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What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a type of insurance contract which pays out a lump sum to your dependants should you pass away during the term of the contract. The cost of a policy is determined by a number of factors including your age, health and lifestyle.
Why should I take out 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.
How does life insurance work?
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 dedicated page on how to work out the amount of life insurance cover you need will help you arrive at a sum insured that reflects your family situation.
What’s the average cost of life insurance and what affects the price?
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.
Getting a life insurance quote
Life insurance is hugely important if you have dependants. It’s there to provide money if you die during the term of your policy.
You can add your spouse or partner to the policy as well. And it’s also possible to include critical illness cover, so that you’ll receive a pay-out from the policy on diagnosis of a severe ailment or condition.
But most of us have little or no experience of buying life insurance. After all, policies can last for 10, 15 or 20 years or even longer, so it’s not as if we’re going through the process every 12 months as we do with car and home insurance.
That’s why we are constantly striving to improve the way you can get a quotation and buy your policy.
MoneySuperMarket works with a number of the UK’s leading life insurance companies to offer you high quality cover at a competitive price.
When you run a quote with MoneySuperMarket, we’ll ask you a range of questions relating to your health, lifestyle and background.
We ask these questions to see if we can offer you a personalised quote which reflects your individual circumstances. These are shown as ‘guaranteed’ prices that you can access immediately through MoneySuperMarket: the price you see is the price you pay.
You may also see some prices marked as ‘referred’. This means you will need to confirm some details before they can guarantee a price.
Where prices are marked at ‘indicative’, you will need to re-answer the questions on your health and lifestyle when you get to the insurer’s website, and the price may change.
Please refer to our FAQ page for more information.
Are there life insurance policies which come with a gift?
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 voucher worth up to £250 from Argos, M&S or Next. The voucher value will depend on the monthly premium of the policy purchased. You’ll receive:
- £50 if your monthly premium is £10 or less
- £75 if your monthly premium is £10.01 to £20
- £125 if your monthly premium is £20.01 to £30
- £250 if your monthly premium is over £30.
Your voucher of choice is redeemable within 40 days of your third life insurance payment. T&Cs apply. Customers who have received a promotional voucher previously or who have purchased life cover through MoneySuperMarket since 11 October 2016 are not eligible for this promotional offer. You can find out more here.
Get a voucher worth up to £250 when you take out Life Cover through MoneySuperMarket
Choose from a range of retailers once you've made your 3rd payment.Buy now
How do our relationships with life companies affect our service to you?
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.
Why are we telling you this?
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.
Frequently asked life insurance questions
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.
Life insurance guides
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.
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).
How our site is paid for
We like being straightforward at MoneySuperMarket, so we want to let you know how we get paid.
How do we make money on life insurance at MoneySuperMarket?
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.
Do we offer the ‘whole of market’ on life insurance?
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.