Life insurance is an insurance policy where the insurer agrees to pay out a sum of money in the event of the policy holder's death. The main purpose is usually to protect the policy holder's family from financial hardship, particularly if the policy holder is the main earner of the family. In return for this the policy owner pays an agreed premium at regular intervals, which in many cases is calculated based on the policy holder's medical history.
There are two main types of life insurance policy. Term Insurance pays out a sum if the holder dies during the fixed period of the policy. Life Assurance also offers a lump sum payout to dependents should the policy holder die during the period of the policy; but if he/she survives that period then he/she (the policy holder) will receive a payment. Thus, Life Assurance is also seen as an important investment option. The payments for Life Assurance are greater than Term Insurance.
It depends if you want or need that security. By definition the benefits of the types of Life Insurance are self explanatory but they will require investment from you. Is it something you really need? Think what your level of priority is. For many Life Insurance is an important commitment to their family but you have to be able to afford it. If you do require life insurance you should consult with a specialist life insurance advisor. Also seek advice from friends and family.
When you buy Life Insurance you will receive a Policy Document which sets out the full terms and conditions of your policy and also a Policy Handbook containing background information and explanations about your life insurance. As with any legal contract ensure you have read and understood these details fully. Check any terms and weigh up the quality of what is actually on offer against what you are paying out. Check carefully for additional clauses for events that are extremely unlikely. Make sure you know what you are paying for. Never buy more coverage than you need.
You need to check your budget and think carefully what your needs are. There are a great deal of different policies to suit everyone's needs. Speak to your bank or personal finance advisor if in doubt. Remember, one of the main options is Term Insurance which provides a payout if you die during the term of the contract. You can take this out for the period of your mortgage to relieve dependents of any unexpected burden. You can also take it out just for the period when your children are financially dependent upon you. Life Assurance offers a payout if you die but there is also a payout if you survive the term. It can be an important alternative investment opportunity. It can also give you the peace of mind of helping to safeguard for your retirement.
There are many reputable high street lenders. Many in the UK are household names. Always consider the history of the company and their perceived reliability before obtaining a quote. Always get different quotes. Four or five is a good number to aim for. Also, beware of taking out a policy with your mortgage provider. Alternative providers will probably offer better deals. Online savings may be possible but remember price is not everything. Proceed with caution. High Street brands may offer greater reliability.
The amount you pay depends on the level of risk you provide to your lender. The price you pay for life insurance depends mainly on your age, your health and your lifestyle and occupation. So if you are older, you have health problems, and you are a smoker and you work in a dangerous environment you will always pay more for life insurance than someone who is younger, healthier, a non-smoker in a low risk occupation.
Yes. There are three parties in a life insurance transaction: the insurer, the insured, and the policy holder. The owner and the insured are usually the same person but not always. The beneficiary is the person or persons who will receive the policy proceeds upon the death of the insured. Although it is typical for an individual to name his or her spouse or other relative as the life insurance beneficiary non-relatives can also be named.
Obtain different quotes. Use price comparison guides on the internet to get you started.
Work out the level of coverage you get, say, per £1,000 investment, and compare all the quotes carefully.
You may find insurers who offer competitive benefits and will assess you as an individual rather than asking a few stock questions, particular if you have a health problem.
You can make massive savings if you lose weight or pack in smoking. The healthier you are the cheaper your premium will be.
A one off payment could save you lots of money if you can afford it. Compare the total cost of monthly payments with a one off fee. It may be cheaper to arrange a loan with better conditions and pay up front than pay a monthly payment.
The younger you are when you purchase life insurance the cheaper your premium will be.
Buy direct from the insurer and avoid commission.
Another name for term insurance. A defined time period decided upon when the contract is drawn up.
Permanent life insurance is life insurance that remains in force until the policy pays out or the owner fails to pay the premium. A permanent policy cannot be cancelled by the insurer.
Another type of permanent insurance is Limited-pay life insurance in which all the premiums are paid over a specified period after which no additional premiums are due to keep the policy in force.
Endowments are policies where the cash value build up inside the policy equals the death benefit at a certain age. Endowments are expensive but endowment Insurance is paid out whether the insured lives or dies, after a specific period.
Accidental death is a limited life insurance designed to cover the insured when they die in an accident. Because they only cover accidents these policies are much less expensive than other life insurances.
Group life insurance is a life insurance policy in which a single contract covers an entire group of people. Group life policies do not always relate to schemes established by an employer for the benefit of employees but quite commonly are part of an employment package.
You receive a lump sum on the diagnosis of certain life-threatening illnesses specified in the policy.
Certain life policies will make an additional payment - over and above the sum insured - if the policyholder dies as a result of an accident.