Has your situation changed since you bought life insurance cover? Maybe you got married, had children, or experienced a change in your financial situation. Whatever the reason, you may be wondering if you can change your cover to better suit your current needs.

The good news is that in many cases, it is possible to change your life insurance policy. Whether you want to increase cover, or reduce the policy length, there are plenty of ways to adjust a policy.

Please be aware, however, that each insurer will have their own set of criteria to determine whether a change request is accepted. This is usually based on what you plan to do. 

For example, reducing the sum of a policy is something you can usually do at any time, but increasing a policy may require a significant life change, like buying a new property, getting married or welcoming a new child into your family.

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Can I change my policy?

You may be able to change your life insurance when needed. Whilst there are no fees associated with changing your policy, your premiums could be affected. So, make sure you understand the potential impact on your cover before you go any further.

How do I change my life insurance policy?

You will need to contact your insurer directly. Here are some steps you can take to change the policy:

  1. Review your current policy: Even if you’re inclined to change a policy, it might not be the right option. Review the policy and see if it still meets your needs. If not, consider any changes and how they will benefit you.
  2. Contact your insurer: When you're ready to make changes, get in touch with your insurer. You can reach out to them either by phone, email, or through their website to discuss the changes.
  3. Discuss your options: Once you have contacted your insurer, they will guide you through the process of changing your policy. They will explain your options, and how the changes will impact your cover and premiums.
  4. Provide required information: Depending on the changes you want to make, your insurer may require additional details from you. This could include updated personal details or medical information.
  5. Review and confirm changes: Once you are satisfied with the proposed changes, confirm them with your insurer.

Why change your policy?

There can be plenty of reasons to change a policy. Common reasons include:

  • Life changes: As your circumstances evolve, so too may your insurance needs. If you get married, have children, buy a home, or change jobs, you may need to adjust your cover to ensure that your family/loved ones are protected.

  • Financial factors: If your situation has changed financially, it may be worth adjusting the policy to reflect such changes. Say you have paid off a significant amount of debt or increased your savings, you may feel that you want to reduce your cover.

  • Beneficiary changes: If there have been changes in your relationships or family, you may need to update your beneficiaries on your policy.

  • Health changes: If your health has improved since you took out cover, perhaps you want to make changes to reflect this. For example, if you have quit smoking, you could see your premiums reduced.

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What changes can you make to your policy?

There are several changes you can make to your life insurance policy. Common changes include:

Switching your life insurance policy

If your circumstances have changed since you first took out your policy, you might want to change policies. If you purchased a term life policy, you may now want permanent cover by switching to a whole life policy.

Please note: The insurance products offered by Cavendish Online have no cash-in value at any time. If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit. If you have not claimed before the end of your chosen policy term, the policy will end, and no benefit will be paid.

If you are facing financial difficulty, please contact your insurer before cancelling your policy or letting it lapse. They may have options available that means you don't have to lose the plan.

Increasing/decreasing the amount of cover

If your financial situation has changed, you may need to increase the amount of cover.

Increasing your cover may be necessary if you have taken on additional debt, such as a mortgage. On the other hand, if you have paid off debts or your children have grown up, you may be able to reduce your cover.

This could also have an impact on your premiums, as having more cover typically means higher premiums. While reducing your cover amount could result in lower premiums.

Changing the term length

When you originally took out your policy, you chose a specific term length, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If circumstances change and you need cover for a longer or shorter period of time, you can adjust the length of your policy.

For more information see: What is the best length for term life insurance?

Adding add-ons to your policy

You may also have the option to add on additional features to your existing life insurance policy. These add-ons can provide extra protection for you and your family and/or loved ones.

Some common add-ons that you may consider include:

  • Critical illness: Provides a lump sum payout if you are diagnosed with a critical illness, such as cancer or heart disease. The money can be used to support your family/loved ones if you are unable to work due to your illness.

  • Income protection: This policy can provide a monthly income in the event that you are unable to work due to illness or injury. This can help cover living expenses while you focus on recovery.

  • Joint life insurance: If you have a partner or spouse who also needs life cover, you can consider changing to a joint policy. This can provide a lump sum payout if either of you pass away. It could also be cheaper than taking out two single life insurance policies.

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Can I switch insurers?

Yes, you can switch insurers if you find a better policy that suits your needs or offers more competitive rates. However, this may involve going through the underwriting process again, which could result in higher monthly premiums if your health has declined since you first took out your policy.

Make sure to consider any potential penalties for cancelling your current policy early. There may also be other benefits or features that you stand to lose by switching.

Can you change your policy at any time?

In some cases, you can make changes to your policy at any time. Despite this, the option to change your policy will depend on the terms and conditions set out by your insurer. Some insurers may have restrictions on when and how often you can make changes to your policy.

If you are looking to adjust your policy due to financial difficulty, please contact your insurer first as they may have options that will help you keep your cover during this time.

What if I want to cancel my policy?

If you no longer need or want your life insurance policy, you have the option to cancel it. Before cancelling, be sure to consider the potential consequences of doing so. Whilst there are no fees for cancelling a policy early, you will not receive a refund for any premiums paid outside of the 30 day cancellation window. 

If you don’t have any other cover in place, you may also be leaving yourself and your loved ones in a vulnerable financial position should you pass away. 

If you are thinking about cancelling a policy due to financial difficulty or you can no longer afford the premiums, please contact your insurer first as they may have options available to help you keep the plan. For more information see: Cancelling life insurance: Everything you need to know

Get advice

If you feel like your current policy no longer fits your needs, our advisers can help. They can provide tailored advice based on your circumstances. Helping you find a policy that offers the right level of coverage for you and your loved ones. Speak to an adviser today for guidance.

You can get a get a free personalised quote with one of our expert advisers by calling us on

01392 436 193

(Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm)


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