What is Lapse and Why You Should Try to Avoid it?

What is Lapse in your Policy and Why you should try to Avoid it

In the context of insurance, a lapse refers to the termination or expiration of an insurance policy due to the non-payment of premiums by the policyholder within the grace period specified in the policy terms. When a policy lapses, the insurance coverage ceases, and the policyholder loses the protection provided by the policy.

Here's how a Lapse Typically Occurs

Missed Premium Payments

Insurance policies typically require policyholders to pay premiums at regular intervals, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, to keep the policy in force. If the policyholder fails to make a premium payment by the due date, the policy enters a grace period during which the premium can still be paid to maintain coverage.

Grace Period

The grace period is a specified period of time, usually around 30 days, during which the policy remains in force even if the premium payment is overdue. During this time, the policyholder can make the overdue payment to prevent the policy from lapsing. However, if the premium is not paid by the end of the grace period, the policy will lapse.

Loss of Coverage

Once the grace period expires without the premium payment being made, the policy lapses, and the insurance coverage terminates. This means that the policyholder no longer has the protection provided by the policy, and any claims filed after the lapse will not be covered by the insurance company.


In some cases, policyholders may have the option to reinstate a lapsed policy by paying the overdue premiums, along with any applicable fees or penalties, within a certain timeframe. Reinstatement allows the policyholder to regain coverage under the original policy without having to purchase a new policy. However, reinstatement is typically subject to approval by the insurance company and may require the policyholder to provide evidence of insurability.

It's important for policyholders to be aware of their premium payment obligations and to make timely payments to avoid the lapse of their insurance coverage. Lapsed insurance policies can leave individuals and families vulnerable to financial risk and hardship in the event of unexpected events or emergencies. If a policy does lapse, policyholders should contact their insurance company as soon as possible to explore options for reinstatement or alternative coverage to ensure they remain protected.