Ideally you pick a life insurance policy that you keep forever. However, there are times when you need to cancel. There are a couple ways to cancel. The first way is over the phone. If you cancel over the phone, the customer service rep will stop automatic payments and mail you a cancellation form. Here is the problem: customer service reps are trained in retention. For instance, they might bring up the contestability period, which is a common scare tactic.
You can bypass the customer service rep by faxing a written cancellation request (don’t forget to sign your name). You might need to call the insurance company for the correct fax number, but they will freely give that information without pushback. In your written request, you should mention the effective date of cancellation and the policy number. You should also include a statement that says your decision is final and you don’t wish to discuss it with an agent. That last part is necessary because insurance companies will sometimes call your agent so he or she can talk you out of it. If you are cancelling a policy with cash value, make sure you read my article on nonforfeiture options before you cancel.