A convertible insurance policy is a term usually related to life insurance. To understand a convertible policy, you must first understand term and universal policies.

"Term" life insurance is a policy that provides the insured person coverage for a certain period of time. On the other hand, a "whole" or "universal" policy is considered permanent, providing coverage for the entire life of the insured.

Now, a "convertible term" policy allows the insured to convert a term policy to a permanent policy at a later date. As long as the conditions of the policy have been maintained and payments made on time, the insured person is not required to undergo any new or additional screening at the time the policy is converted, regardless of his/her medical condition. This type of policy provides the benefit of obtaining less expensive term life insurance now while maintaining the option to convert to a permanent policy at a later date as insurance needs and financial resources change.

Advisor Insight

Scott Bishop, CPA, PFS, CFP®
STA Wealth Management, LLC, Houston, TX

A convertible policy can be converted into another type of insurance policy at the same insurance company. The conversion privileges are stated in the policy. The exact policies that it can be converted into will be stated by the contract and insurance company.

Typically, convertible insurance deals with a level-term insurance policy that can be converted into a permanent/cash value policy that may be some form of whole life or universal life. The contract will state how long the convertible options can be done. One of the benefits is that although it gets converted at the age you convert it, the policy converts at the same health rating as when you applied for it. Make sure to understand the conversion options before you choose the term insurance policy and carrier.