Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: May 25, 2021

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

The Brief

  • Cancelling a whole life policy may payout, but the cash value amount could be subject to fees and is taxable.
  • A life insurance policy can be cancelled at any point.
  • Cancelling a permanent life during the free look period means you will be refunded any paid premiums.

If you’re ready to end your relationship with American National Life Insurance after buying term life or whole life insurance policies, you’re not alone. Many people cancel their life insurance policies for a multitude of reasons.

While the process to buy life insurance can have you jumping through hoops, canceling a policy is easy as pie. You can cancel your policy at any point and start comparing new life insurance quotes today when you

Of course, the repercussions of canceling a life insurance policy will be affected by the length of time you’ve owned your policy and whether you are cancelling a term life policy or a whole life policy. Enter your ZIP code for free life insurance quotes today.

How to cancel a term life insurance policy

Let’s take a look at exactly how you can cancel a term life insurance policy with American National Life Insurance.

Withhold premium payments

Halting the payment of your premiums is a blunt, yet effective way to cancel your term life policy for any reason. Whether you need to cancel because the life insurance rates are too high or you simply don’t need it anymore, this technique will certainly do the trick.

Write a letter

Sending a written notice that you would like to cancel your insurance is another easy way to close out your policy. Some companies require written notice to cancel a policy to avoid any mix ups.

You can always use this simple template if you need to send off a cancellation letter to your insurance provider:


I’m writing to cancel my policy, effective DATE. My policy number is POLICY NUMBER. Please return any unused premiums to ADDRESS.

Sincerely, NAME

Call your provider

Calling into your provider can, at the very least, start the process of policy cancellation at the very least, or can even get the entire cancellation taken care of in a few minutes. Simply have your policy number on hand and your agent should walk your through the rest.

Now, you should be aware how canceling a policy at certain points can affect your American National annuity or your ability to get a refund on your premiums.

If, for example, you’ve just bought a policy but realize you could have purchased more affordable life insurance elsewhere, your policy can be cancelled during the free look period at no cost to you and any premiums you had paid will be fully refunded.

It’s best that you you pay attention to how long the free look period lasts on your particular policy. The NC Department of Insurance explains that free look periods must last at least 10 days, but after this period ends, any premiums paid will not be refunded if you cancel your policy.

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How to cancel a whole life insurance policy

Cancelling a whole life insurance policy requires more than simply stopping payments. This is due to the fact that each individual policy can have variations of forfeiture rules.

Typically, you’ll need to start the process of cancelling whole life insurance by calling your insurer, or if you remember your American National login, reaching out to them via the company website.

The options you’ll have available after that will be affected by the insurance company’s regulations and the length of time you’ve owned the policy. Here are three of those options.

Let the policy lapse

If you don’t feel like contacting your life insurance company to cancel your policy, you can simply paying the premium and let the policy lapse. Following this route means that you will forfeit your life insurance coverage and any money that would have gone to your beneficiaries. 

With that in mind, it’s probably not for the best if you let a whole life insurance policy lapse.

Cash out the policy

If you think your whole life insurance cost is too high, you can always surrender your policy and get some money back if you own a cash value life insurance policy that has a significant amount of cash value.

The amount of money you that can collect, called the cash surrender value, will depend on how long you’ve owned the policy and the fees charged for an early cancellation.

It’s also important to bear in mind that the cash value you receive from a policy is taxable and must be listed as income on your taxes.

Reduced paid-up option

If possible, you can use can employ the reduced paid-up option if you would like to stop spending money, but still want some protection. The reduced paid-up option lets you stop paying premiums altogether while still retaining death benefit, albeit a reduced one, on your whole life policy.

The amount of your reduced paid-up death benefit is determined by the total premiums you’ve already paid, your age, and the overall amount of cash value that is attached to your policy.

Can you get money back if a life insurance policy is cancelled?

No matter how long you’ve been paying premiums on your policy, you’ve most likely put quite a sum toward it. Unfortunately, cancelling a policy means that you most likely will not get your money back.

Cancelling a term policy outside of the free look period means that you won’t get any of your premium payments refunded.

The same is true with whole life insurance policies, but if you notify your insurer that you would like to cancel the policy, you may receive the the cash value minus penalties and fees.

That cash value in addition to the reduced paid-up option is why many people prefer whole life policies over term life policies.

Cash ValueNoYes
Pure InsuranceYesNo
Low PremiumsYesNo
Lifelong CoverageNoYes
Fixed PremiumsYesNo
Annual DividendsNoYes
Coverage Term LimitsYesNo
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Cancelling Your Life Insurance: What You Need To Know

A term insurance policy is typically easier to cancel than a whole insurance, but no matter the type of policy, you can cancel your life insurance policy at any time simply by calling the American National Life Insurance phone number.

Before you end your coverage, confirm that your loved ones will be protected once your policy is canceled and what the potential penalties are. If you’re ready to cancel your current policy it’s best to start looking at some sample life insurance rates.

Enter your ZIP code above for free life insurance quotes today.