Life insurance guide
Learn all about life insurance and find the policy for you
Learn all about life insurance and find the policy for you
Learn about how and when to get advice
Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions
Life insurance provides financial support to your dependants in the event of your death. The pay-out from the policy can be used to clear debts, such as the mortgage, credit card balance or personal loans, and to cover ongoing household expenses. The two main types of life insurance cover are term insurance and whole of life insurance.
Life insurance is a vital part of financial planning for anyone who has dependants.
By ‘dependants’, we mean anyone whose circumstances and material wellbeing would be affected by your death – for example, your partner, your children or anyone else who is financially reliant on you.
Thinking about your death and its inevitable impact on your family’s circumstances is difficult – and many people simply shy away from the topic. But not doing anything could put loved ones at financial risk. That’s why it’s important to confront the issue and take out life insurance.
In most cases, the most effective form of life insurance is called ‘term’ insurance.
This type of policy pays out an agreed amount – the ‘sum insured’ – either as a lump sum or as a regular income, if you die within a specified period – known as the ‘term’.
You choose the size of the pay-out and the length of the term. For example, you may decide to have cover in place until your children are grown up and have left home.
These decisions aren’t always straightforward, which is why we’re here to help. Our life insurance calculator will help you work out how much cover you need based on your financial circumstances, and you can compare a range of life insurance policies on our comparison tables.
Life insurance policies can start from just £5 a month.
However, the cost will vary depending on factors such as your age, health, occupation, whether you smoke, length of the term and whether you choose add-ons such as critical illness cover.
MoneySuperMarket found that smokers on average pay £18 more a month for life insurance compared to non-smokers*. And adding critical illness cover, which pays out on the diagnosis of one of a list of serious medical conditions, typically increases your payments by almost £28 per month**.
An alternative to straightforward term insurance, where the amount of cover stays the same for a set number of years, is what’s known as ‘decreasing’ term insurance, where the amount of cover reduces over the years (usually in line with a mortgage). This means decreasing term insurance costs less, all other things being equal.
As a rule of thumb, the earlier you take out life insurance, the cheaper your policy will be.
If you’re in your 20s life insurance is unlikely to be a priority. But MoneySuperMarket research shows that taking out a policy in your 20s can be as much as two times cheaper than taking out cover in your 40s***.
The reason for this is simple - insurers consider you less likely to make a claim the younger you are.
The chart below shows the average monthly premium for life insurance depending on the age of the policyholder. But keep in mind each insurer will differ in how much emphasis they give to factors such as your occupation, medical history and lifestyle, so your personal quote is likely to be different.
Whether you’re buying your first home, getting married or thinking about having children, taking out life insurance as a young adult can be a cost-effective way to plan for your financial future.
You can compare a wide range of life insurance policies on our comparison tables. And if you take out life cover through MoneySuperMarket, you will receive a £75 voucher from Argos, M&S or Next.
Your voucher of choice is redeemable within 40 days of your third life insurance payment. T&Cs apply. You can find out more here.
Our extensive range of guides, listed on the left, will tell you all you need to know about how life insurance works.
Life insurers pay us every time someone buys life insurance through MoneySuperMarket.
Please read the following information about our service.
*Based on MoneySuperMarket data to date, the average monthly premium for non-smokers taking out life only cover is £27.70 per month, compared to £45.93 per month for smokers.
** Based on MoneySuperMarket data to date, the average monthly premium for life only cover is £31.60 per month, compared to £59.56 per month for life cover with critical illness cover.
*** Based on MoneySuperMarket data to date, the average monthly premium for life insurance for applicants aged 20-29 is £13.44, compared to £29.46 per month for 40-49 year-olds (making cover 2.19x cheaper).
Life insurance can be an intimidating subject for many people – it’s not surprising that you may have some questions! We’ve answered the most common ones on our FAQ page, which you can find below.
If you’d like to read about the various life assurance products available to you, have a look at our life insurance guides in order to learn what the best life insurance policy is for you.
There are many different types of life insurance policy, and knowing what you’re looking for can make finding the right product for you a great deal easier.
We like being straightforward at MoneySuperMarket, so we want to let you know how we get paid.
Life insurance companies want to be on our site, and they pay us a commission every time somebody buys their life insurance through MoneySuperMarket. We also work with LifeSearch, an independent life insurance adviser, to help our customers find the right insurance for them. When someone buys life insurance from LifeSearch via MoneySuperMarket, LifeSearch pay us a fee.
When you're looking for life insurance, we want you to have as much choice as possible, so that you can choose the right policy for you. We can’t promise to have quotes from every single insurance company, because some companies don’t want to be included on comparison websites. You can find out more about how we work here.
We never allow life insurance companies to get in the way of what’s best for our customers. So the way we show life insurance options are based on their benefits to you – such as how much it might cost when you make a full application – never what’s best for a life insurance company.
Our services are always free to you, our customers. But we think it’s important that we’re transparent about how we earn money, so you can be confident we put our customers first.
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