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In the event that the worst happens, a life insurance policy gives you a peace of mind as your loved ones are looked after financially.
In the event of your death, this provides a lump-sum payment to your loved ones so they don’t have to face financial hardship.Read More
As an add-on to life insurance, this policy also pays out if you obtain a permanent disability by injury.Read More
As an add-on to life insurance, this policy also pays out if you obtain a permanent disability by injury.
Before comparing life insurance quotes, you should consider following:
There are number of factors that determine the cost of life insurance, ultimately the insurer looks at the risk that they will have to pay out the large lump sum:
It is possible to find insurance cover from little as £5* a month, depending on your age and the policy value
You are not legally required to have life insurance cover, however, it will provide financial stability to your dependents when you pass away and in some cases when you are diagnosed with critical illness which stops you doing any work.
The cover you pick will entirely depend on your circumstances and your personal choice, you should consider how much lump sum you want to leave and what would it be for, would it only cover the mortgage or would you also want to cover the loss of earnings for the household.
When you compare a level life insurance policy you are comparing policies that pay out the fixed sum that you have chosen at any point of the term of the policy (usually the full amount will be paid out after year 1) This policy type is the most simple and easy to understand cover – The amount you receive will never change.
You can compare the prices of critical illness cover with level term or decreasing term or alternatively you can just take out critical illness cover to protect you financially if you are diagnosed with a life threatening or terminal illness.
Usually you are insured for a fixed amount that can be paid as a lump sum or paid monthly to you to cover any outstanding debts.
If you are very unwell and unable to work, you can make a claim on an integrated critical illness cover, your insurance policy provider usually pays out one lump sum to you and your policy would end. The insurance policy provider will not make any future payments to you or your loved ones.
Decreasing term cover is also known as mortgage life insurance and mortgage protection insurance which is designed to protect debts that decrease over time, such as your residential mortgage.
Comparing these policies will provide cheaper prices than a fixed term policy because the amount paid out by the insurer under this policy reduces with time. For example, if you pass away near the start of your agreed policy term, your loved ones would get more pay out compared to the end of your policy terms.
There are various other types of life insurance options available and your monthly premiums are based on your personal requirements and individual circumstances.
If you are married or in a relationship, you and your partner can take out a joint policy cover which pays out in the event of one of you passing away. In most cases its can be cheaper to have a joint policy than two single polices. However, it only pays out for the first death and cover will end once lump sum paid. So in the long run it could be more cost effective to take 2 single premiums that run alongside each other’s.
Is you are planning on becoming parents or you have recently become a parent, it is very important to think about the future. If one of you passes away could you maintain paying the mortgage, house hold bills and childcare or would you need to stop working to look after the child? Having a lump sum could ease the financial stress and still allow you to remain in your property and stay in work.
Any one aged from 50 to 79 can get a whole of life cover which doesn’t require medical assessment. There’s a short qualifying period and you can stop paying monthly premium when you are 85 or 90.
These insurance policies tend to be lower in value than a level or decreasing term and are primarily designed to cover the cost of a funeral and any immediate expenses. The maximum policy value tends to be around £25,000 but there are guaranteed acceptance schemes with no medicals required.
Unfortunately, not all insurance providers support pre-existing medical conditions which means when comparing pre-existing medical cover, you are only going to get quotes from a few insurance suppliers and you’ll also notice your premium will be higher than a normal policy.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition and didn’t want to pay the higher premiums you can still get a normal level term or decreasing term policy but you would need to exclude your existing medical condition from the policy and therefore you wouldn’t receive a pay-out on the stated conditions.
Life assurance (Also known as whole of life cover) is a type of life cover policy which comes with no term limit. As long as you keep up with your monthly premium, the life assurance policy will always be paid on death regardless of your age when you pass away.
No. Life insurance and mortgage insurance are two different types of policy and it is important to understand the differences between them in order to ensure that you select the policy that is most appropriate to your individual circumstances.
Life insurance. There are many different types of life insurance policies available and they are designed to provide financially by way of a cash payout for your family and loved ones in the event of your death. By determining the level of cover that you require and the period most appropriate for you, a life insurance policy can do everything from paying for your funeral fees to paying off your mortgage or leaving an inheritance.
Many people choose a life insurance policy on a declining term basis, in order that the payoff reduces annually in correlation with the shrinking of their mortgage, ending at the same point that the mortgage is fully paid off. This is a way of safeguarding loved ones from having to deal with a large sum of debt should the person insured pass away during the term of the policy when there is still a considerable sum outstanding on the mortgage of the family home. Otherwise, the surviving family members may be unable to afford the payments without the income of the deceased. With this type of cover, if the person insured is still alive at the end of the term, the policy does not pay out.
