How to Change Ownership of a Life Insurance Policy

The policyholder owns and controls the life insurance policy. If you are the owner, you may name another person as owner to replace you at any time. Choose a policyholder whom you trust. Only the policyholder can give up ownership of the policy. This means that when you are no longer the owner of the policy, you cannot reclaim the policy for any reason, even if you are the person insured under the policy contract.

Contact the life insurance company and request a change of policyholder form. The insurance company will send you the form in the mail. Some insurance companies may allow you to download a form from their website and fax the change of policyholder form to their home office. However, other insurers will only accept an original signature.

Complete the form. You must include your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, policy number and the new policyholder's personal information. Both you and the new policyholder must sign and date the form. If the insurance company offers an option to receive notifications by email, fill out this section as well, if you want to receive communication from the company via email.

Submit the form back to the insurance company and await processing, which may take up to a week. Most insurance companies send a notification by mail. However, your insurer may also offer a "paperless" option in which the company sends correspondence via email. The company only sends email communication if the option is available from the insurer and the policyholder has given the company his email address and authorized the company to send him communication through email. The new policyholder will now be responsible for premium payments and will have control over any other functions of the policy, such as the cash value account, if applicable.


  • "Practicing Financial Planning for Professionals (Practitioners' Edition), 10th Edition"; Sid Mittra, Anandi P. Sahu, Robert A Crane; 2007
  • "Life Insurance"; Kenneth Black, Jr., Harold D. Skipper, Jr.; 1994
  • "Life & Health Insurance, License Exam Manual, 6th Edition"; Dearborn Financial; 2004

About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.