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Life Insurance

Get peace of mind from just £4.56* a month

Find affordable life insurance with us

  • Compare quotes from leading insurers
  • See the guaranteed price you’ll pay
  • Protection and peace of mind

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is peace of mind. It’s a policy that lets you leave some financial security for your loved ones if you pass away. Your family would usually get a lump sum that can help to pay off any debts, like a mortgage. Or if you like, you can arrange to provide a regular income for them instead.

Every family is unique, so you choose how much your policy will pay out. We’ll help you work out how much your partner and children might need, based on their living expenses as well as any outstanding debts.

How does life insurance work?

Life insurance policies usually pay out a lump sum, which can be useful if you want to pay off a mortgage or other debt. But, you also have the option of paying out regular amounts over time - this can be handy if you want to leave an income for your loved ones. You make your monthly payments, and when you pass away, the people you’ve nominated (such as your family or other dependants) get the pay-out according to the plan you’ve chosen.


 

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How much does life insurance cost?

Cover can start from just £4.56* a month. Be mindful that there are many things that can affect how much your life insurance costs though, and this is the minimum you can expect to pay. 

 

Our table below shows the average costs of life insurance by age bracket, and you will see that the average cost of a policy is often a little higher. Some of the main things to consider are:

  • pound icon

    The amount of cover

    If you take out a higher amount of cover, your monthly payments are likely to be higher. Plus, the longer your cover lasts, the more you’ll pay overall.

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    Your health and lifestyle

    Giving up smoking is likely to reduce your premiums

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    Your age

    Generally speaking, the older you are, the more expensive life insurance tends to be, because as you get older you have more chance of developing a health issue

  • Policy icon

    The type of policy

    Level term policies are usually more expensive than decreasing term, for example, because the pay-out stays the same for the whole lifetime of your policy, as opposed to going down over time

Age Average monthly cost2
18-29 £5.80
30-39 £7.92
40-49 £13.12
50-59 £24.81
60+ £43.46

151% of customers who went on to purchase achieved a quote based on the figures above for level term, life-only (without critical illness cover) single person policies. MoneySuperMarket data January to December 2020.

2The average cost above is based on a level term, life-only (without critical illness cover) single person policy. MoneySuperMarket data January to December 2020 
 
*Based on £100,000 worth of level term cover for a 30 year-old non-smoker with no pre-existing medical conditions over a 20 year period (April 2021).

 

How much life insurance cover do I need?

It’s not always easy to decide how much life insurance cover you need. The amount you go for should be enough to cover what your family would need if you were no longer around, including any mortgage repayments.

When people are buying individual policies, they take out an average of £150,000 of cover, according to MoneySuperMarket data collected between October 2019 and September 2020. The average for joint life insurance was £180,000 during the same period.

Our life insurance calculator will help you work out how much cover you need. It’ll help you take into account all the outgoings you’d need to cover, including your mortgage, any debts, and the costs that come with raising a family.


 

Two ladies laughing at cups of tea

What type of life insurance do I need?

Life insurance comes in a few different shapes and sizes. We’re here to help you work out which type will be the best fit for you and your family. It might be worth checking out our life insurance jargon buster to clear up any confusing terms around the subject – you’ll be an expert in no time.

  • one icon

    Level term insurance

    This pays out a fixed amount if you pass away during the term of your policy. Your monthly payments and the lump sum pay-out (known as the ‘sum insured’) will stay the same, so your payments won’t go up with inflation, and you know exactly how much your loved ones will get.

    Learn more

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    Decreasing term insurance

    The lump sum you get with this type of policy gets smaller over time. People tend to choose decreasing term insurance to cover their mortgage. So, as you pay off your mortgage, the lump sum goes down too. It’s a cheaper option, but think carefully about whether the pay-out is enough to support your dependants, who normally rely on your income.

    Learn more

  • three icon

    Over-50s life insurance

    This is designed for anyone over the age of 50. You’re guaranteed to be accepted, and you don’t have to answer any health questions or pass a medical test.

    Learn more

  • four icon

    Critical illness cover

    This pays out a tax-free lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness. It can give you and your family financial support if, for instance, you have to stop working.

    Learn more

  • five icon

    Whole-of-life

    This type of life insurance covers you for your entire life, rather than for a fixed term, as long as you keep up your monthly payments. This means your family will get a pay-out when you pass away, whenever that may be.

    Learn more

  • Six icon

    Death in service

    Some employers offer death in service cover as a benefit. If you pass away while you’re employed, a person you’ve chosen will get a tax-free lump sum, which is usually a multiple of your salary.

    Learn more

What is covered by life insurance?

According to the association of British insurers, 98.3% of life insurance claims were paid out in 2019, the highest on record.3

When you’re looking for life cover, it’s a good idea to compare policies according to the protection they offer, as well as the price. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the policy you need.

3According to data provided in an ABI news release in May 2020, accurate as of May 2020

  • tick icon

    What’s covered?

    Life insurance policies pay out a lump sum to the people who depend on you financially, if you pass away during the term of the policy. They’ll usually pay out if you pass away because of:

    • An accident 
    • An unexpected illness – such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer

    They may also pay out if you get a terminal illness, but this isn’t always the case.

