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Life Insurance

Get peace of mind from just £4.56 a month1

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

Compare life insurance from 13 leading providers

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 13 leading life insurance providers, including:

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What is life insurance?

Life insurance 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, as well as giving them money to live off. If you prefer, you can arrange to provide a regular income for them instead. 

According to the association of British insurers, 98% of life insurance claims were paid out in 2020, which equated to £17million paid every single day.3

Do I need life insurance? 

Life insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but it can be a good idea if you have anyone that depends on you financially, like a partner or children. Life insurance can provide a financial safety net if you’re no longer around to provide for them anymore, as well as peace of mind. 

If you’re looking to take out a mortgage, be aware that some mortgage providers might want you to have life insurance so they know the mortgage can be repaid if you do pass away. 

3According to data provided in an ABI news release in May 2021, accurate as of May 2021 


 

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How does life insurance work?

Life insurance policies usually pay out a lump sum if you pass away, or are diagnosed with a terminal illness and are not expected to live longer than 12 months. When taking out life insurance, you’ll agree on the amount of cover you’d like to receive – along with the people you’d like to list as the beneficiaries. Every family is unique, but some things to think about include: 

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What your family might need

Take time to think about how much your partner and children might need, based on their living expenses as well as any outstanding debts

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Length of policy

When thinking about how long you need cover for, consider how long your children might need financial support, or when your partner might retire

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Joint or single life policy

A joint policy with a partner can cover you both and be cheaper than two single policies but only pays out when the first person passes away

How much does life insurance cost?

Cover can start from just £4.561 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:

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    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

    You could cut the cost of life insurance by making healthy lifestyle choices such as giving up smoking, drinking less or losing weight  

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    Your age

    Generally speaking, the older you are, the more expensive life insurance tends to be. This is because as you get older you have a greater chance of developing health issues 

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    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 cost4
18-29 £10.54
30-39 £16.09
40-49 £22.40
50-59 £25.37

 

4The average cost above is based on a level term, life-only (without critical illness cover) single person policy. MoneySuperMarket data January to March 2021, accurate as of May 2021 

 

How much life insurance cover do I need?

It’s not always easy to decide how much life insurance cover you need, and will always depend on personal circumstance. The amount you go for should be enough to cover what your family would need if you were no longer around, including their current lifestyle, as well as future expenses. 

Think about how much would be needed to cover the following: 

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Your mortgage or rent

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Living expenses

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Household expenses

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Outstanding debts

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Childcare costs 

When people are buying individual policies, they take out an average of £150,000 of cover, according to MoneySuperMarket data collected between January 2021 and March 2021. The average for joint life insurance was £200,000 during the same period. 

 

Our simple life insurance calculator will help you work out how much cover you need.

Life insurance with MoneySuperMarket

There are two main types of life insurance and you should choose the one that suits you and your loved ones best. In 2020, the average payout on term life insurance policies (individual and group) was £79,304.

Choose between level and decreasing term life insurance: 

Level term life insurance

Level term insurance is the simplest level of life insurance. You decide the pay-out value and duration of the policy.  

If you die within the terms of the policy, your dependants will receive the pay out as a fixed sum. The amount paid out stays the same regardless of when a claim is made.

 

level term life graph

 

Advantages

  • Fixed premiums mean you can find good deals 
  • You know exactly how much your loved ones will get 
  • Financial support and peace of mind 

Disadvantages

  • Fixed premiums can be more expensive 
  • Fixed pay-out takes no account of inflation 
  • No pay-out if you die after the policy term 

Decreasing term life insurance

Decreasing term insurance is usually used to cover debts that decrease over time, like a mortgage. This means the amount paid out by the policy reduces with time. If you were to die near the start of the policy term, your dependents would receive more than near the end. It’s a cheaper option, but think carefully about whether the pay-out is enough to support your dependants. 
 
decreasing term life insurance


Advantages

  • Often cheaper than level-term 
  • Can protect your mortgage 

Disadvantages

  • Decreasing value of pay-out 
  • Often only covers mortgage, nothing else 

Why buy life insurance with MoneySuperMarket

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Large provider panel

We work with 13 of the biggest life insurance providers in the UK to bring you some of the best deals on the market

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Get covered immediately

80% of our customers have the option to ‘buy now’, without medical exams or additional documentation, for the price quoted

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Helping families across the UK

MoneySuperMarket has helped over 200,000 families feel financially protected with life insurance over the past four years

What is covered by life insurance? 

It’s important to understand what your life insurance covers to give you the peace of mind that your family will have the financial support they need.

Cover varies between providers, but you can find some common inclusions and exclusions in our table below. It’s a good idea to compare policies according to the protection they offer, as well as the price – this will ensure you’re getting the policy you need. 

Covered Sometimes covered  Not covered 

Death during your policy

Terminal illness diagnosis where life expectancy is less than 12 months Pre-agreed conditions
Cancer
Drug and alcohol abuse
Cardiovascular disease
High-risk activities 
Stroke
Suicide or death as a result of an injury if you’ve had the policy for at least 12 months from the start date An assault or criminal offence 
Respiratory conditions
Total disability during your lifetime 
Natural causes 
Critical illness during your lifetime 

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. 

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

Starting a family: You’ll have someone who depends on you, and relies on your income. 

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

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

Planning your funeral: Funerals can be expensive, so you might want to help your family with the cost by leaving them money to put towards a celebration of your life. 

Covering inheritance tax for your dependants: Writing your life insurance policy in trust means your loved ones won’t have to pay any tax on inheritance you leave 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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Neal Cross

Our expert says

"Life insurance will give you and your loved ones peace of mind and financial protection. Everyone’s situations are different and the policy you go for, and level of cover you choose, will be unique to you. It’s important to get the right amount of cover - too little and your family won’t be looked after but too much means you’re paying more money than you need to be. Our free cover calculator is a great tool to help you work out just how much life insurance you need."

- 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.

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    Information about your lifestyle

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

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    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.

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    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.


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Phone lifesearch

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 

How to get cheaper life insurance?

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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Buy whilst young

The younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your life insurance will be, so apply earlier in life for a lower premium price

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Get a term life policy

Provides cheap life insurance for a period when you need it most, like the term of your mortgage or until your children move out 

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Put your policy in trust

This will ensure your beneficiaries won’t have to pay any inheritance tax and will make the payment process quicker

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Combine policies

Combining policies with life insurance, like critical illness cover, can be cheaper than buying them separately

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Review your cover

Changes to health or lifestyle, divorce, new job or redundancy, or mortgage changes could all affect your terms and prices

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An honest medical history

Don’t hide vital health information from your insurer, you might get cheaper premiums but risk losing the pay-out

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Healthy lifestyle

Healthier habits can make you lower risk for insurers meaning lower premiums (e.g. non-smokers pay less for life insurance)

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Shop around

Compare a range of deals but don’t simply pick the cheapest cover you can find, make sure you get the right cover for your needs 

What other types of life insurance are available?

  • Critical illness cover

    This policy type will pay 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

  • Over-50s life insurance

    This is specifically 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

  • 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

  • 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

Do I need protection for my business?

Losing someone important to you is never easy, and if you’re a business owner you will also have to consider the impact losing a key person can have on your operations.

Taking out a key person insurance policy can protect your business in the short term by providing a cash boost. So if someone key to the operation of your company passes away or becomes unable to work as a result of their health, it can help you survive in the short term and give you more time to make long-term plans.

 

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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

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

  • Remote GP services

  • Prescription services

  • Legal advice 

  • Claim support and counselling services

 

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

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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