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Your life insurance questions answered

We've got some simple answers to your questions about term life insurance and critical illness cover.

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance is an insurance policy that pays out a cash sum if you die during the period of time you have chosen to be covered for. The cash payout will help your loved ones cope financially without you.

The amount of money paid out will depend on the premium you pay in to your policy each month.

How does term life insurance work?

It’s simple. You choose how long you’d like your life to be covered for and if you die during this time the policy will pay out.

You also choose the amount you’d like to pay each month or the value of the cash payout out when you die.

For example, SunLife’s Family Life Insurance works like this:

  1. You choose a term from 5 - 40 years, as long as it ends by your 80th birthday.
  2. You choose how much you pay each month from £5 per month
  3. Or, you choose the amount of the cash payout on your death during the term, up to £500,000 depending on your age
  4. As long as you keep paying your premium when due, the cash will be paid out when you die.

Why get life insurance?

You may be thinking you don’t need life insurance, but none of us know what lies ahead. If you were to die, who would cover costs like the household bills, mortgage, childcare, funeral expenses and other everyday outgoings?

The hard truth is, life will have to go on without us one day. Having life insurance means that if you die while your policy is in place, your loved ones will receive a cash payout to give them some financial security at a difficult time.

Anyone whose income is relied on or whose hard work would be costly to replace, like a stay at home parent, or carer, should think about having life insurance.

father feeding his young daughter

What types of term life insurance are there?

There are two main types of term insurance; ‘level’ and ‘decreasing’.

With level term insurance, the premium and cash payout are set on day one and never change. This is a popular choice with people who have a family or partner who depend on them financially.

Decreasing term insurance is typically used to cover the balance on a repayment mortgage. The premium never changes but the cash payout decreases as the outstanding amount on your mortgage goes down.

Can we get a joint life insurance policy?

Yes two people can be covered on one joint life insurance policy. The premium will be calculated based on both of your details.

It’s important to understand that a joint policy usually only pays out once, when the first person dies. The policy then ends. This is why some couples prefer to have individual life insurance policies instead.

couple in a cafe with two young children

 

What is term life insurance with critical illness cover?

With some insurers you have the option of adding critical illness cover to your life insurance policy and paying for them together in one monthly premium. Critical illness cover pays out if you’re diagnosed with a serious medical condition, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke while your policy is in force. This option is available with Family Life Insurance.

How does critical Illness cover work?

Critical Illness Cover pays out a cash sum if you’re diagnosed with a specific serious illness during your policy term.

Qualifying illness and conditions will be detailed in the policy terms and conditions. Most policies cover heart attack, stroke and certain cancers and some policies cover many more. The extent of the illnesses covered will be reflected in the monthly premium you pay.

man speaking to a doctor in a consulting room

 

What happens when my term life insurance policy ends?

Very simply, when the term ends, your policy ends. You stop paying monthly premiums and there would be no cash payout if you die after the term has ended. For continued protection you would need to take out a new life insurance policy.

It’s important to think about how long you want to be covered for and how much life cover you’ll need. This will depend on your circumstances and those of the people who depend on you.

couple with new baby

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet insurance, car insurance, home insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

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.