Does Term Life Insurance Have a Waiting Period?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Is There a Waiting Period in Term Life Insurance?

Standard Term Life Insurance: Typically, standard term life insurance policies do not have a waiting period. Once the policy is in force, coverage begins immediately.

Graded Term Policies: There are some graded term life insurance policies that may include a waiting period. However, these are not common in the market.

Policy Start Date: The key factor is the policy’s effective date. Coverage starts from this date, barring any specific exclusions or conditions mentioned in the policy.

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Why Would a Policy Have a Waiting Period?

  1. Risk Management: Insurance companies sometimes use waiting periods to mitigate risks associated with high-risk individuals.
  2. Prevent Fraud: Waiting periods can deter fraudulent claims soon after policy issuance.

Are Graded Term Policies Common?

Graded term life insurance policies are relatively rare. They may be offered to individuals who cannot get standard term insurance due to health issues or other risk factors.


Standard term life insurance policies typically provide immediate coverage without a waiting period. While there are graded term policies with waiting periods, they are not commonly found in the market. It’s important to read the policy details to understand any specific conditions or exclusions.

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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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