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Life Insurance Effective Date

Your life insurance policy’s effective date is the day your insurance coverage starts and is considered active. If you sign up for life insurance and die before the effective date kicks in and you don’t have temporary coverage, your beneficiary will not receive the death benefit from your plan.

Life Insurance Policy Date

The life insurance policy date is the actual date listed on your plan. For some insurers, the policy date and issue date are the same. The life insurance policy date is crucial because a variety of time periods start from this date, such as expirations, grace periods, renewal deadlines and waiting periods.

Where Do I Find My Insurance Effective Date?

Life insurance effective dates vary for each policy, but it typically refers to the day you sign your insurance plan documents and pay your first premium. After you enroll in life insurance, you will receive documents that clearly explain how your policy works, what the premium is and the effective date of your plan. The effective date and all other important details relevant to your policy are listed on the plan’s declarations page of your insurance policy. 

What Is the Insurance Issue Date?

The issue date is another key day for your insurance policy. The issue date is the day that the life insurance policy is approved by the insurer and an offer for benefits is extended to the enrollee. It does not mean the policy is in force, so the applicant doesn't have coverage yet. If the applicant dies between the issue date and the effective date without having temporary coverage or another policy in place, the beneficiary won't receive the death benefit. After the insurer approves your enrollment and provides you with benefit details and premium rate, you can agree to the plan or reject the policy. If you agree with the policy that is offered, you sign the documents and make your first payment, which activates the policy. 

How Long Does It Take for Life Insurance to Become Effective?

Applying for life insurance is quick and easy, but the underwriting process can take four to six weeks before the insurer offers a final policy decision. There are a few factors an insurer uses to determine your eligibility, policy and premium: 

  • Medical exam: The medical exam provides information about your health and verifies the details you share with the insurer, such as height, weight and physical conditions. 
  • Attending physician’s statement: Your insurer will want to know what medications, if any, you are taking and how your health is overall. Underwriters will use the attending physician’s statement (APS) to determine how to classify your policy. 
  • Final approval: Once the underwriter receives documents about your health, any prescriptions you’re taking and your enrollment data, they will use this information to approve or reject your application.

Do You Need Coverage Before Your Insurance Effective Date?

It’s important to ensure there are no coverage gaps in your life insurance policy. The last day of your policy is known as the term date. If you pass away after your term date, your beneficiary won't receive a death benefit. You can make sure you and your loved ones are protected by starting the application process for a new plan six months before your current policy expires.

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