  • cross icon

    What's not covered?

    Generally, life insurance policies don’t usually pay out if you pass away as a result of:

    • Drug or alcohol abuse
    • A health issue that you hadn’t disclosed to your provider

Does life insurance come with any extra benefits?

Some insurance providers offer extra benefits alongside your life policy. These can include…

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    Remote GP services

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    Prescription services

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    Legal advice

Who needs life insurance?

If you have loved ones who depend on you, it’s worth thinking about taking out life insurance. It can give you the peace of mind of knowing they’ll be financially secure if the worst happens to you. If you and your partner both want to take out cove, you can choose to have two individual policies, or one joint policy.

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Single life insurance

This covers one person. Some couples go for two single policies, so that there are two pay-outs, but this makes it a slightly more expensive option.

When should I take out life insurance?

Life insurance is there to provide financial security for anyone who depends on you, if the worst happens and you pass away. There might be some big moments in your life when your circumstances change – these are good times to think about cover.

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Getting married

You might have bigger joint financial commitments as a married couple.

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Starting a family

You’ll have someone who depends on you, and relies on your income.

mortgage icon

Taking out a mortgage

You’ll have a debt that will need to be cleared so you or your family can keep your home.

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Starting or ending employment

Your income could change significantly, so you may want to think about putting some aside for your family.

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Covering inheritance tax for your dependants

Writing your life insurance policy in trust will mean your loved ones won’t have to pay tax on any inheritance you leave for them.

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Unlike some of our competitors, MoneySuperMarket is not owned by an insurance company. So we can offer the best value, with savings delivered straight to you.

We combine independence, so we can negotiate the best prices, with excellent technology, to find the best value products and services.

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Which life insurance brands do we work with?

We’re dedicated to helping you get the right policy, to give you and your family the peace of mind you deserve. That’s why we work with 11 leading life insurance companies, including:

company logo for Beagle streetcompany logo for aegoncompany logo for canada lifecompany logo for hsbccompany logo for Royal Londoncompany logo for AIGcompany logo for Scottish widows
Neal Cross

Our expert says

"Life insurance will give you and your loved ones peace of mind and financial protection. Many of our customers can get cover straight away on MoneySuperMarket, even if you live with common medical conditions. If we can’t give you a price to buy straight away online, we’ll put you in touch with our trusted partner LifeSearch. They’ll give you personalised advice and help you find the right policy for you and your family."

- Neal Cross, senior commercial performance manager for life insurance

What do you need to get a life insurance quote?

We make it as simple as possible for you to find the right life insurance policy You’ll need to give us some information, so it’s worth making sure you have these details to hand before you get started:

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    Information about your health

    We’ll need some details about you and your family’s health and medical history, including any pre-existing medical conditions.

  • Tick icon

    Information about your lifestyle

    You’ll also need to tell us about your lifestyle, such as your drinking habits, and whether you smoke.

  • Tick icon

    Your age and your job

    The younger you are when you take out life insurance, the cheaper it tends to be. The type of work you do can also affect the price.

  • Tick icon

    Your partner’s details

    If you’d like joint cover, you’ll need to have information to hand about your partner’s health, lifestyle and work.

Am I eligible for life insurance?

The chances are you’ll be eligible in most cases, even if you have a medical condition, as long as you live in the UK and you’re at least 18 years old. 

The most important thing is to make sure you answer the questions honestly when you’re getting a quote, so your insurer has the full picture. This way, you know your cover will be valid.

heart jigsaw illustration

Need advice on life insurance?

We run our life insurance service with our partner, LifeSearch. If you’d like some guidance about what kind of cover you need, you can talk to them free of charge. Give them a call on 0800 197 3178.

Their opening hours are: 

  • Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
  • Saturday 9am to 2pm
  • Sunday 10am to 3:30pm 
Phone lifesearch

What else should I consider when buying life insurance?

When you take out cover, there are a few other things you might want to take into account:

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    Writing your policy in trust

    If you write your policy in trust,  the people you’ve nominated to get the pay-out from your policy can avoid having to pay inheritance tax on any money you leave them

  • will icon

    Writing a will

    You may want to write a will to help make sure that after you pass away, your estate goes to the people you want it to go to

  • update icon

    Updating when your life changes

    If your circumstances change, such as when you move home or have children, this will affect the cover you need, so it’s important to keep your policy up to date

  • calendar icon

    Try not to miss any monthly payments

    If you do miss payments, your policy could be voided, which means it may not pay out

 

 

How to claim your £100 Amazon gift card for policies bought before 3rd February 2021.*

If you bought a life insurance policy with us before 3rd February 2021, you’ll be able to claim a £100 Amazon gift card within 40 days of making your sixth monthly payment on your policy. You’ll receive an email from us to let you know when you can claim your gift card. Terms and conditions apply.

This offer is no longer available for new customers.

*Restrictions apply, see www.amazon.co.uk/gc-legal

 

Depending on who you are and your medical history, coronavirus does have an effect on the price and availability of life insurance. Life cover is very much still available, however you can find out more about how coronavirus affects life insurance at our FAQ Answer copy

 

Life insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but most mortgage lenders will ask you to take out appropriate cover. You don’t need to take out life cover from your lender – you can buy it elsewhere.

