Term Life Insurance FAQs

Understanding the basics

  • What is term life insurance?
    Term life insurance covers you for an amount of time (term) you choose such as 10, 15, or 20 years. You pay a set dollar amount (the premium) monthly, semi-annually, or annually throughout the duration of the policy term. In the event you should pass and no longer be there for those you love, the term policy pays your beneficiaries the face value or amount of your policy (coverage amount).
  • Is term life insurance right for me?
    Term life insurance covers individuals for a specific amount of time, for a predetermined dollar amount. This coverage serves as a safety net for a period of years and can provide financial security to those you love if something happens to you. Term life insurance is available to those 18 years and older, US citizens, and permanent residents of the United States.
  • What is the difference between term life and whole life insurance?
    Term life insurance covers you for a specific amount of time – 10, 15, or 20 years – for a predetermined dollar amount. It can be an affordable way to protect those you love. Whereas, whole life is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for your entire life. Often, its premiums are fixed and there can be a guaranteed cash value and a payout amount.
  • How long should I have term life insurance for?
    Your expenses and financial responsibilities change throughout your life and so will your coverage needs. Fidelity offers term life insurance in 10-, 15-, or 20-year increments. Our quote tool can help assess your coverage needs and estimate the cost.
  • How much term life insurance should I consider?
    The amount of coverage you get should reflect how much money you'd like your beneficiaries to receive in the event something happens to you. You can start with your family's day-to-day needs—the entire amount of money it takes to run your household each month or by estimating how much your beneficiaries may need to pay off debts—loans, a mortgage, credit cards, etc. If you have a spouse/partner, it's also important to have coverage for both people, no matter how much each person earns. You might need to cover costs such as additional caretaking of children or time off to settle the estate. Our quote tool can help assess your coverage needs and estimate the cost.
  • Does a term life policy have cash value?
    No, our term life policies have no cash value and no payout after the term expires. Our policies provide affordable life insurance coverage for a specific time duration and provide your beneficiaries with the full policy value in the event of unexpected death.
  • What is the purpose of the online quote tool?
    Many people seek help estimating how much term life coverage is needed and how much it might cost before applying. This is where the quote tool comes in—you share some basic information, including how you assess your current health status, and you can easily see an estimated monthly cost. When viewing your quote results, you are able to change health status to understand potential cost implications. Note: your final price is personalized and based on the answers provided in the online application (i.e., health history, lifestyle, and family health history), medical information, and third-party data obtained during underwriting. Please note that most applicants will fall in the Average/Standard range for health status. See your estimated quote.
  • Can I have more than one term policy?
    You can have multiple life insurance policies and some people have coverage through workplace and individual policies. However, having multiple individual policies may limit the amount of coverage you are able to apply for. Our quote tool can help assess your coverage needs and estimate the cost.
  • What is a term life insurance premium?
    Your premiums are based on the policy value, term, your age, gender, and health status. Premium payments are level (will not change) throughout the term and will only change if you continue your coverage beyond the term. You can pay your premiums monthly, semi-annually, or annually.
  • Can I complete a term life application on behalf of someone?
    No, the applicant and the insured person must be one and the same.
  • Can I insure my spouse, child, parent, or sibling?
    At this time, you can only apply for and buy a term life insurance policy for yourself. The best option to help get a loved one protected is to share this term life insurance overview and suggest they apply for their own policy.
  • Why should I purchase term life insurance through Fidelity?
    Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company is a highly rated life insurer1 that has supported families like yours since 1987. You do not have to be a customer to apply.

