Life insurance

Look after your loved ones after you've gone, and give yourself peace of mind with a life insurance policy.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a type of insurance cover that pays money to your family if you die (or develop a terminal illness) during its term.

Why you might need life insurance

What would happen to your family if you died tomorrow? Would they be able to meet the mortgage payments on your home, cover childcare costs or pay the household bills?

Life insurance provides financial support for your family should the worst happen.

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How does life insurance work?

Here's how to buy life insurance and how it works should you need to claim:



Request a comparison from us, and we'll look at the UK's leading providers and policies on your behalf.

Start your policy

Make monthly premium payments to your provider, and let us know if your circumstances change.

Make a claim

If you pass-away or contract a terminal illness, you or your loved ones can claim on the policy.

Receive the benefit

Your family can use the proceeds to clear outstanding debts and for future costs such as childcare.

How much life insurance cover do you need?

Deciding how much cover you need is an individual choice. You only want to pay for what you need, but you also want your family to receive enough money if the worst happens. Here are five things to consider when deciding on cover amounts:

  • Debts - Your debts won't die with you. If you have a mortgage, personal loan or any other type of debt, it'll pass to your next of kin. You won't want to leave your family with the task of paying them off.
  • Dependents - If you have children, consider the expenses they will need as they grow, such as childcare costs, university fees and driving lessons.
  • Income - If you die and your family loses your income, your life insurance needs to compensate for the shortfall, at least in the short term.
  • Funeral - You can use your life insurance to ensure you get the send-off you want without landing your loved ones with extra costs.
  • Terminal illness - If you contract a terminal illness, you could support your care with your life insurance claim.
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What to disclose to your life insurance provider

When you make your life insurance application, you must tell your insurer everything. If you fail to disclose something, it could lead to them not paying your family's claim.

The insurance company will ask you about matters including:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Previous health problems
  • Possible genetic conditions that make you susceptible to illness
  • Your work
  • Your lifestyle, including hobbies, how much exercise you do and whether you smoke

Will you need a medical?

In most cases, a medical examination is not required when taking out a life insurance policy. It's typically only if you request an unusually high amount of cover.

If your insurer asks you to take a medical, it's best to agree. Otherwise, they may turn down your life insurance purchase.

However, the insurer will probably want to look at your medical records, and you can give your consent, and they liaise with your GP.

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Life insurance and tax

When your life insurance claims payout to your family, there is typically no income tax or capital gains tax due on the payout.

However, depending on the value of your estate when you die, inheritance tax (IHT) may be payable.


The most effective way to bypass IHT and guarantee a tax-free lump sum is to keep your life insurance in trust, which means it's managed by trustees and not part of your estate.

Talk to us about this when setting up your policy so we can help ensure your policy is as tax efficient as possible

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Matt Fletcher has helped us with a couple of policies now, on both occasions he has been extremely easy to work with and come up with significant savings.

Benefits of life insurance

Life insurance brings several benefits, perhaps the most valuable being reassurance.

Peace of mind

When you take out life insurance, you can sleep easy knowing that your family won't have to deal with financial problems if you die.

Cover financial commitments

If you have large debts, such as a repayment or interest-only mortgage, your life insurance acts as financial protection for your family

Pay funeral costs

Your family can let your life insurance pay for your funeral expenses so you can get the send-off you deserve.

Meet medical costs

With the addition of critical illness cover, you will receive a lump sum if you develop a serious illness. You can use it to cover your care costs, and support lost income.

Minimise your tax liability

If your life insurance policy is 'written in trust', the money paid to your beneficiary is not subject to IHT. Talk to us to find out more.

Great add-ons

Some policies offer more than simple financial protection. For example, some provide prescription cover, mental health support hotlines and legal support.
Compare the UK's leading life insurance providers and find the best policy for the best price.

What does life insurance cover?

Life insurance protects your loved ones in the event of your death. When you die, your life insurance pays out to your family. In addition, your life insurance covers you in the event of a terminal illness diagnosis where your life expectancy is 12 months or less.

Add critical illness cover for extra protection

Critical illness cover is an additional option that you can take out with your life insurance. If you are diagnosed with one of a pre-approved list of illnesses, you can claim and receive the proceeds of your life insurance policy. The nature of the conditions that are included with your critical illness cover depends on your life insurance provider, the specific policy and how much you pay.

Examples of critical illnesses which may be covered include: 

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
Happy couple outside

What is typically excluded by life insurance policies?

