District of Columbia Life Insurance

In this article...
  • Laws regulating District of Columbia life insurance provide policyholders with valuable rights. Learn about the organizations that protect insurance consumers.

Life insurance is an important part of planning for your future and caring for loved ones if the unexpected happens. If you're a consumer of life insurance in the District of Columbia, you can protect yourself and get the most out of your life insurance by understanding the regulations that apply to your policy. 

District of Columbia Life Insurance Rules and Specifics

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking (DISB) regulates life insurance companies within Washington, D.C. The DISB protects consumers from fraud and abuse. It also works to provide a fair marketplace for regulated businesses. 

Life insurance in the District of Columbia is controlled by Title 31 of the Code of District of Columbia. These laws require that every life insurance policy include particular terms on the payment of premiums, loans and other policy features.

Required Grace Period for Late Payments

District of Columbia life insurance policies that have been in effect for more than one year must allow a grace period of at least 30 days for late payments. Insurance companies can't cancel the policy for late payment until the grace period has ended. If the policy becomes a claim during the grace period, the insurer may deduct the unpaid premiums from the payout. 


Policies are incontestable after they've been in place for 2 years. Insurance companies must honor such policies with a few exceptions: 

  • Nonpayment of premiums 
  • Fraud 
  • Violations of provisions relating to military service 
  • Provisions relating to permanent disability or death by accident 

Policy Loans

An insured person is entitled to take out a loan from the insurer against the policy if the policy has been in effect for at least 3 years. Laws regulate the amounts of these loans as well as the interest rates. 

Life Insurance Resources in the District of Columbia

Resources are available for consumers who need assistance with life insurance in the District of Columbia: 

  • The District of Columbia Department of Insurance Securities & Banking. The DISB offers consumer resources, guides and information. Consumers can file a complaint with the DISB about insurance contracts issued within the District of Columbia. 
  • The District of Columbia Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association. This entity was created by the D.C. City Council and consists of all insurers licensed to sell life, accident or health insurance in the District of Columbia. If a member insurer goes bankrupt, the Guaranty Association uses its resources to protect consumers who had policies with the insolvent company. 
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