Application process

  • What should I expect during the application process?
    Our simple application can be completed online on your desktop, tablet, or mobile phone in 15–20 minutes. Expect questions about your contact information, employment, your identity which we will verify, prescriptions you take, medical conditions, smoking status, activities you enjoy. Honest, complete answers help to expedite the review process. Ready to start?
  • Why am I asked to log in to my Fidelity account or create an account?
    We ask you to log in to your Fidelity account for enhanced security. If you don’t have an existing account, we’ll prompt you to create one, which you can also use to access Fidelity’s suite of digital planning tools.
  • On the application, can I update my medical information later?
    No, in order to complete the application, answers must be provided to all required fields, including medical history. It is a good idea to have medical details handy prior to starting the application.
  • If I have a history of medical issues, can I still get a term life insurance policy?
    Yes, you may still be eligible for a term life policy. Medical history is just one factor in determining eligibility for coverage and premium amounts. Your eligibility will be determined through the application and underwriting process.
  • What is underwriting?
    Underwriting is a process which evaluates your application alongside medical information and third-party data to determine your "risk class" in order to provide you with a personalized premium for the selected coverage.
  • Why do I need a medical exam and who does it?
    In most instances, you will need a medical exam so we can better understand your health and provide you with a personalized rate. The 30-minute exam is conducted by a paramedic professional, is safe, secure, and can be done at a location and time convenient for you at no cost. You can expect blood pressure, weight, and height to be checked. Blood and urine samples will also be collected.
  • What can I expect in terms of an outcome to my term life application?
    If the application is approved, you can expect to be contacted with details of the policy offer (typically within 4–6 weeks), and to review your rate. You do not pay anything until you decide to proceed. If your application is declined, you will receive a letter in the mail that explains why.
  • How long does it take to receive my term life insurance policy?
    Generally, if your application for a term life insurance policy is successful, you should be informed 30–60 days from receipt of your completed application.
  • How will I be informed what my premium amount (cost) will be?
    Once the underwriting process has been completed (typically in 4–6 weeks), Fidelity will contact you to review your rate, at which point you can decide if you want to proceed and get protected. You do not pay anything until you decide to proceed.
  • Is there an option to save the application and continue later?
    Not at this time. If you do not complete this application in one session, you will need to start over. It is a good idea to have your medical details handy prior to starting the application.
  • I'm having an issue submitting my application, and/or I have a question about my application status. What should I do?
    We can help! Please call us at 844-519-5433 between 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET on Fridays.
  • Can I apply online in the State of New York?
    Yes, you can apply for term life insurance, but because of state regulations, you can’t apply via our digital application. To get started, use our quote tool for your estimate, and share your contact information with us. From there, you can call us at 844-519-5433 between 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET on Fridays.
  • What does it mean to have been "rated" for term life insurance?
    If you have applied for life, health, or disability insurance before, you might have received a “rating.” This is a health classification based on your application details—if you have complex health conditions or high-risk hobbies, you might have received a rating.
  • How do high-risk activities impact my application?
    If you have prearranged plans to participate in any of the high-risk activities listed on the application, we may have follow-up questions. We consider ballooning, parachuting, hang gliding, vehicle racing, scuba diving, mountain climbing, and any other similar sport or avocation to be high-risk activities.
  • How did Fidelity determine my health rating?
    Health ratings are assigned to you based on a number of risk factors. When assessing your risk, Fidelity's underwriting team looks at all relevant information from the submitted term life application, medical records obtained from your doctor, and results from any additional medical exams requested after the application is completed.


  • Will my policy appear on Fidelity.com?
    If you recently applied and purchased term life insurance from Fidelity you may access your policy details by logging into your Fidelity account and navigating to the Portfolio Summary page. Your policy information is in Protection Accounts. Policy details are typically visible online within one business day of issuance.
  • Is there benefit to paying my term life insurance premium annually versus monthly or semi-annually?
    Yes, if you pay annually, the premium payments may be lower than if you pay semi-annually or monthly.
  • How do I pay for term life insurance?
    You can make payments monthly, semi-annually, or annually. Currently, you may make premium payments by check (check option available for semi-annual and annual payments only) or electronic funds transfer (EFT), from your Fidelity brokerage account, or with a credit card.
  • Can I pay for my policy with a credit card?
    Yes! When your policy is approved, we’ll send you a secure link to enter your credit card details and make a payment online. If you need to change or update your credit card, please call us at 844-519-5433 between 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
  • Who pays the premiums on a term life policy?
    The policy owner, or owner applicant, is responsible for paying the premiums on the policy. Premiums can be paid by check or direct deposit (electronic funds transfer). If necessary, a power of attorney (POA) can also be added to make payments on the owner's behalf. An owner can name a power of attorney by completing the "Durable Power of Attorney, Affidavit and Indemnification - Term Life Insurance" form. For the appropriate form, please visit here and select Term Life Insurance from the topic drop down.
  • How can I get help with payments?
    We’re happy to help! Call us at 844-519-5433 between 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.