 

You can take out critical illness cover as well as life insurance, and this will pay out if you’re diagnosed with a named medical condition during the term of your policy. It generally comes as either:

  • Additional cover: If you take out life insurance with separate critical illness cover, you’ll receive a pay out a) if you get a critical illness b) if you pass away (both during the term of your policy)
  • Combined cover: If you take out a combined policy, you’ll only receive one pay out, either if you become critically ill or if you pass away (during the term of your policy)

MoneySuperMarket offers the option to take out additional cover once you have completed a life insurance quote, with the premium calculated using the information you gave when applying for life cover. We believe this provides a more flexible and comprehensive solution than a combined policy.

 

Term life insurance is a policy that offers cover for a set period of time – when the term ends the policy lapses, and if you survive the term then it won’t offer a pay out.

Whole-of-life insurance offers a pay out no matter when you pass away – it will cover you for the rest of your life.

Putting your  life insurance policy  in trust  lets you name the people you want to receive your pay out (your trustees).

There are different types of trusts available depending on your individual or family circumstances. Putting your life insurance policy in trust also protects the payout from inheritance tax.

It can be a good idea to think about updating your life insurance policy if:

  • Your health or lifestyle has changed
  • Your financial situation has changed (your salary or mortgage might have increased)
  • Your family has grown 
  • Your relationship with your dependant has changed – although you will need to check your insurer can do this for you

If you are not able to update your existing policy, you may be able to find a policy with a different provider that better suits your new situation. It’s always a good idea to get a personalised quote to see if your current insurance is the best option that’s available to you.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you should still be able to get life insurance, but you may need to compare your options online.

If you have a more complex condition and you’re finding it difficult to get a price online, a broker or adviser – such as our partner LifeSearch - can help you find a provider that will cover you.

You’ll most likely need to share additional medical information and copies of any tests with the provider to help them understand the risk level of your condition. You’ll be asked to sign a medical release form and the insurer will then request this information from your doctor.

You can end up paying more because of this risk. But it’s important to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when taking out life insurance because if you don’t, your insurer can refuse to pay out for any claims. Answer copy

If you are not able to work because of an illness or injury – which then means you’re unable to afford your monthly life insurance payments – a waiver of premium could mean you’ll be covered during this time.

This will need to be added to your policy as an additional level of cover and it will need to be taken out from the start of your life insurance policy.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and a doctor has given a prognosis of less than 12 months to live, you may be able to make a terminal illness claim on your own  life insurance policy.

This means you would receive the payout now – instead of your dependant receiving the payout once you’ve passed away – and this can help to cover the cost of not being able to work during your final months and getting your affairs in order.

Some insurers offer terminal illness cover as part of their standard life insurance policy. Other insurers require you to add terminal illness cover as an extra level of cover. There will be terms and conditions with both options so you’ll need to read the policy documents to make sure you would be covered.

Insurers use a complex analysis of your age, lifestyle, medical history and living situation to calculate your premiums. You can find out more with our life insurance calculator.

Some employers offer what’s known as a death-in-service benefit to their employees, which will typically pay a lump sum of four times your salary to a named dependent. This type of policy is not a legal requirement, however, and it’s best seen as a complement to a life insurance policy, rather than a substitute.

You can always cancel your life insurance policy at any time you wish, but the vast majority of policies do not give you money back if you cancel before the end of the term.

You might want to cancel a policy because you’ve found cheaper cover elsewhere, or you might simply not want to keep paying your premiums.

You are legally allowed to take out more than one life insurance policy at a time. For instance, if you have a mortgage you may have to take out a separate policy to make sure your dependents can keep making payments.

Insurers probably won’t let you take out an infinite amount of cover, however.

Life insurance payouts are subject to inheritance tax just like the rest of your estate. If your total estate is worth less than £325,000 (or £650,000 if you are married and leaving it all to your spouse), then your dependents won’t have to pay a penny in tax.

However, if your estate plus your policy are worth more than that in total, inheritance tax will be due on anything above that threshold at 40%. This means that if you leave a total of £400,000, the first £325,000 is tax free. The rest – £75,000 – will be taxed at 40%, leaving £45,000.

Your family can avoid paying inheritance tax on your life insurance if you write your policy in trust.

No. If you are still alive at the end of your life insurance policy term, the money is gone.

 

When you take out life cover, you’ll get:

  • Guaranteed premiums: The amount you pay in premiums every month will stay the same throughout, unless you alter your policy
  • Amount of cover: The amount of cover and the length of your term is entirely up to you
  • Critical illness cover if you choose: You can add critical illness cover to your life insurance policy at an extra cost – and this will include cover for your children too

 

 

However your life insurance policy won’t include:

  • Cash in value: You won’t be able to cash in your life insurance policy during the term of cover
  • Cover if you miss premium payments: If you don’t pay your premiums your policy will be voided
  • Cover for death outside the policy term: If you pass away outside of the stated policy term there will be no pay out on your policy

 

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But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

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