What is Life Insurance? Life Cover Explained | Zurich

What is life insurance?

Most of us think about life insurance as death cover - money paid out to the life insured's nearest and dearest when they die. But in reality, life insurance is much more than this. Whether you're looking to pay off the mortgage if you die, provide financial support for your family or protect your income if you're too ill to work, we may just have the life insurance plan you're looking for.

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Types of life insurance

Life Insurance

Life insurance pays out a cash sum if you die during the term of the plan. You can also buy life insurance to last throughout your lifetime rather than for a selected number of years.

Life insurance is a great way to help protect your family from the financial worries they could face if you were no longer around. It could help with household bills, child-care costs or covering mortgage payments.

Critical Illness cover

Critical illness cover pays out a cash sum if you are diagnosed with one of the many critical illnesses covered by the plan – illnesses such as cancer, a heart attack or a stroke (subject to your plan’s terms and conditions).

A cash sum can help remove some of the financial and emotional stress associated with a critical illness – to enable you to take time off work, to help pay for specialist treatment and help cover day-to-day household bills such as childcare or to pay for that once in a lifetime big holiday.

Income Protection

An income protection plan may be right for you if you need a regular income to replace some of your earnings if you can't work because of illness or injury, whether you're employed or self-employed.

It may also be right for you if you have a business where the loss of a key person, due to illness or injury, will affect your ability to generate income and profit.

You can buy our income protection plan through a financial adviser.

Apply online for life and critical illness Insurance

  • Immediately insured on acceptance

  • Fair health and lifestyle assessment

  • We paid 98% of our death claims in 2016

  • Cover offered to people living in the UK for at least the past six months
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I need life insurance for...

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Putting your life insurance into trust

When you put your life insurance in trust, you choose who receives the pay out. And when the time comes, they'll usually receive it quickly and in a tax-efficient way.

Find out more

Compare our life plans

Here’s a snapshot of the main features and benefits of each of our life insurance plans.

​Features Level Protection Plan Decreasing Mortgage Cover Plan Income Protection Plan Adaptable Life Plan
  Plan details Plan details Plan details Plan details
Apply online Yes Yes  No
(apply through financial adviser)
Pays out when you die (1) Yes Yes  No Yes
Add critical illness cover (2) Yes  Yes No No
Includes terminal illness (3) Yes  Yes No Yes
Type of cover Stays the same or can increase Decreasing in line with mortgage Stays the same or can increase Stays the same or can increase
How long does cover last? Selected number of years Selected number of years Selected number of years Throughout lifetime
Access to counselling services (4)
Yes Yes Yes Yes

(1) Life insurance pays out if you die during the plan's term.

(2) You can add critical illness cover to your life insurance. Critical illness cover pays out if you were diagnosed with a critical illness as defined in your plan's key facts document.

(3) If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness during the plan's term and not expected to live for more than 12 months, your life insurance will pay out.

(4) We offer a range of confidential telephone based customer counselling services surrounding basic lifestyle events – such as legislative and taxation enquiries, family and work-related issues, including relationship problems, financial difficulties, stress and anxiety, substance abuse and bereavement.

Find a financial adviser

We can't give you advice but we can help you find a financial adviser and give you some hints on how to prepare for your first visit:


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If you don't currently have a financial adviser, you can find one near you at: unbiased.co.uk

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Or you can read reviews of financial advisers at: vouchedfor.co.uk

[Zurich is not responsible for the content of external websites]