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I have not paid my premium on my life insurance policy for some time. Does it still apply?

Your insurance company is required to give you 31 days of grace without forfeiting any of your contractual rights. The grace period is always 31 days from when the premium is normally due, regardless of the frequency of payment – monthly, semi-annually, etc. If the policy has nonforfeiture provisions and you either forgot to pay your premium or decided not to continue paying the premiums, these provisions enable you to three options -- cash in your policy, exchange the policy for a fully paid-up policy with a reduced death benefit, or shorten the term of the insurance policy.

If your insurance policy does not have nonforfeiture provisions and you do not pay your premium during the grace period, the policy will lapse and no death benefits will be paid. If, however, your policy has a reinstatement provision, which most policies do, you can reinstate your policy if you provide evidence of insurability, pay all premiums in default and repay any loans outstanding (if you have borrowed against the cash value of the policy). Usually, you would have two years to reinstate a lapsed policy.