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Lapse of an Insurance Policy

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What Does It Mean If My Policy Has Lapsed?

Insurance policies cover only the term designated by the policy. Once that period of time is up, the coverage will end, and the insurance company will not cover any claims made after that time. 

Most states have automatic renewal or anti-lapse laws, which require an insurance company to give the policyholder notice that the term will be ending soon. The purpose of this notice is to give the policyholder time to pay the premiums and avoid a lapse in coverage.   

What If My Insurance Company Did Not Notify Me That I Needed to Renew?

Many states have laws that will automatically extend the current coverage if an insurance company fails to notify the policyholder that it is time to renew. Some insurance policies will give the policyholder a grace period to keep them covered, even though you have not yet paid for the next term. These grace periods are even required under certain policies, such as disability insurance

Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you believe your policy has lapsed unlawfully or if you were not given notice of renewal, you should contact an insurance attorney or other business lawyer who is familiar with insurance policies. A lawyer can help you manage the complexities of dealing with insurance companies and their policies, and protect your rights.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 08-28-2014 07:53 PM PDT

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