Can You Extend Term Life Insurance?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Yes, You Can Extend Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance policies can be extended in several ways:

  1. Renewal Option: Many term life policies offer a renewal feature, allowing you to extend coverage at the end of the term without a medical exam. However, premiums usually increase significantly upon renewal.
  2. Conversion Option: Some policies include an option to convert to a whole or universal life insurance policy, which offers permanent coverage.
  3. New Policy Application: You can apply for a new term life policy, although this often requires a new medical exam, and premiums may be higher due to increased age or changes in health.
Should You Extend Your Life Insurance Policy

Should You Extend Term Life Insurance?

Considerations for Extending Term Life Insurance

  1. Changing Financial Responsibilities: If you still have significant financial obligations like a mortgage, dependents, or debts, extending coverage can be beneficial.
  2. Health Changes: If your health has declined, renewing or converting your existing policy might be more favorable than applying for a new one.
  3. Premium Costs: Renewal premiums can be high. Compare the costs with new policies or permanent insurance options.
  4. Future Insurability: If you anticipate difficulty in obtaining new insurance due to age or health, extending your current policy might be a wise choice.
  5. Financial Goals: If your financial goals and needs have changed, reassess whether term insurance is still the best fit.

Example Scenario

John, 50, has a 20-year term life policy nearing its end. He still has a mortgage and two children in college. His health is relatively good, but he knows new insurance at his age will be more expensive. After comparing costs, John decided to convert his term policy into a whole life policy to ensure continued coverage and fixed premiums.

Extending Your Life Insurance Policy

Comparing Options for Extending Term Life Insurance

Extension OptionProsConsBest For
RenewalNo medical examHigher premiumsShort-term coverage needs
ConversionPermanent coverageHigher premiumsLong-term financial obligations
New PolicyPotentially lower costMedical exam requiredThose in good health


Deciding whether to extend term life insurance depends on your current financial needs, health status, and future goals. Evaluate your situation carefully, considering factors like ongoing debts, dependents’ needs, and your health. Remember that extending coverage can be costly, but it might be necessary to maintain financial security.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of extending your life insurance policy?

Extending your life insurance policy allows you to continue to provide financial security to your loved ones. It also helps to keep pace with inflation and may allow you to take advantage of any improvements in your health.

What are the drawbacks of extending your life insurance policy?

Extending your life insurance policy can be more expensive than purchasing a new one, may not cover you for as long as you need, and may no longer be eligible for the same coverage and benefits as your original one.

How do I know if I should extend my life insurance policy?

You should extend your life insurance policy if you still have dependents who rely on your income, if your coverage no longer meets your needs, or if you have taken steps to improve your health.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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