What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a way to ensure your loved ones will be taken care of if you are no longer around. It is a cost effective, simple method of offering your family protection, and giving you peace of mind that they will be provided for. If you pass away while you have an active life insurance policy, your family will receive a sum of money as specified by your cover.
What is the Policy Term and how long can I be insured for?
The phrase ‘policy term’ refers to the amount of time you will be insured for. Most insurers will allow you to pick from terms as short as 5 years, right up to 40 years or more. Some policies, known as a ‘whole of life’ policy, insure you forever, but are much more expensive.
What is Level Term Assurance?
With Level Term insurance, the amount you are insured for remains the same throughout the term of the policy. If you die in the first year or the 31st year of the policy, the amount your family receive will be the same.
What is Decreasing Term Assurance?
With Decreasing Term life insurance, the amount paid out on your policy reduces over time. This type of policy is usually taken out by homeowners to cover their repayment mortgage in the event of one or both of them passing away. As the amount owed on the mortgage decreases, so does the amount paid out by the insurance policy.
What is the Guaranteed Sum Assured?
This refers to the amount of cover you have taken out. If you have insurance cover of £100,000, then your guaranteed sum assured with be £100,000.
How much life insurance cover should I get?
You can pick the amount that you are insured for, known as your Guaranteed Sum Assured. The more cover you want, the more expensive your policy will be. You’ll need to ensure all the things you want to be protected are, such as mortgages, funeral expenses and income replacement.
Can I increase my life cover at a later date?
When life circumstances change, you might wish to change the amount of life insurance cover you have. Events such as getting married, buying a house and having children can all affect the amount of cover you need, and lots of insurers allow you to make this change without asking for additional medicals. Talk to one of our advisors about your circumstances to find out which policies offer this sort of flexibility.
What is Medical Underwriting?
In certain circumstances your insurance company may ask you to complete medical underwriting before agreeing to provide your policy. This usually only happens if you have an adverse medical history yourself or family history of issues. It usually simply involves obtaining a medical report from your GP, or going to an independent assessment paid for by the insurance company.
What is a premium rating?
A premium rating describes the amount you pay for your life insurance, based on your personal circumstances. Some individuals may pay more due to medical issues or because they work in a risky occupation or take part in risky hobbies.
How are my premiums calculated?
Your premium will depend on your medical history, age, occupation and hobbies as well as whether you smoke or not. The type of policy and level of cover you ask for will also affect your premium.
If we decide to have a joint life policy will it pay out twice?
No. A joint policy covers both of you, but only until one person dies. If you both die at the same time, the policy will only pay out once. If one person dies, the other is left uninsured. Find out more about why two singles could be better than a joint policy here.
What is Terminal Illness Cover?
Terminal illness cover is provided free of charge on every policy we quote for. This cover means you can obtain your lump sum payment early, if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. If a medical professional determines that you are likely to pass away from a terminal illness within 12 months, you and your family can access your Guaranteed Sum Assured sooner rather than later. It is not the same thing as Critical Illness Cover.
What is Critical Illness Cover?
Critical illness cover is an add-on to your life insurance policy which protects your family in the event of a major, life changing illness. It can be used to provide a welcome financial cushion if you are no longer able to work, and can make it easier to adjust to a new lifestyle as you learn to cope with your illness.
What if I become ill and cannot pay my Life Insurance premiums?
If you stop paying for your life insurance, your policy will be cancelled. However, if you are concerned about having difficulty paying your premium, for example in the event of an accident or illness, you can consider taking out a Waiver of Premium feature when you set up your policy. This feature means your premiums are waived after a period of 26 weeks if you are struggling to pay because of accident or illness. Talk to one of our advisors to find out more about this option.
How can I protect my Guaranteed Sum Assured against the effects of inflation?
To ensue your policy stays valuable over time, you can opt to apply indexation to your policy each year. This means that both your Guaranteed Sum Assured and your premium payments will increase in line with inflation, which is usually determined by the Retail Price Index (RPI). Be aware that if you decide one year to decline the indexation option, you will not be able to opt for this again.
What qualifies as a smoker?
Smokers are not just those who are still using cigarettes or cigars. In life insurance terms, smokers are people who have used any nicotine containing products in the past 12 months. This can include e-cigarettes, patches, gums and inhalers, as well as traditional smoking products.
I already have a life insurance policy or death in service benefits, can I take out another policy to give me more protection?
You are allowed to have as many life insurance policies as you wish, and are welcome to take out additional cover even if your employer is already providing some protection. However, insurers may start to ask questions if you wish to insure yourself for a large sum of money, usually anything in excess of £300,000. If you wish to have a high level of insurance, you may need to prove a need for this amount of cover.
Do I need to spend time researching the market to get the best deal?
At AgiosLIfe we search the market for you, dealing with some of the UK’s biggest names in insurance to find you the best price. We will always work hard to find you the cheapest policy available whilst ensuring the policy meets to you.
How do I pay you for the work you do for me?
We never levy any fees or admin charges to our customers. We get paid by the insurers on a commission basis when you sign up for a policy.
What does putting a policy in trust mean?
Putting a policy in trust can mean your family get more of the money you wanted them to get. It can also mean that they get the money faster, and can avoid paying high levels of inheritance tax. We are happy to discuss basic information on trusts and inheritance tax, but are not qualified to advise you in detail.
What is Non Disclosure?
Non-disclosure refers to the withholding of information that could be required by your insurance company. It can also refer to the provision of false information to your insurance company, or to not being entirely truthful with the answers you gave them. If you deliberately falsify information, or don’t disclose something that could affect your insurance premium, your life insurance could be declined. Worse still, if non-disclosure comes to light after you have been accepted onto a policy, the insurer may not pay out in the event of a claim.
If I cancel my policy mid-term will I get my money back?
No. Most insurance companies will allow you to cancel your policy at any point without any fines or fees. However, you will not get any money back if you decide to do this.
Do I need life insurance to get a mortgage?
Some mortgage providers will stipulate that you have to take out a life insurance policy in order to obtain your mortgage, but others will not. Either way, having life insurance to protect your family home is a good idea.
Is there anything that might stop the policy paying out?
The main reason that an insurer will refuse to pay out on your policy is if they think you have not disclosed something important. This could be to do with your occupation, your hobbies or whether you smoke or not. If you are 100% truthful in your application to the insurance company at the start of the policy, and if you make sure you keep them informed throughout the term of any major changes in circumstance, there should be no problem when the time comes to claim.
Do I get any money back if I don’t die by the end of the policy term?
Unfortunately, not. Life insurance will only pay out in the event of your death, so if you don’t die within the agreed term of the policy, you will not get anything back. However, in some cases you can extend your policy for a further period of time.
Can I change my life insurance cover if my circumstances change?
Sometimes life events mean that your policy is no longer suitable for your circumstances. Things like the arrival of a new baby, buying a bigger house, divorce and job changes can mean your cover is less effective than it should be. Some insurers allow you to make changes throughout the policy term to increase your cover amount, but in some cases you may need to cancel your policy and take out a new agreement with the insurer. Our advisors can discuss this aspect of life insurance with you to help you make your decision.