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Automatic Premium Loan


Automatic Premium Loan is a provision in an insurance policy that allows the insurer to automatically deduct the premium from the policy’s cash value if the policyholder fails to pay the premium within a grace period. This protects the policy from lapsing due to non-payment. It is commonly used in life insurance policies.


ɔːˈtɒmætɪk ˈpriːmiəm loʊn

Key Takeaways

  1. Purpose: The Automatic Premium Loan provision is designed to keep an insurance policy in force should the policyholder forget or be unable to pay premiums. It prevents policies from lapsing due to non-payment.
  2. Loan against Cash Value: This feature essentially allows the policyholder to take a loan against the cash value of the policy to pay the premium. However, this does decrease the cash value of the policy and could reduce the death benefit if not repaid.
  3. Interest: Like any other loan, Automatic Premium Loans usually carry interest. This interest compounds over time and could eat into the policy’s cash value significantly if the loan amount and accrued interest are not repaid.


The business/finance term, Automatic Premium Loan is important because it acts as a safety net for policyholders. This provision in a life insurance policy allows the insurer to deduct any unpaid premium from a policyholder’s cash value after a certain period. Thus, ensuring that the policy stays active, even if the policyholder fails to make the premium payments. It helps policyholders avoid unintentional policy lapses due to non-payment, ensuring continuous insurance coverage. Hence, it provides financial protection and peace of mind to the policyholders and their beneficiaries.


Automatic Premium Loan (APL) is a provision in an insurance policy that allows the insurer to deduct overdue premiums from the policy’s cash value. The aim of this provision is to ensure that the insurance policy remains in force and prevents it from lapsing due to non-payment by the policyholder. If the policyholder is unable to pay premiums due to financial constraints or forgetfulness, the insurance company utilizes the accumulated savings in the policy (the cash value) to cover the premium cost. This ensures that the policy doesn’t get cancelled and coverage continues uninterrupted. This feature is often seen in whole or permanent life insurance policies where a cash value builds up over the life of the policy. Using the APL provision is beneficial as it prevents the policy from cancelling in times of financial hardship and continues the protection coverage for the beneficiaries. However, policyholders should be aware that frequent use of APL may deplete their policy’s cash value and possibly result in the policy being terminated. Therefore, it is mainly utilized as a safety net, providing flexibility in premium payment and ensuring continued coverage in unforeseen circumstances.


1. Life Insurance Policies: One of the most common real-world examples of Automatic Premium Loans involves life insurance policies. If a policyholder fails to pay their premium, the insurance company can automatically apply an Automatic Premium Loan to cover the payment. This allows the policy to remain active, thus maintaining its benefits for the policyholder. However, this means the policyholder will owe the company for the amount of the loan, and this loan might accrue interest over time.

2. Health Insurance Policies: Some health insurance policies may also tacitly include an Automatic Premium Loan where, if the insured fails to pay their premium on time, instead of canceling the policy, the insurance provider automatically applies a loan against the policy’s cash value to cover the missed payment.

3. Retirement Plans: Sometimes, certain types of retirement plans such as universal life or whole life insurance policies allow policyholders to borrow against the cash value of their policy. If a policyholder fails to pay their premiums, an Automatic Premium Loan provision could step in to take the owed amount from their policy’s cash value to keep the policy in effect. The policyholder must repay this loan with interest to avoid depleting the final benefit pay-out.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Automatic Premium Loan?

An Automatic Premium Loan is a provision in an insurance policy where, if the policyholder fails to pay the premium after the grace period, the due amount is borrowed from the policy’s cash value to keep the policy active.

How is an Automatic Premium Loan different from a regular loan?

Unlike a regular loan, there is no application process for an Automatic Premium Loan. It gets automatically initiated if the policyholder fails to pay the premium within time. Additionally, if not repaid, the loan amount is simply deducted from the policy’s death benefit.

Who is eligible for an Automatic Premium Loan?

Automatic Premium Loan provisions are usually part of most whole life insurance policies. Therefore, policyholders of such insurance are eligible.

Do Automatic Premium Loans accrue interest?

Yes, similar to regular loans, Automatic Premium Loans accrue interest. If the loan is not paid back shortly, the interest can compound leading to a significant reduction in the policy’s cash value.

Can I disable the Automatic Premium Loan feature on my policy?

Yes, insurance companies generally allow you to disable this feature. However, if you fail to pay the premium, the policy may lapse.

Are there any risks associated with Automatic Premium Loans?

The risk stems from the fact that if the loan plus interest exceeds the cash value of the insurance policy, the policy can lapse. This means the policyholder could be left without life insurance coverage.

How can I repay my Automatic Premium Loan?

You can repay the Automatic Premium Loan at any time. You could do this by making regular payments in addition to your premium or by making a lump-sum payment. If not repaid, it will be deducted from your policy’s death benefit.

What happens if I don’t repay my Automatic Premium Loan?

If you decide not to repay the loan, the insurance company will deduct the loan amount plus any interest from the death benefit when the policyholder passes away.

Related Finance Terms

  • Life Insurance Policy: This is the contract under which the automatic premium loan typically applies. It ensures a certain amount of money is given to the insured’s beneficiaries upon the insured’s death.
  • Insurance Premium: This is the amount paid periodically to the insurance company by the policyholder for coverage.
  • Cash Value: This refers to the cash amount available in a particular insurance policy. The automatic premium loan takes money from this cash value.
  • Policy Loan: This term refers to the loan taken against the cash value of an insurance policy. An automatic premium loan is a type of policy loan.
  • Default: This refers to the failure to fulfill the obligations of a loan. In the case of an automatic premium loan, if not paid back, the insurance policy could default, resulting in its termination.

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