Should one revive a lapsed term plan or buy a new one?

Should one revive a lapsed term plan or buy a new one?

Policy Status and Lapse Duration:

  • Understand the current status of your lapsed term policy. Has it lapsed completely, or is there a grace period during which it can be revived without losing coverage? Different insurance companies have varying rules regarding policy lapses and revival. If there is a grace period, find out how long it lasts and whether it is still active.

  • Consider the duration of the policy lapse. The longer the policy has lapsed, the more critical it becomes to take action quickly, as delays might lead to the loss of coverage or affect the premium rates upon revival.

  • Review any communication from the insurance company regarding the lapsed policy, as they may provide information about options for revival.

Health Condition:

  • Assess any changes in your health since the time of purchasing the lapsed policy. If there have been significant health issues or a decline in your health status, it might impact the revival process.

  • Understand that reviving a lapsed policy might involve medical underwriting again. The insurance company may require you to provide updated medical information or undergo a medical examination to assess your insurability.

  • If your health has deteriorated significantly, there is a possibility that the insurance company may deny the revival, or the premiums may be substantially higher than before.

  • Alternatively, if your health has improved since the time of purchasing the policy, you may still have a chance to revive the policy at more favorable terms.

Underwriting and Approval:

  • Underwriting is the process by which an insurance company assesses the risk associated with insuring an individual and determines the premium rates for the policy. During underwriting, the insurer considers factors such as age, health condition, lifestyle habits, occupation, and medical history.

  • When reviving a lapsed term policy, the insurance company may require you to go through underwriting again, especially if the policy has been inactive for a significant period. This means providing updated information about your health and other relevant details to determine your insurability.

  • Depending on the outcome of the underwriting process, the insurance company may approve the revival of the lapsed policy, offer it at higher premium rates due to changes in your health, or, in some cases, reject the revival if the risk is deemed too high.

  • For a new policy, the underwriting process will also apply. You will need to provide all necessary information for the insurer to evaluate your risk and determine the premium rates for the new policy.

Policy Features and Riders:

  • Compare the features of the lapsed term policy with those offered in new term plans. Insurance products evolve over time, and newer policies may come with additional benefits or improved features.

  • Review the coverage options available with both the lapsed policy and new policies. Ensure that the coverage aligns with your current needs and financial obligations.

  • Check if the lapsed policy had any riders attached to it. Riders are optional add-ons that provide additional benefits, such as critical illness coverage, accidental death benefit, disability rider, etc. Evaluate if these riders are still relevant and adequate for your current circumstances.

  • Similarly, explore the riders available with new term plans and assess if any of them would be beneficial based on your current requirements.

  • Take note of any specific policy features and riders that may have changed since the time of purchasing the lapsed policy. Policy terms and conditions can differ between older and newer policies, so understanding these changes is essential for making an informed decision.

  • Remember that the right policy features and riders can enhance the protection provided by the term plan and offer more comprehensive coverage to meet your needs.

Claim Settlement Record:

  • Investigate the claim settlement record of the insurance company providing the lapsed policy. The claim settlement record reflects the company’s history of settling claims for their policyholders.

  • A high claim settlement ratio indicates that the company has a track record of efficiently processing and paying out claims, which is a positive sign. It shows that the insurer is reliable and honors its commitments to policyholders.

  • You can typically find claim settlement ratios and other relevant data on the official website of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) or similar regulatory bodies in other countries. These ratios are usually available for various insurance companies and can help you compare their performance.

  • Consider the claim settlement record of the insurance company that issued the lapsed policy when evaluating whether to revive it. A company with a good track record of claim settlements may give you more confidence in continuing with them.

Financial Advisor Consultation:

  • Seeking advice from a financial advisor is highly recommended when deciding whether to revive a lapsed policy or purchase a new one.

  • A financial advisor can help you analyze your current financial situation, assess your insurance needs, and understand the implications of reviving the lapsed policy versus buying a new one.

  • They can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique circumstances, including health status, dependents, financial goals, and risk tolerance.

  • A financial advisor can also explain the various policy options available in the market, compare their features, riders, and costs, and guide you toward the most suitable choice.

  • With their expertise, a financial advisor can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your long-term financial plan and provides the necessary protection for you and your loved ones.

  • Before consulting a financial advisor, ensure that they are reputable, experienced, and licensed to provide financial advice in your jurisdiction.

Remember that insurance decisions have long-term implications on your financial security, and it’s essential to make well-informed choices. By assessing the claim settlement record and seeking guidance from a qualified financial advisor, you can enhance your chances of making the right decision regarding reviving a lapsed term policy or purchasing a new one.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I revive a lapsed term insurance policy after the grace period has expired?
– It depends on the insurance company’s policies and guidelines. Some companies may allow policy revival after the grace period, but it might involve additional requirements, such as medical underwriting or higher premium rates. It’s best to contact your insurance provider to understand the options available to you.

2. What happens to the premiums paid on a lapsed policy?
– If a policy lapses and is not revived within the grace period, the insurance coverage ceases, and the policyholder loses the benefits associated with it. The premiums paid until the lapse typically do not generate any returns or benefits once the policy is lapsed.

3. Is it better to buy a new policy or revive a lapsed one with changed health conditions?
– If your health condition has significantly changed since the lapsed policy’s inception, buying a new policy might be a more suitable option. Underwriting for a new policy will consider your current health status, and the premium rates will be based on the updated information.

4. Can I modify the coverage amount or policy tenure while reviving a lapsed policy?
– Depending on the insurance company’s policies, you may have the option to modify the coverage amount or policy tenure when reviving a lapsed policy. However, it’s essential to confirm this with your insurer as it may vary from company to company.

5. What are the common riders available with term insurance policies?
– Common riders available with term insurance policies include critical illness rider, accidental death benefit rider, disability rider, waiver of premium rider, and income benefit rider. Each rider offers additional benefits to enhance the base coverage.


Reviving a lapsed term insurance policy or purchasing a new one is an important financial decision that requires careful consideration. Assess your current financial situation, health condition, and coverage needs to determine the best course of action. Review the policy status, duration of lapse, underwriting requirements, claim settlement record of the insurer, and available policy features and riders.

If you are uncertain about which option to choose, consult a qualified financial advisor who can provide personalized guidance based on your circumstances. Remember that a well-chosen term insurance policy can provide financial protection to your loved ones in case of unforeseen events, making it a crucial component of your financial planning.

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