You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Our Guide to Life Insurance

Protecting your family with Life Insurance

The purpose of life insurance is simple… it will provide a lump sum of money to your loved ones if you die. This cash payout can be used to help cover living costs and outgoings such as the mortgage and other everyday expenses.

For you, life insurance provides peace of mind that if the unthinkable did happen, your family would have a financial safety net. For them, it could be the difference between struggling to cope financially and being able to maintain the way of life they enjoy now.

And the good news is times have changed. Where once life insurance was known for lengthy applications involving intrusive questions and medical examinations, there are now more straightforward options available to you, like Family Life Insurance.

Types of life insurance

Term life insurance pays out if you die within a specific timeframe called the ‘term’. Whole of life insurance pays out whenever you die, which is why premiums tend to be higher. Over 50 life insurance is similar in many ways to Whole of Life Insurance, but doesn't require a medical and cash sums tend to be smaller.

How does our Life Insurance work

  • We offer straightforward term life insurance for anyone aged 18-59
  • Apply in minutes and get an instant decision
  • Get cover up to £500,000 depending on your age
  • Choose a premium from just £5 a month
  • Choose a term from 5-40 years, as long as your cover ends by your 80th birthday
  • Choose to add Critical Illness cover and have 25% of your life cover paid out early if you're diagnosed with a critical illness specified in the policy terms.
  • Your family’s protected straight away — Cover starts as soon as you’re accepted

Important things you should know

  • As long you pay your premiums when due and provided accurate information when you applied, the cash payout is guaranteed to the policy beneficiaries, if you die within the term. This is important to remember because if you don’t, your cover would be cancelled and your family wouldn’t be entitled to the cash payout.
  • At the end of the term your cover ends, you stop paying premiums and no money is returned to you. Remember, life insurance is protection for the ‘what if’, not an investment or savings plan.
  • ‘Level’ simply means the premium and cash payout are both set at the start of the policy and never change.
  • The premium you pay depends on your age, the amount of cover you need, how long you want cover for and your answers to some health and lifestyle questions.

For those of you that prefer video...

Video transcript
How does Life Insurance work?

There are some things in life we can’t control. But life insurance could ensure your loved ones are left financially taken care of if you died unexpectedly.

Life insurance works by paying out a lump sum of money if you die. Your loved ones could use this money to carry on living as they do now, paying things like the mortgage and everyday bills. Or even the weekly shop or it could simply enable your children to carry on having their ballet lessons or football training.

Meet Matt. Matt’s wife Karen died when their children were 1 and 5. Karen did everything for the house and took care of the children whilst Matt was hard at work. Unfortunately Karen didn’t have life insurance and Matt struggled to cover the cost of childcare and the lifestyle they had; so he has had to change his working hours and cut back on life’s little luxuries like family holidays and days out for the kids. These changes, on top of losing Mum, have been really impactful. If Karen had life insurance to cover things like childcare, kids clubs and small luxuries… things would have been easier.

It’s up to you how long you’d like cover for. Perhaps when your mortgage ends or when your children no longer rely on you for financial support. For your life insurance, you’ll pay a monthly payment. This premium will depend on the amount of cover you’d like, your age, health and lifestyle and how long you’d like the cover for. This is known as the ‘term’. Life insurance could often be more affordable than you think.

Life insurance — who needs it?

 

The reality is, unless you’re completely free of responsibility with no children or anyone else dependent on you, you’d be wise to consider having life insurance in place.

Whether you’re a breadwinner or a full time parent, your role within the family is vital. And if you weren’t there, the value you bring would have to be replaced somehow and that will inevitably cost money.

It’s probably easy to see the importance of replacing lost income, but don’t underestimate the value of a stay-at-home parent. Think about how much it would cost to pay someone else to take care of the many jobs they perform every day, from driving the kids around to keeping the house in order. A lump sum from a life insurance policy could help cover a whole host of expenses.

Starting a family

Financial security becomes a priority at a life changing moment like this. If either partner were to die, the surviving partner would have to cope alone and may have to change their current circumstances to support the family.

For example, the main income earner may have to stop or cut back on work to look after the children. Or someone who cares for the kids full time may have to get a job to keep up with the family’s outgoings. In either situation, having a life insurance payout to help fund childcare costs could make all the difference.

Taking out a mortgage

A new home is exciting but with it comes big responsibility. If you don’t keep up mortgage payments, your mortgage lender has the right to repossess your home. If you died, having life insurance to help pay the mortgage or clear the debt completely means your family won’t risk losing the family home.

Funeral costs

It’s not easy to contemplate, but if you were to die your loved ones would have to find the cash to pay for a funeral, on top of everything else they’d have to cope with. A life insurance payout would help them recoup some, or all of the money.

The cost

It might be more affordable than you expect. The cost to you is determined one of two ways:

1. The premium you pay each month

You could decide how much you can comfortably afford to pay each month and how long you need cover for. These factors plus your age and your answers to some health and lifestyle questions are used to set the amount of cover to be paid out if you die during the policy term.

2. The amount of life cover you want

Alternatively, you could calculate how much life cover you’d like and decide how long you want it for. these factors plus your age and your answers to some health and lifestyle questions are used to set the premium you’ll need to pay each month of the policy term.