Mortgage insurance. Often referred to as mortgage payment protection insurance, this is a policy that will cover your mortgage payments in the event that you find yourself unexpectedly out of work or, due to injury or illness, unable to work. Mortgage insurance is different to general income protection insurance in that it will only pay out up to 125% of your monthly mortgage payments or 50% of your monthly salary, whichever is greater, so is unlikely to be able to fully fund all of the outgoings that you are responsible for and would continue to need to pay in the event that you were out of work. For this reason, this type of policy is popular with couples who both earn an income and can supplement each other to a certain level in times of hardship.
There are different options for mortgage insurance and it is up to each individual to determine which is most appropriate for them, based on their personal circumstances and risk appetite. The most basic policy only covers you for unemployment if you are made redundant. The next level provides cover should you suffer a long-term illness or a serious injury which prevents you from working. Finally, the most comprehensive option covers redundancy, accident and illness. All mortgage insurance policies have a waiting time before you are able to claim and generally, the longer the waiting time, the cheaper your monthly premiums will be, however, it is important to ensure that you have sufficient savings or other sources of income to continue to pay your mortgage until such time as the policy begins paying out.
In short, the critical difference between these two policies is that life insurance only pays out in the event of your death, whilst mortgage insurance will pay out should you be unable to work, provided that the reason that you are unable to work is covered by your chosen policy.
If you cancel your life insurance policy, your cover ends and should you pass away after cancelling your policy, the insurance company will not pay out as there will be no valid policy to pay out against. If you choose to cancel your life insurance policy during the cooling off period - usually the first 30 days from taking out the policy - you will receive your premiums paid to date back as a refund.
If, however, you cancel your policy after the cooling off period has ended, you will not be entitled to any refund on premiums paid and there may be an admin fee to pay as well. This varies depending on the provider, so it's something to check before deciding to cancel your insurance policy for cost-saving reasons.
The only exception to this rule is if you have a whole of life or permanent life insurance policy and have held it for a significant period of time (usually more than ten years). In this instance, you may have accumulated sufficient cash value that your insurance policy provider may be able to fund your premiums for a time, saving your money on your monthly payments without sacrificing your cover. Alternatively, your provider may offer you a surrender value, giving you some money back in exchange for cancelling your cover.
In order to get a definitive answer as to what your specific outcome would be should you cancel your insurance policy, you will need to speak with your provider.
When you take out a life insurance policy, you will be asked to nominate a beneficiary for your life insurance policy. This person could be your partner, child, other family member or a friend. It is up to you to select the person that you wish to receive a payout in the event of your death and to tell that person that they are your beneficiary as they are responsible for raising the claim in the event of your death. If you do not wish for them to know that you have nominated them as a beneficiary while you are alive, you should ensure that it is recorded in your will so that they will be notified of the fact after you have passed away and be able to raise the claim and benefit from your policy.
Most people choose their partner or children to be beneficiaries on a life insurance policy in order that their surviving family members are able to continue to fund essential outgoings such as mortgage or rent payments and other bills and to continue to enjoy the quality of life that they are used to once the insured is no longer with them and contributing to the family finances.
This information will be available as part of your life insurance policy paperwork and most insurance companies will allow you to change your nominated beneficiary for a small fee at any point during the term of your policy, should you change your mind as to who you wish to benefit, or should your personal circumstances change.
Electing to take out a life insurance policy is always a personal choice and a key consideration is whether someone that the insured provides care or support to would require financial assistance in the event that the insured were to pass away. If a single person supports an elderly parent or relative, or has children that they are raising on their own, it is likely that a life insurance policy would provide them with peace of mind that those people would have sufficient funds to continue to live their lives in the manner to which they had become accustomed should the insured die during the term of their policy.
Single people who run a business or are part of a business partnership may consider taking out a life insurance policy, either as a requirement of a business loan, or to provide financial certainty for business partners or family members who may require this money to maintain the business should the insured pass away with financial responsibilities that may otherwise not be covered.
On the other hand, a single person with no dependents and no debts or significant outgoings such as mortgage payments may decide that there is little benefit in taking out a life insurance policy as they have nobody to benefit from the payout in the event of their death. The exception to this would be if they were planning for the long term and saw the benefit in taking out a life insurance policy while they were young, healthy and unencumbered by debt and additional responsibilities.
Whilst many people choose to take out a life insurance policy in order to ensure that their families are not left with an unaffordable mortgage to pay for in the event of the insured's demise, owning a home is not a prerequisite to taking out a life insurance policy. There is benefit in anybody who has people who are financially dependant on them having a life insurance policy in order to provide for those people should they pass away.
This is especially important for people that do not have savings, investments or close family to rely on and whose dependents would risk being made homeless if the main or sole wage earner in the family were to die.
