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Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons why people buy life insurance and why it’s important to protect both you and your family. The most common reasons are:
To pay your final expenses.
Life insurance can help for pay for such things as funeral costs, probate and other estate administration expenses. When you pass away there may also be other debts that need to be cleared. By having life insurance, you ensure no one is left out of pocket when you die.
Providing capital or an income for your family and dependants.
If you have people that depend on your income, then life insurance is a way on ensuring that it’s still there in the event of your death. That way you can make sure your dependants are financially stable and can continue the same quality of life if you’re no longer around.
Create an inheritance for your heirs.
A life insurance policy can help you create an “inheritance” for family and friends in the event of your death, even if you have no other assets. You simply name your legal beneficiaries who may wish to use this money for a head start in life such as a deposit for a house, university tuition fees or even their first car or a life changing holiday.
Pay off your mortgage.
If you have a mortgage on your property, then life insurance is something you really should have. A suitable policy will pay off the whole debt for your family should you pass away ensuring that your family can continue to live in the family home without having to worry about keeping up repayments having lost both you and your income. If you don’t have a family you might simply want to leave the property to someone you care about as part of your estate.
If there is someone who would be financially impacted by your death then yes, you need life insurance. It may be that you have children who’s future might look very different without their parent or a spouse that wouldn’t be able to cope with the bills without you and the income you bring in.
It could be that you would like your family to be mortgage and debt free should you pass away or maybe that you don’t want to leave the burden of having to cover your funeral and final expenses.
The earlier you buy life insurance the cheaper and more affordable it is as the price is based on your age and health.
As you’ll never be younger than you are today the sooner you sort it out, the better.
It’s also advisable to buy your life insurance when you’re in good health as prices can be badly impacted if you develop any serious illnesses or conditions.
Put simply, yes
A major life event like a new baby, a new mortgage or simply getting married might mean that you need to increase your cover and, when this happens, you’ll be able to use the ‘Guaranteed Insurability Options’ included in your policy.
Also, as your lifestyle changes, most companies are happy to review the amount of cover, the term and the type of policy you have throughout its duration.
That’s your choice!
When you take out a life insurance policy you can name who you would like the legal beneficiaries to be by placing your policy into trust.
This is free to do and can help your beneficiaries avoid inheritance tax and the delays caused by probate.
In many cases, a Death in Service policy will only pay out if you die whilst at work so it’s worth having the two running side by side.
Also, if you leave your place of work after a long period of time you may find that you’re unable to get the cover you need at a price you can afford because of your age or a deterioration in your health.
It’s always better to buy life insurance when you’re young(ish) so that the price stays as low as possible for as long as possible.
If you’re single with no dependants then it may be that you don’t need life assurance.
However, if you were to become seriously ill and unable to work, how would you keep up to date with your rent, bills and food etc? It may be that a serious illness or income protection policy is a better fit for you.
Critical illness cover will pay a lump sum should you be diagnosed with a specified critical illness during the term of your policy.
Levels of cover and conditions covered vary dramatically from insurer to insurer so we would always recommend speaking to an adviser that can fully assess your needs and recommend the right policy for your personal circumstances.
Income protection does exactly what it says on the tin: it protects a percentage of your income should you be off work due to accident, illness or injury.
It’s a popular choice for people that don’t have any savings to fall back on should they be out of work for an extended period of time. Whilst some employers offer sick pay this is often only for three to six months.
Depending on which policy you choose, income protection could provide you with a percentage of your income all they way to retirement age.
This is the most common type of life insurance and will pay out if you die within a certain period of time: the term.
Some people choose to only insure themselves whilst their children are young, whilst others choose to cover themselves until retirement and beyond.
Some people choose to insure themselves all the way to their 90th birthday!
This type of policy is mostly used for for mortgage protection. The level of cover will start at the amount you owe on your mortgage and will decrease each month normally inline with the outstanding balance.
It is designed to clear the mortgage should you pass away.
Some polices offer Guaranteed Premiums; this means that the price of your policy will always stay the same, month on month, so there’ll be no nasty surprises like there can be with other types of insurance.
Some offer Reviewable Premiums, meaning that the cost of your policy could go up. When taking out a life insurance be sure to know if your premiums are Guaranteed or Reviewable.
This is where good quality advice can help.
Yes; it’s very common for people over the age of 50 to buy life cover.
Again, taking advice can deliver real value here in helping to find a policy to suit your needs and your budget.
The most common exclusion is suicide within the first 12 months.
Also, depending on your health at the time of application, you may find that certain exclusions may be added to your policy.
It’s important that you read your policy documents carefully to ensure you fully understand what is and isn’t covered and, if you’re unsure on something, you should talk to a financial adviser.
Whole of Life insurance policies payout a lump sum to your beneficiaries when you die, whenever that is.
There is no fixed term and, in the main, you would be expected to pay premiums up to the point of your death (although some plans may differ).
Level term life insurance is where the insurer pays out a fixed lump sum if you should pass away within an agreed term; for instance: 10 years.
This can be a cost effective way of financially protecting your loved ones in the event of your death but you should should be aware that, should you die at a point outside of your agreed term, no insurance lump sum would be payable.
We would suggest that you speak to a financial adviser about this as it would depend on affordability and your financial circumstances.
If you were to have two single life policies and one of you were to die, the remaining partner would still have a policy of their own.
A joint life policy might be a cheaper option but would only pay once in the event of the death of one of the policy holders.