How to Read Your Policy’s Face Page

After the underwriting process is complete, you will be given a hard copy of your life insurance policy, which should be kept in a safe place. Your beneficiaries should also be informed of the location of your policy.

While each policy’s length, location of provisions, and overall organization will vary, the face page of most life insurance contracts is quite similar.

In fact, the face page of a policy should include some, if not all, of the information listed below.

The name of the insurance company, as obvious as it may sound, should be listed on this page. This is significant because your insurance company may be sold, bought out, absorbed by another company, and change its name in the coming years. It is critical to have the original name of the company because it may save your beneficiaries time when they try to claim it.

Following the name of the insurance company, the face page should include policy specifics. This should include the following information: the insured’s and policyholder’s names, the face amount of the policy, the policy number, and the policy date.

The insurer’s promise to pay if and when the policyholder dies is perhaps the most important aspect of the face page, as this is the heart of any life insurance policy. The face page should also include a basic description of the type of life insurance policy being purchased by the policyholder.

An example of a traditional whole-life policy description follows:

“Whole Life – Level Face Amount Plan. Insurance payable upon death. Premiums payable for life. Policy participates in dividends. Dividends, dividend credits and policy loans may be used to help pay premiums,” as quoted in McGill’s Life Insurance 8th edition.

On the face page, include a statement about the policy’s free look provision (the period of time after acceptance during which the policyholder can return the policy). This provision is typically ten days.

Finally, the signatures of the company’s officers – usually the president and secretary – should be listed on the face page. Their signature binds the company to the contract’s terms.

Want to learn more about life insurance? Read our article The Most Frequently Asked Life Insurance Questions.

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