due date. Once an insurance policy's term expires, coverage is no longer guaranteed, and the insurer may choose not to pay out on claims filed after the policy's expiration date.

When policyholders pay the overdue payments with fines or penalties, their insurance may be reinstated if it expires. However, insurers often grant reinstatement, including additional underwriting processes like health screenings or insurability judgments.

If the policy cannot be restored, the policyholder may need to seek other insurance to address potential risks. When a policy ends, getting new insurance may be more difficult or expensive.

How Long Does a Grace Period Typically Last?

The insurance policy's terms and conditions determine the duration of the grace period. However, providing  grace period in insurance is standard practice.

  • In health insurance the days of grace in insurance are 30 days. 
  • In car insurance the days of grace in insurance are 10-30 days. 
  • In a life insurance policy, the days of grace is 30 days.  .

Policyholders should read their insurance contracts carefully to understand the details of the grace period. If this is done, customers may be certain that their coverage will not be cancelled due to a late premium payment.

Factors to Consider While Utilizing Grace Period Insurance Effectively

Here are some of the factors that you must consider: 

  • Understand the Duration

    Find out how long the grace period in insurance is on your insurance policy. Knowing how much time remains after the premium is due is crucial for promptly taking the required actions.
  • Avoid Lapses

    On-time premium payments will keep your coverage from lapses. With this safeguard in place, you can be certain that your financial situation is secure and will stay that way.
  • Consider Future Planning

    If you take stock of your financial situation and make arrangements, you may ensure that you can pay your premiums in the future. This proactive step makes ensuring no coverage gaps down the road easier.
  • Monitoring Policy Performance

    Reviewing your insurance plans can help you keep track of premium payments, coverage levels, and policy types changes. This will allow you to track how your insurance is doing and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Reviewing Terms and Conditions

    Review the grace period's terms and conditions, including the penalties and fines for late payments. Knowing the consequences of using the grace period can help you make a well-informed decision about your coverage.

Health Insurance Grace Period OR Life Insurance Grace Period

Insurance companies provide customers with grace periods so that they may better weather unexpected financial storms. You should refrain from "messing with" grace periods regarding health insurance and life insurance. Most insurance companies will not renew your coverage or handle claims after the grace period renewal date has passed, regardless of whether you can pay your premium the following day. This might be pretty annoying in the event of a medical emergency.


Health Insurance Grace Period

Life Insurance Grace Period

How it helps

Provides a window for premium payment after the due date

Reduces your out-of-pocket costs in the event of your early demise, relieving you of financial stress.


Ensuring access to medical services and financial protection in case of illness or injury.

Ensures continuous life insurance coverage

Coverage Type

Individual, group, or family.

Individual, group

Relevant Tax Laws

Section D of Income Tax Act.

Section 10 (10D) under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act1


Lastly, customers depend on the grace period in insurance as a safety net since it enables them to maintain coverage even if a monthly payment is missed. During this grace period, families and individuals may work on improving their financial conditions without fear of losing their health insurance. 

If you know your way around the grace period insurance and utilise it to your advantage, you can safeguard your financial security, maintain your coverage, and reduce down payment and risk. Policyholders must be diligent and proactive to keep their insurance contracts in good standing; otherwise, they risk losing benefits and coverage gaps while the grace period is in effect. 

FAQs On Insurance Grace Period

Q: What is the grace period for insurance in India?

Depending on the insurance company and policy, the precise duration of the grace period in India might range from fifteen to thirty days.

Q: What happens if I don't pay premiums on time?

If you fail to pay your payments on time, your insurance coverage may be terminated. This means the policy's benefits and coverage won't be available to you or your family anymore. 

Q: What does 10 day grace period mean?

Because of the 10-day grace period, the policyholder is granted an additional 10 days from the due date of the premium to pay without facing immediate consequences, such as the cancellation of the insurance. The insurance is currently active, and coverage is maintained. 

Q: How long does the insurance grace period last?

Depending on the policy and the insurance company's regulations, the grace period for a policy is from fifteen to thirty days. 

Q: Can I pay the term plan premium after the insurance grace period ends?

You risk having your insurance policy cancelled if you do not pay your term plan by the end of the grace period. However, certain insurance companies may extend or restore policies; however, there may be additional fees or requirements for this. Talk to your insurance provider about your options if you don't get a response within the allotted time.

Q: Can I get a claim during the grace period?

Yes, in case a covered event occurs during the insurance grace period, you can file a claim. The policy must be in force though.

Q: What is the difference between waiting period and insurance grace period?

During waiting period certain covers are restricted for a specific time though policy has been issued. Grace period allows late premium payments without any policy lapses. This ensures continuous coverage.

ARN - ED/04/24/10480

Francis Rodrigues Francis Rodrigues

Francis Rodrigues has a decade long experience in the insurance sector, and as SVP, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, HDFC Life, manages the online sales channel, as well as digital and performance marketing. He has had hands-on experience in setting up sales channels and functional teams from scratch over a career spanning 2 decades.

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Author Profile Written By:
Vishal Subharwal Vishal Subharwal

Vishal Subharwal heads the Strategy, Marketing, E-Commerce, Digital Business & Sustainability initiatives at HDFC Life. He is responsible for crafting and ensuring successful implementation of the overall organisation strategy.

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Reviewed By Reviewed By:
HDFC life
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Reviewed by Life Insurance Experts


We at HDFC Life are committed to offer innovative products and services that enable individuals live a ‘Life of Pride’. For over two decades we have been providing life insurance plans - protection, pension, savings, investment, annuity and health.

1. Tax benefits are subject to conditions under Sections 80C, 80D, Section 10(10D) and other provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.