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Last updated: 1 May 2022
Whole-of-life insurance pays a lump sum to your family when you die. Unlike other policies, it is not restricted to a specific time frame. It’s sometimes called whole-life assurance.
When you set up your policy, you choose the payout you want. Then you start paying monthly premiums. As long as you continue paying your premiums, the policy pays your family a lump sum when you die.
Whole-life insurance rates are usually higher than those for other types of life insurance because the policy lasts your entire life. That means you’re almost guaranteed a payout.
There are three main types of whole-life insurance:
Non-profit whole-of-life insurance: you pay a set premium throughout your life and your insurer pays a fixed cash sum when you die
With-profit whole-of-life insurance: you pay a set monthly premium, which your insurer invests on your behalf. The death payment is based on how the investments perform, so your beneficiaries could end up with a bigger or smaller payout
Unit-linked whole-of-life insurance: your monthly premiums are based on the size of payout you want. The insurer invests your premiums in the stock market, so you might need to pay in more if the investments underperform
Mostly. There are only two reasons it might not payout:
you lie when setting up your policy – for example if you don’t tell your insurer about pre-existing medical conditions or lie about your family’s medical history
your cause of death is excluded – for example, if your death is linked to alcohol or drug abuse, you may not be covered
You should check which causes of death are excluded by your policy before you apply. Different companies and policies have different exclusions that mean you won’t get a payment.
it can help your family financially with a lump sum when you die
it could help cover the cost of any inheritance tax
you could pay more over the course of your policy than your family will receive when you die
your family doesn’t get a payment because your cause of death is not covered
Not necessarily. You may decide you only need life insurance for a set amount of time – for example, while you are still paying off your mortgage. If so, whole-life insurance probably isn’t cost-effective, because it’s permanent. In this case term life insurance may be a better option.
The price varies depending on your age, medical history and how much cover you want. Here are some ideas on how to cut the cost of life insurance.
If you have a partner, you could consider getting a joint whole-life insurance policy. This is usually cheaper than buying two individual policies, but be aware that these only pay out once, when the first person on the policy dies.
Your policy may be more expensive if you have a poor medical history, and it can be harder to be accepted. Get as many quotes as possible until you find the cover you need with an insurer who will accept you as a client.
You need to find the whole-life insurance policy that offers the cover you need at the best price. This means looking at a range of companies. Things to consider include:
Amount of cover: think about the size of payout you want. For whole-of-life insurance, companies usually let you choose any amount, but the higher the payout, the more expensive the monthly payments
Your age: the older you are, the more you pay each month
Once you’ve thought about these points, you can find quotes online. Just click on the get quotes button at the top of this page.
The amount of cover you need might change as you go through life. If you pay off your mortgage, for example, your family might not need as much, while if you start having children, you may need more cover.
Your insurer might let you review your whole-life policy after a set period, such as 10 years. Talk to insurance companies about this option when you set up your policy. Even if you don’t want to change the amount of cover you have, your premiums still might increase due to your changing age and health.
Getting the best whole-life insurance is not just a question of going for the cheapest option. Choose carefully to make sure you get a policy that provides the cover you need.
Yes, but it only pays out once, after the first person on the policy dies. A joint policy is usually cheaper than two individual policies.
Yes, but you may find it harder to get cover. Get as many quotes as you can until you are accepted for the cover you want.
By comparing life insurance, you could save money on the policy. The best value life insurance will offer the cover to you and your family. Choose a life cover plan from one of the best UK life insurance companies and see the online discounts they offer.
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