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A typical life insurance policy will pay your dependants a set amount of money as a lump sum if you pass away within a specified period.

The amount paid out is called the ‘sum insured’ and the length of the policy is called the ‘term’. You choose the payout amount and the length of the term.

The sum insured should typically be enough to cover the money you have left on your mortgage and some extra to help make your family’s life easier when you’re gone. The term should be at least as long as your mortgage.

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A life insurance policy helps protect your loved ones financially if the worst was to happen or you get ill. Your family will get a cash lump sum they can use to cover costs such as funeral expenses, debts or household bills.

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Types Of Cover

If you want to take out insurance to ensure your partner or family is provided for in the event of your death, there are a number of types of life-insurance policy to choose from.

Level Term

Level term life insurance is the ideal option if you are looking for a set amount of cover for a certain period.

Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage life insurance is life insurance you take out to cover the cost of your mortgage payments for your dependants if you, or your partner, pass away.

Over 50s

Over-50s life insurance is a type of life insurance for anyone aged over 50. You pay for this kind of life insurance with regular monthly instalments and when you die, it pays out a lump sum.

Whole Life

A whole life policy provides a set amount of coverage for your entire life. Your beneficiary will receive the benefit amount.

Critical Cover

Most critical illness policies provide for the payment of a lump sum benefit if the policyholder is diagnosed as suffering from one of a number of specified illnesses.

Joint Life Cover

A joint life policy might be cheaper than two single life cover policies, but that will depend on your circumstances. Think about whether both of you have the same need for life insurance.

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Put simply, life insurance is a policy that pays out a lump sum to your loved ones if you pass away during the time you’re covered. You can decide the length, type of contract and cover amount. Your monthly payments are then based on these plus your medical history, age and lifestyle choices.

FAQ

You’ll no doubt have a lot of questions as you shop for life insurance quotes — not only about what you’re buying, but also about what can happen after your purchase.

Life insurance isn’t like buying a car or a TV. Unless you tap into life insurance later in life, you won’t benefit from a life insurance policy. However, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are protected. 

How much cover do I need?

A thorough “life insurance needs analysis” looks at your current and ongoing expenses, plus your future expenses like university, or your funeral. But simply adding up all those numbers could amount to a bigger policy than you need. You should also subtract assets that can go toward those expenses, such as savings and investments.

Do insurance companies pay out?

Yes. Insurers paid out more than 97% of term life insurance claims in 2018, according to the Association of British Insurers (‘term’ refers to life insurance policies which run for a set time period, usually until retirement).

As long as the terms of the policy are met, an insurance company will pay.

Is there anything that might prevent an insurer paying out?

Yes. There are some reasons a life insurance claim may be declined. An example of this might be if a serious health issue was not mentioned at the time of taking out the policy (this is called non-disclosure).

Can I cover my children?

Yes. It may be possible to add a child or children to your life insurance policy, but it will depend on the insurer and the policy.

Is my life insurance policy protected?

Yes. Your life insurance policy is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

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