Beginner's guide to Life insurance

What is life insurance?

Life insurance provides financial help for your family when you die and they can no longer rely on your income. It sounds a little morbid, but you wouldn't leave your home uninsured, or drive your car without insurance, so why wouldn't you financially protect your family too?

It can be used to help pay off debts, a mortgage or your funeral expenses (if you haven't already got this covered). It can even be used for day to day expenses - anything the money is needed for.

Why do I need it?

If you're single and have no children or anyone else dependent on your income, you might not need life insurance. However, if you have a partner, children or family that depend on your income, perhaps living in a house on which you make the monthly mortgage repayments for example, it's a good idea to have life insurance in place to help them if anything happens to you.

If you died and didn't have life insurance, your family might have to rely on the state to support them.

Do I want protection against critical illness?

Life insurance isn't just about dying. Some plans help to financially protect you if you suffer one of the critical illnesses covered. Your children may also be covered too.

Find out more by visiting our Critical Illness Cover page

How long do I want protection for?

Your plan can last however long you need it. That might be until you retire, you've paid off your mortgage or up until the day you die. You just need to figure out what works best for you.

How much can I afford?

The cost of your insurance depends on how long it lasts, how much protection you want, any options you add and your personal circumstances. A smoker for example, pays more than a non-smoker.

What do you want to protect?

Life insurance pays a cash sum to help your family with whatever needs they have. This could be household bills, childcare or a mortgage.

You should also think about other potential costs such as supporting children through education.

What is Critical illness?

This cover is an optional extra that pays out if you get one of the illnesses covered. There are 85 illnesses insured on the plan including cancer, heart attack and stroke. Remember not all illnesses are covered, find out more with Your guide to your cover.

What else is included?

When you take out Critical illness cover we'll automatically include your children free of charge too. This covers them for the illnesses detailed in the guide and applies to them from the age of three months until their 18th birthday, but please note that Critical illness cover for children is not as financially extensive as cover for adults, meaning the pay-out will be less. The pay-out can be used to cover medical expenses, your child's care - wherever it's most needed without impacting the plan holder's cover.

You'll also have access to free, professional counselling support for you and your immediate family.

Take a look at the detailed cover guide for more information.

Taking out Critical illness cover will also give you the option of adding Total Permanent Disability cover. This provides you with a cash pay-out if you're unable to do your own occupation due to accident or illness before the age of 60.


Ready to get life insurance?

Along with life insurance, there are some other bits and bobs you might want to think about too. Have a look at our life insurance product page to understand your options.

Life insurance


Read our magazine

At some point in our lives, most of us will need life insurance. Our magazine article will help you to understand when you might need it.

Read our article on when you should get cover