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Public overestimate price of life insurance by almost 400%

Posted on 14 June 2015

Research from SunLife reveals...

  • Public overestimate cost of life cover by 394%
  • Almost half have no idea what life cover costs
  • For those with no life cover, affordability cited as main reason why

While we typically overestimate the price of a loaf of bread by 43%*, when it comes to life cover, we are – on average – a massive 394% out, according to research** by leading insurance provider SunLife.

For those with no life cover, affordability is cited as the main reason why, but, on average, people think £100,000 of life cover would cost £50.98 per month; almost five times more than the average premium of £10.31.***

SunLife also found that 47% of people have no idea how much life insurance costs, with this rising to more than half (53%) of those who cited affordability as the reason why they have no life cover. And it seems the misconception of the cost gets worse with age, with 58% of 55-65 year olds admitting they have no idea what life cover costs.

SunLife’s research also shows that of those that do not have life cover, more than a quarter (26%) are concerned that they do not have any in place. One in 10 (11%) said their family would lose all or most of its monthly income if they were to become critically ill or die while 8% said they ‘did not know’ what the financial implications would be.

Dean Lamble, managing director at SunLife comments:

“Our research shows people are not protecting themselves with life cover because they think it is much more expensive than it is; this misconception needs to be addressed. As an industry, we have an important role to play – we need to make life insurance more accessible so that more people realise they can afford it.”

And even amongst those who do have life insurance, SunLife’s research reveals that only 39% of people are certain they have enough cover. One in 10 (11%) say they know they are underinsured while 15% say they don’t know how much cover they have in place.

Dean concludes “It is worrying that there are many families out there that either have no life cover or insufficient cover in place simply because they are overestimating how much it costs.

“More than a quarter of those who don’t have life insurance say they are concerned about the fact they are not covered; we need to help these people get cover they can understand and afford so that, should the worst happen, they know their families are protected.”


For more information on this release, contact

Rachel Mason, PR Manager, SunLife

0117 322 5431

07920 537480


**taken from nationally representative poll of 18-65 year olds conducted online by Critical Research. Interviews were completed from 14th February to 20th February 2014. A total of 1011 respondents participated in the survey. Average amount people thought £100,000 worth of cover would cost is £50.98

***Based on £100,000 sum assured, life cover only, 25 year term for a 38 year old (average age of SunLife term life insurance customer) and accepted on standard rates:

  • Non-smoker: £10.31 per month
  • Smoker: £20.14 per month

£50.98-£10.31=£40.67. £40.67/£10.31*100=394%

About SunLife

SunLife rebranded in 2014 but has been around since 1810, making it one of the oldest financial services companies in the UK. The company is a direct-to-consumer financial services provider, offering a range of straightforward and affordable products across insurance, savings and protection.

SunLife’s customer satisfaction score is 97%#. It was the first company in the UK to offer life assurance without a medical and is the market leader in over 50s plans##.

SunLife also conducts regular, rigorous research across financial services and the later life market, and owns the annual ‘Cost of Dying’ report which has been one of the most significant pieces of ongoing research in its field for the last five years.

The company’s ambition is to ‘democratise financial services’ – giving everyday customers access to products that can give them a brighter financial future.

#SunLife new customer satisfaction survey, rolling 6 monthly performance figures, surveys Mar – Aug 2014 for policies taken out between Dec 2013 – Mar 2014.

##Most popular whole of life guaranteed acceptance plan bought directly. ABI statistics up to 31st December 2014.