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We understand the unique needs of UK residents. Whether you use your new to life insurance, or looking for a better plan we can find the right cover for you.

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At Shieldwise, we match you with a certified provider for optimal life insurance that could save you money, give you better cover, or both.

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Our expert advisors take the time to get to know you better. We work with you to understand your needs and then recommend the best, customized cover.

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Here are some frequently asked questions about life insurance. Have a different question? Contact us today.

What does life insurance cover?

Life insurance is a way of helping your family cope financially when you die. It is intended to provide help to your loved ones when they can’t rely on your salary or income any longer.

The pay-out can be used to clear debts, pay off the mortgage or just cover everyday expenses. It could even pay for your funeral if you haven’t set anything aside for that.

Should I bother with life insurance?

If you are single with no one depending on your income, then you probably don’t need life insurance.

If on the other hand, you have a partner or family who may struggle to cope financially, then life insurance could offer the help they need at a very difficult time.

Can I get life insurance through my employer?

Some employers might offer life insurance in what’s known as a ‘death-in-service benefit’. This, like regular life insurance, pays out a lump sum if you die while in employment, at a rate that’s usually four times your annual salary.

While it can be a valuable benefit, you might need to take out additional life cover depending on certain factors such as how much you owe on your mortgage or any financial provisions for your dependents’ future.

What is term life insurance?

Term policies, the most common type of life insurance, only payout if you die within the duration agreed in the policy. For example, if you take out a term life policy for 25 years, your family can claim if you die during this 25-year period.

However, if you die after this term then there would be no pay-out.

Does your life insurance pay out stay the same no matter when you die?

This depends on the life insurance policy you buy. If you buy level term insurance, the pay-out is the same whether you die in year one or in the 25th year.

Decreasing term insurance is a cheaper option because the pay-out gradually becomes smaller over the years. This type of decreasing level policy is often linked to repayment mortgages because the amount you owe the lender also decreases over time.  

Family income benefit is another option. It pays an income much like a monthly salary rather than a lump sum from the time of the claim until the end of the term you agreed with the insurer. Family income benefit is even cheaper than level or decreasing term life insurance because the amount paid out by the insurer is expected to be less overall.

How do I decide the length of the life insurance term?

You’ll need to consider exactly what you want it for. Maybe you want to make sure the policy lasts as long as your mortgage repayments. Perhaps you want to link it to your children’s age, so it won’t expire until they have finished school, turned 18 or finished university.

Of course, your own age will have an impact on your decision.

Can I buy life insurance that will pay out whenever I die?

Yes, it is called life assurance or whole-of-life insurance. Your family can claim for your policy no matter when you die, unrestricted by a policy term.

Life assurance is normally more expensive than term insurance, as the insurer knows for sure that it will have to pay out eventually.

Are life insurance premiums fixed?

Level and decreasing-term insurance, and family income benefit policies, usually have guaranteed fixed premiums throughout the policy term.

That said, check the small print as some firms offer ‘reviewable’ premiums, which can be reviewed every five to ten years and normally go up in price.

But whole-of-life assurance is slightly different because it is typically linked to a specific investment. So if the investment does not perform well, then the premium is likely to increase so the insurer doesn’t lose money.

How much life insurance do I need?

It all depends on your personal circumstances as the amount of cover, also known as the ‘sum insured’, can be different for each family.

Let’s say you are married, have a large mortgage and four children. In this case you are going to need more cover than a single parent living in a two-bedroom flat with one child.

Most of the time, the recommended level of life insurance is 10 times your annual salary or income. Obviously however you should make more detailed calculations to make sure you are fully covered.

How much does life insurance cost?

Your premium will vary depending on the type of policy, the size of the sum insured and also the risk of a claim – if you have a dangerous job, for example.

Also, age is a factor, so life insurance will be more expensive for an older person. Similarly, if a customer is in poor health, they can expect to pay a higher premium.

The insurer will take into account occupation, hobbies, lifestyle – such as whether you smoke, your weight and your fitness – to help determine their premiums.

Even postcodes are checked, as certain areas of the country are more likely to claim.

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