Critical illness cover

If your family depends on your salary to make ends meet, critical illness insurance can provide an extra layer of financial protection to your life insurance in case you’re unable to work due to a serious illness.

Critical illness insurance can be combined with term life insurance and paid for together in one monthly premium.

If you choose to add critical illness cover to SunLife family life insurance and you have a heart attack or stroke, or are diagnosed with certain types of cancer during the term of your policy, 25% of your life cover would be paid out. The remaining 75% would be paid out if you went on to die before the end of the term.

Take a look at this short video explaining how much life insurance could cost

Video transcript
How much does life insurance cost?

Well possibly not as much as you may think! Typically, when thinking about life insurance, you work out how much money you may need to cover things like your mortgage, your bills, childcare for a certain number of years and the smaller things like food and petrol. You could then get a quote to see how much the monthly payments would be. If you’re on a tighter budget and know you need life insurance you could choose how much you could afford to pay each month, and see how much you’d get in return.

To apply for our family life insurance, you’ll need be aged 18 to 59 and would need to answer some health and lifestyle questions.

Let’s meet Mark and Anna.

Mark is 35 years old, doesn’t smoke and is in good health. He wants to leave about £250,000 to cover his mortgage and enable his family to carry on living as they are now. He’d like this cover over a 20 year term. To leave this amount of money he needs to pay about £15 a month. Mark also worries about getting ill and being able to meet his financial commitments, so he could add critical illness to his life insurance by paying around £11 each month. Critical Illness would mean that if he was diagnosed with a serious illness covered by the policy, 25% of the money would be paid out early. The balance would then be paid out if he later died within the term.

Anna is 38 years old and on a pretty tight budget. Anna is in good health and doesn’t smoke, she wants to pay an amount each month that’s comfortable for her and with premiums that remain fixed throughout the term. This is Guaranteed with our insurance! So she decides she’d like to pay around £10 per month for 10 years. This would give Anna just over £130,000 of cover if she died during the term.

So, as you can see, life insurance could be more affordable than you may have thought!

Get a quote today for your Family Life Insurance.

That’s another thing we’ve made straightfordable.

How much cover do you need?

Everyone’s needs and priorities are different and how much cover you need — the sum insured — will depend on your personal situation.

Keeping a roof over the family’s head is a top priority, but the mortgage isn’t the only thing to consider protecting.

Think about all aspects of your household finances:

  • Utility bills, broadband and council tax
  • Groceries
  • Running the car
  • Leisure activities and holidays
  • Clubs and other memberships
  • Out of school activities such as music or ballet lessons
  • Anything else you'd like to continue if the worst happened to you.

Don’t forget to allow for the cost of extra help that may be needed, such as childcare.

Also take into account any savings that could be used to support your family. This can reduce the amount of cover you need.

Use our life insurance calculator to help work out how much cover may be needed to support your family, if you weren’t there to do so.

How long should you take cover out for?

This is up to you. You might want to be covered until your mortgage comes to an end. Or you might decide to cover yourself until your children reach 18 or finish in full time education.

Your age when you take out life cover may also affect the term you choose. For example, with SunLife Family Life Insurance, you can choose a term between 5 and 40 years, as long as the term ends by your 80th birthday.

1. Who provides SunLife Family Life Insurance?

Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly.

We can't decide for you though, we can only tell you how our products work, with you in mind. For impartial advice you can visit unbiased.co.uk to find an Independent Financial Adviser in your area. You may be required to pay for any advice that you receive.

2. Will my life insurance premiums ever go up?

No. With level term insurance, like SunLife Family Life Insurance, premiums stay the same throughout the term of your policy and are guaranteed never to go up.

The cash sum is also guaranteed never to change, so bear in mind that inflation will reduce its value over time.

3. Is the cash payout guaranteed if I die during the term?

Provided you always pay your premium when due, provided accurate information on your application, life insurance is guaranteed to pay out, if you die while the policy is in force.

4. Do life insurance and life assurance mean the same thing?

Strictly speaking no, but they do tend to be used to mean the same thing. Technically, life insurance will pay out if you die whereas life assurance pays out when you die.

5. What if I already have insurance through my employer?

If you already have death in service cover as an employee benefit, it may be worthwhile checking whether the level of cover it provides would be enough for your family’s needs if the worst were to happen. Don’t forget, if you leave the job for any reason, this cover will end.

6. How quickly can I be covered?

With SunLife Family Life Insurance, you get an instant decision on whether you’ve been accepted. If you are, you’ll be covered straight away.

7. If I die, who receives the money from my life insurance policy?

You can specify who you want to benefit from your life insurance policy, through your Will or by using a Trust form if the insurance provider offers this.

8. Can I cash in my life insurance?

No you can’t. If you stop paying or cancel your life insurance policy, your cover will end and you won’t get any money back.

9. Should we get joint life cover or policies of our own?

It’s up to you and will depend on the level of cover you would like and what you can afford.

If you take out separate life insurance policies, you will each be entitled to a cash payout if you die while your policies are in force.

A more affordable option is what’s known as ‘joint life first death’ cover, like SunLife Family Life Insurance. This is when two people can be on the same policy but the policy will only pay out once, when the first person dies. After this, the policy would end and there would be no further payout if the second person died within the original term.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.