Reasons for backdating a life insurance policy
The main reason for backdating a policy is to potentially reduce your premium by using a younger age to determine your risk. Your life insurance rate will generally increase the older you are when you apply, so using a younger age when the policy is underwritten might reduce your premium. Another reason to backdate a policy may be to have your payment due date land on a more convenient day for you.
What companies will backdate insurance?
Depending on your state's laws, you may be able to request that your insurance company backdate a life insurance policy, typically up to 6 months. However, it will be up to your insurance company to decide if they're willing to do it. Ask about backdating during your application process and learn what to look for when buying life insurance.
What's involved when a life insurance policy has been backdated?
Having a life policy backdated will involve backpaying your premium as if your coverage had started on the date the policy is backdated to. Therefore, it's not always worth it to have a policy backdated. If you're considering backdating, discuss it with the insurer during your application to determine if it will be worth it for you.
Should I backdate my life insurance policy?
If your insurer allows backdating, determine if any resulting reduction in rate will outweigh the additional premium you need to backpay. If it will and you can afford to backpay the additional premium, having your policy backdated can be worth it in the long run.
Life insurance rates can increase significantly as you age, so the older you are when you apply for life insurance, the more potential savings you might see from backdating. Backdating your policy may not make financial sense if you're in your 20s or 30s because your potential premium may not increase much year to year. Compare the average term and whole life insurance rates by age to see how your rate can increase depending on when you apply.
Calculating your insurance age
Your "insurance age" — used during the underwriting process to determine your risk — is typically the age you're nearest to. If you're past your half birthday when you apply for life insurance, backdating could allow you to use your actual age for underwriting instead of your older insurance age.
Example:If your actual age is 49 and 7 months, your insurer might consider your insurance age to be 50, even though your actual age is still 49. Backdating your policy by two months would allow you access the rate of a 49-year-old instead of a 50-year-old.