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Life insurance FAQs

Why do I need life insurance?

Life insurance is for your peace-of-mind, so you know your family will be financially protected when you're no longer around.

Find out more:

Check out our guide to the different types of life insurance.

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What type of life insurance can I get through

There are a few policies available to you:

  • Level term insurance gives you a fixed level of cover and pays out a lump sum if you die within the term of the policy.
  • Mortgage life insurance (or decreasing term life insurance) is where your cover reduces over time, roughly in line with a standard repayment mortgage.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at explains exactly the different types of life insurance that are available is in this short video.

Single video player with in-player video recommendations at the end of video

You can also take out a joint policy, rather than two individual policies, if you're getting insured with your partner.

Find out more:

If you'd like to know more about the pros and cons read our guide on individual vs joint life policies.

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How much life insurance do I need?

The amount of cover you need is different for everyone, and you should tailor your policy to suit your circumstances.

You might find our video guide to working out how much life insurance cover you need helpful.

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How long should I be covered for?

The length of your policy will vary depending on your personal circumstances - but you can use your reason for taking out insurance as a guide.

For instance, if you’re getting cover to protect your family, you could think about making your policy last until your children become financially independent.

Find out more:

For more help, try our guide to finding the right life insurance policy for you.

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How much will it cost?

The cost of life insurance can be as little as £5 per month, but your premiums will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

Find out more:

Here's our guide to finding the right policy for you.

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I have life insurance through my employer – is that enough?

Even if you’re covered through your employer, it’s still worth checking that the pay-out will provide enough financial security for your family if they have to manage without your income.

You should also bear in mind that if your employment ends, your life insurance cover will also stop.

Find out more:

To help you make a decision, check out our guide on employers and life insurance policies.

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Can I change my life insurance cover if my circumstances change?

This depends on your provider. Many offer a guaranteed insurability option so you can increase your policy without more medical checks.

This usually tends to cover circumstances like:

  • Mortgage increase
  • Salary increase
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Becoming a parent

But remember to check your policy documents to see exactly what you’re covered for.

Find out more:

For more help, try reading our guide to changing your life insurance policy.

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Is there anything that might stop the policy paying out?

Your policy may come with some exclusions (circumstances in which it won’t pay out) which vary depending on your insurer. These can include alcohol or drug abuse, suicide, or deliberate exposure to danger.

Find out more:

You can find out more in our policy exclusion guide.

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What is critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover pays out to you or your family if you die, become terminally ill, or are diagnosed with a specific illness, whichever happens first.

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Do I get any money back if I don't die by the end of the policy term?


You don’t receive any money if you outlive the policy term. At the end of your term, you simply stop making payments and your cover ends.

Find out more:

Try our guide to term life insurance if you’d like to know more.

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