Life insurance can provide valuable financial support to your loved ones when they really need it. Whether to pay debts, replace your income, or meet regular commitments, the payment from a life insurance policy can make a real difference to your partner or family at a stressful time.
If you want the peace of mind that your loved ones will benefit from a lump sum or income if you were to die prematurely, but you’re not sure where to start, here are five easy steps to finding the right cover for you.
1. Think about what cover you need
The first step is to decide whether you really need life insurance. It’s something to consider if:
- You are the main earner in your household
- You have people who are financially dependent on you
- You have debts such as a mortgage that you’d like your loved ones to be able to repay
- You provide full or part-time childcare.
However, if you are single, and you have no debts or financial dependents, it may not be necessary to take out this type of insurance. So, think carefully about whether it’s something you really need.
Remember that this type of protection often starts at just a few pounds a month. Additionally, the younger you are when you take it out, the cheaper it normally is. Consequently, if you are expecting to need cover in the near future, it can be worthwhile taking out protection now.
2. Establish what protection you already have
Once you have established that you need life insurance, check whether you have any existing cover in place.
For example, you may have taken out a policy when you took out your mortgage.
Additionally, you may receive some life insurance through your employer. This is often called “death in service” benefit and will typically pay out between two and four times your salary if you die while employed.
Check whether you have any cover through your employer and whether this payout will be enough to support your loved ones financially if you die.
Bear in mind that these benefits will stop if you leave your company, so you may prefer to take out protection that is not dependent on your job status.
3. Think about the type of cover you want (and how much)
Your next step is to think about the amount and type of cover that you need.
The most common type of life cover is term insurance. With this type of policy, your policy will pay out a lump sum if you die during the pre-agreed period. There are two types of term insurance:
- Level term insurance – the amount of cover remains the same throughout the term of the policy (for example, £100,000 of cover over 20 years)
- Decreasing term insurance – the amount of cover decreases during the term of the policy, which reduces the potential payout the longer the term runs. This type of cover is often taken out alongside a repayment mortgage.
Most insurers will let you “index-link” your cover. Here, the amount of protection (and the cost of your premiums) will rise each year in line with the cost of living. This helps to ensure that your payout retains its real value.
Another type of term insurance is family income benefit. Instead of paying a lump sum, this type of protection pays a regular income to your loved ones over a specified period of time.
It’s a useful choice if you have young children and you want to ensure that your family receives a regular payment until your children are financially independent. It can also work out cheaper than some other types of cover.
Finally, you could choose a whole-of-life policy. As the name suggests, this gives you cover for your whole life and pays a lump sum on your death – whenever this is. This type of protection is usually the most expensive as it is certain to pay out. It is most commonly used to pay for funeral expenses, or for Inheritance Tax planning.
You will also need to think about how much cover you need. If you’re not sure, our life insurance calculator can help you to work out what level of protection would be appropriate.
4. Compare prices
As with any type of insurance, costs can vary significantly from provider to provider. So, it’s important to shop around and compare prices before you sign up.
Life insurance can start at just a few pounds a month. Your premiums will depend on factors such as:
- Your age
- Your health and lifestyle
- Whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions
- Whether you are a smoker
- How much cover you want.
One way to ensure you don’t pay more than you should for cover is to compare life insurance quotes online.
We work with dozens of the UK’s leading life insurance companies – the likes of Aviva, Legal & General, and Royal London – and will scour the market for you to find the best terms for the cover you need. Get a life insurance quote in just a few minutes now.
If you’re not sure what type of cover you need, or you have pre-existing medical conditions, speaking to a life insurance expert can help you to find the right protection.
Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss your needs.
5. Regularly review your cover
Unlike car and home insurance which renew on a regular basis, life insurance tends to run until the end of the term.
However, it is important to regularly review the protection you have in place to make sure it’s still suitable and sufficient for your needs.
For example, if you get married, have children, or move home you might find that the amount and type of cover you need changes. Or, you may give up smoking and want to access cheaper non-smoker rates.
If your health has not changed since you took out your policy, it can be beneficial to do a quick online comparison to check that the protection you have is still competitive.
If you decide to switch insurers, you are usually able to cancel a life insurance policy without paying a fee. Always make sure a new policy is in force before you cancel any existing cover.
Get in touch
Finding the right protection gives you the peace of mind that your loved ones will be able to maintain their lifestyle if you’re no longer around.
Following the five steps above can help you to ensure you find the right cover for your needs at the right price.
As life insurance experts, we specialise in working with customers just like you. We will search the market on your behalf and compare the prices from a range of insurers so you can be sure you’ll benefit from low-cost cover.
We can also help you through the application process, and even assist with putting your policy in trust if that is something you’re looking to do.
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