Most of the time, if you die, your life insurance will pay out to your family. In 2020, 98% of lodged claims were paid by the insurer.

However, not all causes of death are covered by life insurance. These may include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions - If you die from an illness you didn't declare when you took out your life cover, your family may see their life insurance claim turned down.
  • Suicide and self-harm - If you take your own life (typically within the first 12 months of taking out a life policy), your insurance provider may not settle the claim.
  • Dangerous activities - If you die jumping off a building or on Mount Everest, your provider may not settle your family's claim.
  • Drug or alcohol misuse - If you die due to an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be ineligible to receive a payout.

In all cases, check the terms and conditions of your life policy or speak with us.

Life insurance eligibility

Most people are eligible for life insurance. However, how much life insurance you need and your life insurance cost depends on many factors, including your:

  • Age
  • Job
  • Medical status
  • Lifestyle
  • Personal circumstances
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What type of life insurance do you need?

There are several types of life insurance, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

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Level term life insurance

Level term is the simplest form of life insurance. Just choose the amount of cover you need and the length of the term you want to be insured for.

With level term life insurance, the payout your family receives is the same through the entire term of your policy. Your premiums also remain the same.

For example, if your level cover guarantees a lump sum of £250,000 over a 25-year term, your loved ones receive £250,000 whether you die during the first year or the twenty-fourth.


  • You know the exact cash value that your family will receive after you die.
  • You know how much your yearly or monthly payments will be for the entire term of the policy.
  • It's easy to budget for level cover.


  • The fixed cash sum paid if you die does not keep up with inflation.
  • You must consider how much cover you need at the end of the term, not just the start.
  • If you don't die during your insurance term, you lose the premiums paid.

Decreasing term life insurance

Decreasing term life insurance means that while your premiums stay the same, the amount your family would receive if you die reduces through the term of the policy.


  • It's easy to budget for yearly or monthly payments.
  • Decreasing life insurance is helpful for people who need to pay off a large debt, such as a repayment mortgage.
  • Decreasing cover is typically cheaper than level cover.


  • If you die near the end of the term, your family receive only a small payment, despite you paying a larger amount in premiums.
  • Like level term insurance, you receive no payout if you don't die during the term.
  • If your goal is to protect your mortgage, mortgage payment protection insurance may be more suitable.

You can also purchase a family income benefit life insurance policy that gives your beneficiaries a regular monthly income until the end of the term if you die, instead of a lump sum. This is another type of decreasing insurance.

Whole-of-life insurance

Whole-of-life insurance, often known as life assurance, is continuous rather than having a fixed term. It pays your loved ones a cash sum when you die, whenever that may be.There are two types of whole-of-life insurance:

Balanced cover 
Your premiums remain the same throughout the entire term of your policy. The cash sum payout also stays the same whether you die soon after taking out the policy or many years later.

Maximum cover 
This is an investment vehicle connected to your insurance. Your provider invests your monthly payments to achieve a more significant cash sum payout when you die. Your premiums and potential payout are variable.


  • Peace of mind - You can be sure your life policy will pay out whenever you die.
  • It's easy to budget for regular premium payments.
  • If your policy is invested, your family may receive more than they expected when you die.


  • Whole-of-life insurance is generally more expensive than term cover.
  • You need to understand that you'll be paying premiums for the rest of your life (even after you retire) and budget accordingly.
  • Investments can go down as well as up.

With years of experience, we can quickly help you find the best policy and terms.

Insurance can be complicated at times, so our priority is to keep things simple and give you the facts you need to make a decision. We don’t rush or push clients in a given direction - it’s vital you come away feeling confident in your choice.

Will Forsyth, Senior Broker
Will Forsyth, Senior Broker

Single vs joint life insurance

If you take out single life insurance, it will pay out to your family when you die. However, you can also take out joint life insurance with your partner, which pays out when the first one of you dies.

The benefits of joint life insurance are:

  • You can cover expenses (such as your mortgage) if you or your partner dies.
  • Joint life insurance policies are typically cheaper than buying two separate policies.
  • Joint life cover treats you as equals with the same level of protection.

The disadvantages of joint life insurance are:

  • A joint insurance policy only pays out once, leaving the surviving partner without life insurance.
  • If one partner earns significantly more than the other, they may need a higher level of cover. In this case, getting your own policy may be better.
  • Things can get messy with a joint policy if you and your partner separate.
Get in touch, or compare policies.

Frequently asked questions