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Unsure about whole of life insurance and why you might need it? This easy-to-understand guide explains the basics of this type of life insurance.
The clue is in the name. Very simply,
whole of life insurance is life cover that lasts a lifetime. Unlike
term insurance that covers you for a set period of time, with a whole of life policy, cover only ends when you die. This is why it’s also known as whole of life assurance – it covers the inevitable and is certain to pay out when the inevitable happens.
You pay a premium every month and in return you’re covered for a set amount of money. When you die, your next of kin make a claim and your policy pays out this money – often referred to as the payout. Some whole life insurance policies allow you to stop paying premiums at a certain age. Cover remains in force but you no longer have to pay. This can be helpful; particularly if you prefer to know the maximum time you could be paying premiums for.
People often choose this type of insurance as a way to leave some money for their children, grandchildren or a charity. Another popular reason is to help pay towards their
funeral costs and ease the financial burden on those left to sort out their affairs.
Like most insurance, the quote you receive will state the premium you’ll need to pay. This premium must be paid every month, so make sure you’re comfortable you can keep up the payments, for what could be many years to come.
With some policies you pay a set amount every month and get a set amount of cover in return. Fixing your premiums in this way means you know where you stand from day one and can be confident there’ll be no nasty surprises further down the line.
The flipside of having this certainty is that by the time a claim is made on your policy, inflation will probably have reduced how much the payout will be able to buy.
Life insurance often requires the person applying to have a medical or answer health questions. The insurer then sets the cash payout and premium based on the results, or declines the application altogether. No-medical life insurance guarantees to accept anyone who applies, regardless of their health, without any form of medical questioning.
This can become more appealing later in life when health tends to become more of a concern and is why over 50 life insurance is often a popular choice.
This type of whole of life insurance usually has to run for a set length of time – one or two years – before the cash payout can be claimed when you die. If you die within that time, usually as a minimum the total of the premiums you’ve paid will be refunded to your estate.
If you found this article interesting, you might also enjoy
life insurance explained and 10 reasons to take out life insurance. Or, learn more about how our over 50 life insurance works and how much Over 50 life insurance can cost.
SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including
over 50 life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet 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?
AXA Wealth Ltd 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. AXA Wealth Ltd is a company limited by shares and the registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6WG (registered in England, No. 01225468). AXA Wealth Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. AXA Wealth Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 119201).
AXA Wealth Services Ltd distributes financial products and services and trades as SunLife. AXA Wealth Services Ltd is a company limited by shares and the registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 02238458). AXA Wealth Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 465753).
‘SunLife’ (comprising of the companies AXA Wealth Services Limited, AXA Wealth Limited and AXA Sun Life Direct Limited) has been acquired by Pearl Life Holdings Limited (and now forms part of the Phoenix Group -
www.thephoenixgroup.com). ‘AXA’ is a trademark that is owned by AXA SA and will be used for a short period under a licence granted by AXA SA to the Phoenix Group.
Pearl Life Holdings Limited is registered in England (4560778) at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6WG. As part of the Phoenix Group, AXA Wealth Limited will continue to be authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. AXA Wealth Services Limited will continue to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 7054, Willenhall, WV1 9ZH or by phone on 0800 008 6060. As part of our commitment to quality service and security, calls may be recorded.
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 AXA Wealth Ltd, 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.