What are the main types of life insurance cover?
One of the most popular types of life insurance is called ‘term’ insurance. This pays either a lump sum or a regular income if you pass away within an agreed period (or ‘term’), depending on the type of policy as explained below;
The two main types of term life insurance cover are: level-term insurance and decreasing cover insurance.
Level-term insurance covers people for a period of time and typically offers a fixed lump sum of money to a dependent if you pass away during that time period. You could choose this to ensure your financial commitments, such as childcare costs, can still be paid.
Decreasing cover is a type of insurance that’s often (but not always) bought to clear a specified debt that itself decreases over time. This type of cover is often taken out to cover mortgage repayment costs.
There are many other types of life insurance to think about, including critical illness cover and whole of life insurance.
How are policy premiums calculated?
The cost of your premium is based on the sum you’re looking to be covered for, the length of the policy, and whether or not you would like any add-ons such as critical illness cover. Each provider will have their own set of criteria that determines how your premiums will be calculated.
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked a set of questions to help providers identify the risk they’re taking on – i.e. how likely it is that they’ll have to pay out. Once you have selected your preferred insurance provider, expect to be asked your age, weight, and medical history, along with lifestyle factors such as how much you drink and whether or not you smoke.
Which type of life insurance cover is right for me?
The level of life cover that’s right for you will depend on your personal circumstances. There are many options including: whole of life insurance, over-50s cover and joint life policies so it’s important to compare quotes and find the right deal for you.
- Whole of life insurance– this type of insurance guarantees a pay-out as it covers a person for their whole life. If your health deteriorates then your premium won’t be affected. However, these policies tends to be more expensive than others. Please note we do not offer this type of policy.
- Over-50s plans– tend to offer a smaller pay-out to cover things such as funeral expenses. The amount you pay for your premium is guaranteed so it won’t go up or down. Please note there may be a deferral period before you can make a claim.
- Joint life policies– these are often chosen by couples. You choose an amount of cover, which is paid out in the event that you or your partner passes away during the term of the policy. These types of policy would pay out once, so upon the first claim the policy would then end.
How much life insurance do I need?
The right level of life insurance cover for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Typically, the more cover you take out, the higher your premium will be. However, if you underestimate how much money your dependants will need if you die, then you could leave your loved ones short.
Some experts say that a cash sum equal to ten times your annual salary is a good starting point. Our easy-to-use life insurance calculator can help you work out how much cover you might need.