Calculating the cash payout for a life insurance policy should take into account an individual's personal circumstances and it is likely that a lower payout would be acceptable for someone who doesn't own a property on a mortgage, as they could elect to base the payout on their income over the course of a year or more instead, allowing their dependants financial security for a predetermined time, during which they would be able to find paid work to replace the lost income. Circumstances may have already changed, for example, a reduction in childcare costs from young children starting school or older children finishing university and getting jobs. Calculating the required payout on this basis is also likely to result in cheaper monthly premiums, which may make the decision to take out a life insurance policy more attractive.
A "no questions asked" life insurance policy is also known as guaranteed life insurance, as anybody who can afford to take out such a policy will be eligible, regardless of their age, medical history and occupation. These types of policy generally have a lower payout and higher monthly premiums than an ordinary life insurance policy but may represent a good choice for people in risky occupations with low personal savings who wish to ensure that their dependents are financially secure in the event of their death.
It is worth noting, however, that although no questions are asked at the outset, payouts will only be awarded should the insured die as a result of a condition or event that is covered by the policy. For example, the nominated beneficiary of someone who is chronically depressed and suffering from mental health issues who chooses this policy on the basis that they do not have to answer medical questions will not be eligible for a payout if the cause of their death is determined to be suicide as this is an exclusion across many life insurance policies.
For someone who works in a low-risk occupation, has no or reasonably few existing medical issues and is under 50 years old, a standard policy is likely to provide greater protection at a significantly lower premium, so it is always worth comparing the level of cover and the monthly price of a variety of policies before selecting a guaranteed life insurance policy simply to avoid the need to answer medical questions at the outset.
If you are over 50 years old, you become eligible for an over-50s life insurance policy which provides whole of life cover at a fixed monthly cost, again without the need for a medical examination. This operates in a similar way to a guaranteed life insurance policy so it would be sensible to compare both options in order to select the one that offers best value for money and the right level of payout for your personal circumstances.
What is the application process for life insurance and what information do I need to give?
The application process for taking out a life insurance policy is simple. You need to choose the type of policy best suited to you. Do you want a single or joint policy, and do you need whole of life insurance that guarantees a payout on your death, regardless as to when that happens. Alternatively, do you need financial certainty for a defined term - for example, while you are paying off a mortgage or while you have dependent children at home? If you choose a term life insurance policy, you will need to decide whether you want a level term policy where the payout remains the same for the whole of the policy, or a decreasing term where the payout amount reduces annually in accordance with a reduction in outstanding mortgage payments or correlating to a reduced requirement to pay for childcare and other necessities.
Once you have selected the term of your policy, you need to decide the payout amount that you would require from the policy. In most cases, this is calculated based on your outstanding debts and financial commitments and potentially includes a buffer based on your salary for a predetermined period to ensure that your beneficiaries would be able to maintain their lifestyle should you no longer be there to provide for them. This is a vital step of the application process as setting the figure too high could result in unaffordable monthly premiums whilst setting it too low could leave your loved ones in financial difficulty in the event of your death.
You will need to answer a number of questions about your health, occupation and lifestyle when taking out a life insurance policy, unless you have opted for a guaranteed life insurance policy. These will include whether you smoke, drink alcohol or take recreational drugs, have any pre-existing medical conditions, your height and weight, hobbies and fitness level and your income and outgoings, including mortgage and debt repayments. The answers to these questions will allow the insurance provider to determine the level of risk that you pose to them and will aid them in determining the level of cover that they can offer you, and the price of your monthly premiums to provide that cover.
Once you and the insurer are happy that all information provided is accurate and that the monthly premiums are affordable, you will be able to take out the policy, which will only end when cancelled by you or in the event of your death.
As life insurance is a personal choice, not a mandatory requirement, nothing terrible will happen to you or your family if you die without having taken out a life insurance policy.
It simply means that your family and dependents will not benefit from the cash payout associated with such an insurance policy and that instead, they will need to self-fund your funeral and either draw on savings or other income such as their own salary or a  spouse pension if applicable to manage day to day expenses and financial commitments without your contributions or use an inheritance left to them in your will to continue to maintain their lifestyle and expenses.
There is no legal limit to the number of life insurance policies that any individual can hold and it is quite common that somebody who has a limited amount of life insurance provided via a workplace group life insurance policy may choose to "top up" their personal level of cover by also taking out an individual life insurance policy to ensure that their family would be adequately provided for in the event of their death.
Others may choose to set up multiple life insurance policies to cater for different outcomes, for example, a declining term life insurance policy aimed at clearing their mortgage and any outstanding debts, with another whole of life policy with a payout amount designed to provide financial security for their dependents. They may choose to have multiple life insurance policies with a different nominated beneficiary on each, should they choose to use this method to leave a legacy or inheritance due to a lack of personal savings.
