Do I need Life Insurance Cover?
Life Insurance is clearly not the sexiest purchase you will make in your life for the simple reason that most people don’t want to think about their own death! However, if you have children, a mortgage and/or other responsibilities then it really should be a must have.
The average cost of a funeral alone now is £3,456 that a loved one would need to pay, before considering anything else.
How do I decide the length of term?
This is really down to the individual. Depending on your personal circumstances you may want to take out a Life Insurance policy that lasts the life of your mortgage, or maybe to cover a dependent until they reach 18 or 21. You may want to consider a ‘whole of life’ policy which is not restricted by a length of term, but bear in mind these are usually more expensive.
How much Life Insurance do I need?
This is going to vary for each individual based on your personal circumstances. Do you have a mortgage that would need to be paid off? A child that you would like to leave a certain amount of money to? A partner that you would want to be left financially secure without you? All these things can be discussed and worked out prior to you purchasing Life Insurance.
What is Critical Illness cover?
Critical Illness Cover is an Insurance Policy where you will receive a lump sum, a one off payment if the insured is diagnosed with an illness covered under their specific policy. The reality is you are much more likely to develop a critical illness than you are to die. This money could be used for anything, medical treatment, cover adaptations to the home, generally paying bills – anything! Many will add on when purchasing Life Insurance. But if you do not need Life Insurance (no children or mortgage) then Critical Illness Cover should be considered as a stand-alone insurance. Consider this:
Every day in the UK there are more than 400 people diagnosed with Cancer that will survive the disease for more than 10 years (Source: Cancer Research UK, February 2015)
Can I put my policy in trust?
Yes, and it could be advantageous. On average in the UK only 6% of Life Policies are written in trust. It could help sidestep inheritance tax as the policy can be paid directly to the beneficiaries rather than a legal estate. The pay out to the beneficiaries is also likely so be a lot timelier as the money will not go through probate.
Do I also need Income Protection?
Income Protection is designed to replace part of your income if you can’t work for a while and pays out until you can start working again. It is not the same as Critical Illness Cover which pays out a lump sum. Income protection pays a percentage of your gross salary or take home pay.
How much will I have to pay for Life Insurance?
Premiums will vary based on the type of policy and the size of the sum insured. Current health and age (life insurance premiums rise with age) will also contribute to the variance of premiums as well as weight and other lifestyle factors.
Can I have multiple policies?
Yes. Ultimately you can be covered for what you see fit for your personal circumstances. You can have a Life Insurance only policy, Life & Critical Illness, Critical Illness only, Income protection alone or alongside either of the above.
Do I have to have a mortgage?
You do not need to have a mortgage to take out Life Insurance, many people simply do not think of it until that point as it is a huge financial event in a person’s life. Some may be renting a property but have a child/children they would want to ensure were left financially secure if anything were to happen to them.
Do I have to have children?
Much like the above, no. Many will purchase Life Insurance to protect their dependents but it is not essential.
What if I smoke?
For a smoker, Life & Critical Illness Insurance will be more expensive than a non-smoker. This is because smokers are more likely to claim on an insurance policy due to suffering an early death or critical illness.