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What are the responsibilities of a life insurance policyholder?

Being a life insurance policyholder is not a set-it-and-forget-it thing. Here’s how to make sure your policy keeps up with your life throughout the years.

Mom smiles at her baby at home.

In a way, having a life insurance policy is like any other long-term relationship: it requires nurturing. After all, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing—you need to make sure your policy keeps up with you throughout the years.

Wondering how to do that? We’re glad you asked. Because we conveniently put together this collection of reminders to help ensure this relationship is a smooth one.

Know who your life insurance company or agency is

This seems like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to lose track of, especially if you have different types of policies (home, auto, flood, etc.) with different insurers. The simplest thing to do is make sure you have a paper copy of your policy stored somewhere safe and easily accessible to your beneficiaries and/or the executor of your estate. Also, you’ll want to tell the necessary people where this information is, and how to access it. Who are those people? We’re glad you asked…

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The Haven Term policy is issued by MassMutual, an industry leader with over 160 years of experience.

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Make sure your beneficiaries and family know the name of your insurer

Your loved ones will be happy to hear that you’ve taken the important step of helping to financially secure their future by getting life insurance. More importantly, they’ll need to know some key information in the event that they need to actually file a claim someday.

Depending on your comfort level (and if your beneficiaries are your children, their age), the amount of info you should share will vary. Ideally, your beneficiaries will receive a copy of your policy so they will know who to contact should it becomes necessary. If that exceeds your comfort level or, again, if your beneficiaries are too young to keep track of that info, consider giving that information to your attorney or someone else who will be responsible in the event that something happens to you. (For example, a sibling, a spouse or a trusted friend/relative.)

If you’re not comfortable sharing the full details of your policy, you should at least share the insurer and that insurer’s contact info, as well as where to find that policy when they need it.

Check back after any major life events

Keeping your life insurance policy up to date isn’t a job, but it does take work. If you experience any of the following life milestones, you should take a moment to consider how it may impact your life insurance policy:

  • Get married (or do the opposite.)
  • Have a child
  • Get a promotion, or experience anything else that affects your income, finances or overall net worth
  • Buy a new home

Specifically, you’ll want to make sure your policyholder information and beneficiaries are up to date. In fact, this is something you should do on a semi-annual basis – take a few minutes to log into your account and major sure everything from basic information (home address, billing) and beneficiary details are still accurate. it Pro tip: Create a calendar invite to check in on your policy (send it to your spouse, if applicable), and then follow through. If something happens and your policy is out-of-date, it might create headaches for those you love.

In sum, if you just took out a term life insurance policy, you’ve likely signed up for something that will cover the next few decades of your life. And a lot can change over that much time—your beneficiaries may move, have their own kids, so on and so forth. All of these might affect what level of insurance makes sense for you. And hey, even if you don’t ultimately need to update your policy, you’ll still get the comfort of knowing that everything is as it should be.

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Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children. This article is sponsored by Haven Life Insurance Agency. Opinions are his own.

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About Louis Wilson

Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.

Read more by Louis Wilson

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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