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Do term insurance policy have a waiting period after buying?

Typically, there is a term period when applying for life insurance. The waiting period is the time between submitting an application for insurance and obtaining permission to begin coverage. There is a term period before coverage begins under several life

  • 5,317 Views | Updated on: May 10, 2024

There is a term period before coverage begins under several life insurance policies. This is the waiting period before your plan coverage begins after enrolling. If you pass away during the coverage period, your heirs will only get a refund of the premiums you’ve paid. This knowledge is helpful as you consider the effects of life insurance on your loved ones.

You should not take life insurance lightly because it is a part of your entire estate plan, which is a crucial financial exercise. A financial planner may assist you in developing an estate plan that considers your unique situation and objectives.

    Key Takeaways

    1 Key notes about the term insurance waiting period are mentioned below.

    2 The waiting period benefits not just the policyholder but also the family members.

    3 The waiting period is of two type, one takes place during the application process.

    4 Another is the term that the closed one has to wait to use to acquire the death benefits.

Why Do We Need Life Insurance?

Life Insurance is a financial product designed to assist with the financial support of a deceased policyholder’s loved ones. You purchase a life insurance policy for a predetermined amount of coverage and choose a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Monthly or quarterly premium payments are made according to risk indicators for death, such as age and general health. The insurance company will pay the death benefit specified in your policy upon your passing.

Term Life Insurance is intended to assist in covering unforeseen costs if they arise. However, life insurance is not meant to protect you in the same way that other policies do. Instead, it benefits the people closest to you. For instance, it can be used to cover final expenses if you have a large family or to replace lost income if you were working at the time of your death and your loved ones rely on you financially.

What is the Definition of an Insurance Waiting Period?

Two primary types of waiting periods are associated with life insurance policies: the application pending and the death benefit waiting period. The end consequence is the same, your life insurance policy won’t pay out if something occurs to you during the term insurance waiting period. But, first, let’s go down to how each one operates.

Term Period While Application Is Pending

There is typically a term insurance waiting period when you apply for life insurance. The waiting period is between filling out an insurance application and receiving approval to start coverage. For an automated system, this may take as little as a few minutes, and for a human, this could take weeks. Neither your premiums nor coverage will begin after the application’s waiting time has ended. You will not leave anything to your heirs if you pass away during this period.

Duration of Waiting Period for Death Benefits

There is a waiting period for term insurance before a policyholder’s beneficiaries can receive death benefits after the insurance company has approved the policy and begun collecting premiums. Deaths occurring within the waiting period for death benefits will result in no payout to beneficiaries. Instead, most policies will pay out a percentage of the total premiums you’ve paid up to that point.

Why does Term Insurance Plan Have Waiting Period?

There is a holding time for applications, so the insurance provider may decide whether or not to offer coverage. During this period, employees are surveyed about their lifestyle habits, such as whether or not they smoke or drink heavily. In addition, a physical examination and other information that could affect your actuarial life expectancy will likely be required. The insurance firm uses this data to determine your risk level and lifespan and then calculates your rates accordingly.

Did You Know?

Most death benefit term period are included in policies as a “blanket.” This is functionally analogous to the standard language in contracts barring compensation in the event of suicide.


Concluding, we can say that majority of term insurance plans come with a waiting period, while few can be categorized under term life insurance with no waiting period. There are two types of waiting periods associated with insurance: application waiting periods, which occur between the time you apply and the time your coverage becomes effective, and death benefit waiting periods, which occur between the time you receive coverage and the time your death benefits become effective. Regardless of the waiting tenure, it is advisable to invest in term insurance, as the benefits are worth the wait.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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