  • What is a beneficiary?
    A beneficiary is an individual who receives the benefit from an estate, trust, retirement account, life insurance policy, or account with a transfer on death (TOD) designation. Taking the time to choose your beneficiaries can help your family avoid probate later. Most importantly, you can feel confident that your loved ones will receive the assets you intend for them to have.
  • Can I have primary and contingent beneficiaries on my term life policy?
    Yes, when selecting beneficiaries during the application process, you can select one or more primary beneficiaries to receive the policy payout and one or more contingent beneficiaries in the event the primary beneficiaries pass away.
  • What happens if I have no living beneficiaries?
    If you are still living, but your beneficiaries have passed, you can update your beneficiaries at any time. In the event that you pass away and your term life policy has no living beneficiaries, the policy funds would go to your estate.
  • Can beneficiaries be updated after a policy is issued?
    Yes, you may update your beneficiaries anytime after your policy has been issued. If you have an active policy, please complete, and return a "Term Beneficiary Change" form. For the appropriate form, please visit here and select Term Life Insurance from the topic drop down.
  • How does a will impact the beneficiaries of a term life policy?
    A will does not have any impact on the term policy. The insurance proceeds will pay out to the beneficiaries indicated on the term life policy.
  • Who can be a beneficiary and what information is needed?
    Examples of acceptable beneficiaries include an individual, estate, charity, or trust. If you have multiple beneficiaries, the total allocation must add up to 100%. Fidelity suggests providing as much information as possible about each beneficiary including name, date of birth, Social Security number, etc. In the event of the death of the insured person, this information will simplify the process for the beneficiary making a claim.
  • Who gets the money if my beneficiary is a minor?
    Typically, a custodian/guardian of the minor will hold the money until they reach legal age. The money is guaranteed to the minor. If you leave assets outright to your minor children, the custodian/guardian will be responsible for adhering to state guidelines on how your children’s money is spent and invested until the children reach the age of majority. Learn more here.
  • Can I see term life beneficiaries on Fidelity.com?
    You may view your term life insurance beneficiaries on Fidelity.com. If you would like to change or add beneficiaries on an active policy, please complete, and return a "Term Beneficiary Change” form. For the appropriate form, please visit here and select Term Life Insurance from the topic drop down.
  • How do I notify Fidelity of the death of my loved one?
    We're sorry for your loss and are here to help you. For policies issued prior to October 10, 2022, please call 888-343-8376 (select option #3), for policies issued on or after October 10, 2022, please call 844-519-5433.

Policy management

  • What happens at the end of my term or coverage period?
    Term life insurance covers you for a set period or term. If you buy a 10-year term policy, for example, you pay a fixed amount for that period of time and at the end of the 10-year term, you can terminate or lapse your policy. If you choose to extend your policy, your premium would increase significantly.
  • Can I change my coverage amount in the future?
    Yes, if you want to decrease your coverage amount, contact Fidelity at any time during the life of the policy. If you want to increase the coverage amount, a new application is required.
  • What changes are allowed once my policy has been issued?
    Once your term life policy has been issued, you can update personal information, contact information, payment information, and/or beneficiary changes at any time. The policy owner may transfer all ownership rights and privileges to a new owner with a written request, in acceptable form, delivered to Fidelity at its Executive Office. A change of ownership will not, in and of itself, affect the interest of any beneficiary. For the appropriate form(s), please visit here and select Term Life Insurance from the topic drop down.
  • Can the term premium be reconsidered if I have a change in my health status?
    You can apply for a premium (rate) change if you have changes to a certain health status. Changes to tobacco use may allow you to apply for a new premium amount at any time for the duration of the policy. All other health changes can be considered in the first year after policy issuance.