There are many reasons why someone may choose to hold multiple life insurance policies, but it is always sensible to consider the reasons for doing so, as it is likely to be more cost-effective to hold only one policy that caters for the most likely eventuality with a carefully determined payout amount and term based on your personal circumstances.
In the event that your application for a life insurance policy is declined, you should find out the reasons for it. Many providers have different acceptance criteria, so by understanding why your application has been turned down, you will be able to target a different company with different criteria, or seek a quotation for a guaranteed life insurance policy where no questions relating to health or lifestyle are asked.
Just because one company has turned you down does not mean that they all will, and it is very likely that you will be able to take out a suitable policy with a different provider. It is worth noting that a company that has more flexible acceptance criteria may be more expensive, so if the reason for your rejection relates to a health or lifestyle issue that you are willing to address, you may be able to take out your preferred policy in the future once this issue is no longer relevant. In this instance, it will require you to make a risk-based decision to either wait for the necessary timeframe to submit a new application with the original provider without any life insurance, or to take out a short term life insurance policy with a more flexible provider until such time as you can re-apply.
"But nothing in this world is said to be certain, except death and taxes" Benjamin Franklin.
Unfortunately, death can come to us at any time, and for many of us, we want to ensure our loved ones financial needs are met.
Life insurance is an insurance policy that pays out in the event of the policyholder passing away. Its normally taken to cover mortgages, funeral expenses or a lump sum to be given to loved ones.
If you have dependents, particularly young children or a family then a life insurance policy is something that would be recommended. It can cover any financial commitments that you have such as a mortgage or provide lump sum which could give your loved one’s financial security
There are 5 “terms” which are the most popular and these are:
Normally taken out with a repayment mortgage to cover this cost. As the amount owed on the property reduces over time so will the pay-out, this is the cheapest option to take out.
This policy will pay a fixed amount of money at the time of death (as long as the policy is still active). You would select the amount that you want the lump sum to be and this would remain fixed over the term of the policy. This is normally more expensive than a decreasing term insurance policy
As the name suggests, it covers couples and will pay out once when the first partner passes away within the term of the policy
Will guarantee to pay-out upon death, even if that comes at a ripe old age of 100 plus.
This policy is designed for people who are aged over 50. Its pay-out is smaller as it’s designed to cover funeral expenses so the policy value is typically between £1,000 and £25,000
This will depend on your financial commitments and whether or not you want to leave a lump sum after these commitments have been met. As a minimum you should cover your mortgage and funeral costs and then depending on your budget add a cash lump sum too.
This is very much dependent on the circumstances surrounding your situation and what you would want to leave your loved ones. There is also a critical illness add-ons you could select, this will pay-out if a critical illness is diagnosed by medical professionals to help with financial matters during your treatment
The cost of the policy is based on a number of factors, are you smoking, your age, previous medical conditions, current health, the term type (Level, Decreasing, Joint, etc..), the amount needed to be covered, the length of the policy and also if critical illness is added.
It’s possible to get a policy from the age of 18. Most people think of getting a policy if they have a mortgage and / or dependents. Premiums prices increase as age increases.
Certain financial institutions will insist upon it. However, it’s considered a good judgment call to take one out, as death could come at any time, and without life insurance in place, your loved ones may struggle.
It is important to review the level cover periodically to ensure that the current policy meets all of your needs, you can take out a second policy, add to an existing one or cancel the existing one and take a brand new one. We would recommend that you review the policy cover if there is a major circumstantial change such as moving home (to cover the new mortgage if this has increased), getting married or having a child (to leave a lump sum).
It’s a tax-efficient measure where the money is paid out into a trust, and not considered part of the estate when relevant bodies calculate inheritance tax.
Yes, but it could cost more, as it’s viewed as a higher risk. The most common pre-existing conditions which most companies cover, but not limited to are; asthma, diabetes and obesity.
You must make sure to declare ailments when taking out the life insurance cover as a failure to be transparent could void it.
You can still take out a traditional life insurance policy, but the prices will be higher than a 30 year taking out the policy, and there are upper age limits for when the policy will expire, typically this is between 70 and 75 or there is over 50s plan, where the monthly price is a lot lower but the pay-out is also a lot smaller and commonly taken out to cover funeral expenses. However, as it is a lump sum, the beneficiaries are able to spend it any way they see fit
If you missed the payment, contact your life insurance provider and explain why it was missed and seek to make alternative payments.
Certain policies will allow you to make a claim if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and having less than 12 months to live
*Life Insurance: £10 per month based on a 30-year-old non-smoker taking out £100,000 level term cover over 20 years (Aviva) - Prices correct as of January 2020