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What Does Grace Period Mean in Term Insurance?

What Does Grace Period Mean in Term Insurance?
September 22, 2022


A term insurance policy enables you to safeguard your family’s financial future. The plan functions like any insurance policy – you pay regular premiums for a stipulated time. If something occurs to you during the policy's term, your beneficiary receives the sum assured as an insurance payout. Although you may have a budget that allows you to make your term insurance premium payments on time, an emergency may force you to rethink your finances. At such time, you might have to divert the money saved up for your premium to other avenues. Thankfully, the IRDAI provides a grace period during which you can pay your outstanding premium and continue to enjoy policy benefits. Let’s understand what the grace period in term insurance means.

What is the Grace Period in Term Insurance?

A grace period refers to a time that starts directly after the due date of your premium. You can pay your outstanding premium amount during this time without losing your insurance benefits. Let’s look at an example. Say you pay a quarterly premium of INR 8,000 for a term insurance policy. Your payments are due on 1st April, 1st July, 1st October and 1st January. You meet with an accident and require urgent medical attention in December, leaving you unable to pay the premium on or before 1st January. Your insurance company offers a 30-day grace period for quarterly payments. So, you can make the final payment of INR 8,000 before 30th January without losing your life insurance coverage.

Here’s a look at the typical grace period you can expect depending on how you choose to pay your premiums:

  • Monthly premiums – 15 days grace period
  • Quarterly premiums – 30 days grace period
  • Half-yearly premiums – 30 days grace period
  • Annual premiums – 30 days grace period

Will my family receive the Life Insurance Payout during the Grace Period?

Yes, your family is eligible to receive the life insurance payout during the grace period. Once your family raises a valid claim, the insurer will settle the payment after deducting the pending premium amount.

What Happens Once the Grace Period in Term Insurance Gets Over?

If you miss making your premium payment during the grace period, your insurance company will cancel your policy. Once the policy gets cancelled, you no longer enjoy life coverage, leaving your family without financial protection. If the policy lapses, you will lose out on all premiums paid so far. Additionally, you will not get any returns, even if you have purchased a policy that offers a return of premiums as the maturity benefit.

Can I Revive My Policy, or Should I Buy a New One?

As a responsible individual, we’re sure you’d like to rectify the situation and restart your term plan. Most insurance companies allow you to revive your policy for up to two years from the end of the grace period. Say your grace period ended on 30th January 2021. You have until 20th January 2023 to revive the policy. However, the insurer may charge penalty fees or interest charges before restarting the policy. Depending on your age and the time lapsed; you may also have to pay for a medical check-up before your insurance company agrees to revive the policy. If two years have elapsed since the end of your grace period, you have no choice but to purchase a new term insurance plan.

Choosing between renewing a current insurance and acquiring a new plan might be difficult. You should contact your insurer to determine the cost of reinstating your previous coverage. You could consider purchasing a new policy if the costs greatly outweigh premiums already paid and future benefits.

Having a term policy provides you with peace of mind. You can rest assured that your family’s finances will remain secure even if something unfortunate happens to you. Given the value a term plan could add to your family’s finances, you must be thorough before you purchase a policy. Find a plan that fits your wallet and choose riders to enhance your coverage. Remember to pay your premiums on time to avoid your policy lapsing. Whenever possible, opt for a single lump-sum payment to avoid missing due dates in the future.

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ARN - ED/09/22/29363

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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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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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.