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Definition of 'Lapse'

A lapse is a break in the continuity of something. In the context of insurance, a lapse occurs when a policyholder fails to pay their premium on time. This can have a number of consequences, including the cancellation of the policy and the loss of any coverage that had been in place.

There are a number of reasons why a policyholder might lapse their policy. Some of the most common include:

* Financial hardship: A policyholder may be unable to afford to pay their premium due to a job loss, medical emergency, or other financial difficulty.
* Inattention: A policyholder may simply forget to pay their premium, especially if it is paid on a monthly or quarterly basis.
* Misunderstanding: A policyholder may not understand the terms of their policy and may lapse it thinking that they are no longer covered.

If a policyholder lapses their policy, they will typically have to reapply and go through the underwriting process again. This can be time-consuming and expensive, and the policyholder may not be able to get the same coverage that they had before.

In some cases, a policyholder may be able to reinstate their policy within a certain period of time. This is typically called a grace period, and it can vary depending on the insurance company. If the policyholder is able to reinstate their policy within the grace period, they will typically be able to continue their coverage without any interruption.

However, if the policyholder does not reinstate their policy within the grace period, it will typically be cancelled. This means that the policyholder will lose any coverage that they had in place, and they will have to start over from scratch if they want to get insurance again.

It is important to note that lapse rates can vary significantly from one insurance company to another. This is because some companies are more lenient with policyholders who lapse their policies, while others are more strict. As a result, it is important to shop around and compare lapse rates before choosing an insurance company.

In addition to the consequences listed above, a lapse can also have a negative impact on a policyholder's credit score. This is because lapses can be reported to the credit bureaus, and they can be viewed as a sign of financial instability. As a result, a policyholder who has a lapse on their insurance record may have difficulty getting approved for other types of credit, such as a loan or a credit card.

For all of these reasons, it is important to make sure that you pay your insurance premiums on time. If you are unable to pay your premium, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss your options.

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