When you have a term life insurance and you have decided to cancel it, you will not get any money payout back. The insurance company will not pay you back the premiums you paid all these years and you can't claim for the insurance amount that you were covered for. For example: If you have a 30 years term life insurance for $500,000 and after 10 years you decided that you don't want to continue paying for the term life insurance anymore. You can cancel your term life insurance by writing to the insurance company or if your insurance company has a store or office, you can show up there and tell them you want out of your life insurance policy, and sign the papers opting out of your life insurance policy. Either way, you won't get your premiums you paid, back to you. And you cannot claim for the amount of $500,000 which you were covered for, since the payout is only possible if on the occasion of death.