What is Guaranteed Insurability?
Guaranteed insurability is a provision found within an insurance policy that allows the policyholder to retain coverage regardless of changes in health or other factors, provided the premiums are paid in full and on time. In some instances, this particular clause also allows the policyholder to purchase additional coverage without being denied access to those added benefits. Sometimes referred to as guaranteed renewable coverage, guaranteed insurability also protects the policyholder from changes in the premium that are not applied to an entire class of holders.
One of the most common types of coverage that provides guaranteed insurability is life insurance. Once the policyholder has initially qualified for the coverage, the insurer agrees to not revoke the coverage even if the health of the insured party should deteriorate over time. In addition, the premium associated with the policy will not increase due to the specific circumstances associated with that deterioration in health. As long as the premiums on the life insurance policy are made in a timely manner, the coverage remains in force and is not canceled.
While a guaranteed insurability clause does prevent many types of premium increases, the provision does not limit an increase that is applied to an entire class or group of policyholders. For example, if the terms of the contract allow the insurer to increase premiums for all holders in a given geographical region, this type of premium increase can take place, provided that all holders living in the area are notified in a timely manner and the increase goes into effect for each and every holder. Governmental regulations typically determine what type of circumstances must exist before an insurance company is allowed to increase rates for any given class or group of customers, and also provide guidelines for notifying those customers in advance.
When seeking coverage that includes guaranteed insurability, compliance with qualifications on the front end may vary based on the type of insurance that the customer is seeking to secure. With whole life insurance, the applicant will usually be required to undergo some type of physical examination before coverage is extended. Even with some forms of term life insurance, there may be limitations based on pre-existing health conditions that minimize the coverage for a period of one to two years before the policyholder has claim on the full benefits of the coverage. In order to determine what is an is not required in a policy that carries guaranteed insurability, go over every clause within the contract and ask questions before making a commitment to a particular insurance provider.
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