What happens if I change my life insurance policy midway?

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on June 6th, 2023       

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You may have taken out a life insurance policy but soon realised that it is not a policy suited for you, or you found a better one elsewhere. Furthermore, you may have questions on what will happen if you decided to change your policies mid-way. This guide will help you know what happens when you switch policies and what to do once you have done so.

What happens when you want to change mid-policy?

The short answer to this is that it will depend on your insurer. When you first took out your policy they would have given you a document called the product disclosure statement that gives you a detail description of the inclusions and exclusions of your policy. Some insurers will allow you to cancel mid-policy, but you may forfeit your premiums. Other insurers will require that you tell them in writing why you want to cancel your policy and pay back the premiums that you have paid up until that point in time. This could possibly take between 24-48 hours or more to be processed.

Read the terms carefully

Before cancelling your policy, it is vital to read the terms that come with your policy to see if there are any break fees or if you will be able to change policies before its expiration date. Some insurance policies may come with a 14-day cooling-off period that you need to keep in mind.

You may also want to weigh your options whether it would be worth switching your policy by comparing. Make sure to check if the new policy you want to take comes with the same features for a better price. If you are paying more, then check that the features are worth the price. Keep in mind to find an insurer who will be able to cover you for your situation before switching to avoid any disappointments.

What to look out for when choosing a new policy?

  • Will it adequately cover your needs?
  • Can you be able to afford the premiums?
  • Are there any ongoing fees and can I afford them?
  • Will your insurance cover you for pre-existing conditions you may have?
  • Will you be able to increase your cover if need be to cover your loved ones?
  • Is it the best policy that the market has to offer?

Be aware that the insurer can cancel your policy without you requesting

The only time where an insurer will cancel your policy without requesting to do so is if you are in breach of your policy agreement. Before you take on your new policy it is essential to ask your insurer about this to avoid any surprises. This should also be included in the policy disclosure statement. Some of the common circumstances under which your policy will be cancelled are:

  • Not paying your premiums
  • Failing to disclose vital information that has been requested by the insurer
  • Fabricating information
  • You make a fraudulent claim

An insurer will notify you in writing when they plan to cancel your policy. You can also ask them to explain why they are cancelling your policy if you do not understand the written statement that they have given you.