Life Insurance FAQs
Below are a list of frequently asked questions relating to our Life Insurance Policies. You should also read the PDF file: Life Insurance Policy Summary PDF size: 131KB and PDF file: Policy Booklet PDF PDF size: 2.2MB before you apply.
What is life insurance and how does it work?
Life insurance helps to protect your loved ones financially in the event of your death. But what is life insurance in practice? Your policy is designed to pay out a cash sum if you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness while covered by the policy, provided your life expectancy is less than 12 months. It could be used to help pay the mortgage or help protect the family's lifestyle and everyday living expenses. Life insurance is sometimes referred to as life assurance or level term assurance.
You choose the amount of cover you need and how long you need it for. You can pay your premiums monthly or annually and can also choose between a joint or a single policy.
If you’re wondering, ‘do I need life insurance?’ this will depend on your individual circumstances. For example, life insurance can provide peace of mind for people with children, partners, or spouses that depend on them financially, as well as people with a mortgage on the family house.
Life insurance policies have no cash value unless a valid claim is made. Your premiums are guaranteed to stay the same unless you alter your policy.
Can I cancel my policy if I no longer need it?
Yes, you can cancel your life insurance policy at any time. After applying for cover you'll receive a 30 day cancellation notice which you must send back if you decide not to continue with the policy. If you cancel within this 30 day period, we will return any premiums paid. But if you cancel after this period you won't get anything back.
There are some circumstances where we may have to cancel your policy, for example if you provide inaccurate information either deliberately, recklessly or carelessly or you don't pay your premiums when due.
To talk to us about cancelling a policy, please call us on:
8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
We may record and monitor calls. Call charges will vary.
Please remember that life cover policies are not savings or investment products and have no cash value unless a valid claim is made.
Am I eligible for the free gift with life insurance if I apply online?
You may be eligible for life insurance with a free gift if you take out a Legal & General Life Insurance Plan online, by post or via the telephone. In fact, you’ll receive an £80 gift card, subject to terms and conditions.
You will only be eligible for your gift card 6 months after the start of your policy, so long as you haven’t cancelled your policy and you’ve made all your payments. You will receive a letter or email with details of how to redeem your gift card. You should allow 30 days from your policy start date before you receive details from us. Legal & General reserves the right to withdraw the offer at a time of our choosing; read our terms and conditions for more information.
Note that our offer is only available if you apply directly to Legal & General. If you apply through a Financial Adviser, or any website other than Legal & General’s, such as a comparison site, you will not be eligible for life insurance with a gift. Neither will any cash alternative be offered, and if you have previously held and cancelled a Legal & General Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance policy within the last 18 months, you will not be able to take advantage of the gift card.
How does life insurance cost?
Life insurance costs vary according to how much cover you need, your age, and other factors such as your health history. With Legal & General, our premiums start from £6 per month, but to get a more accurate idea of how much your cover could cost you'll need to get a quote online.
If you have a history of smoking, this can also increase your life insurance costs as the risk that you’ll need a payout is higher. Lifestyle factors such as dangerous jobs and hazardous hobbies are also taken in to consideration.
If you decide to add Critical Illness Cover when you apply, this will be added at an extra cost.
Remember that your premiums are guaranteed and won’t change unless you make changes to your policy, which means your life insurance costs remain manageable.
How much Life Insurance do I need?
Every family has a different set-up, so consider your personal circumstances. If you’re a homeowner, you may want to take out life insurance to cover the length of a mortgage; for example, 25 years. If you’re a parent, could you afford your son or daughter’s childcare, educational costs and daily living expenses without a payout?
You may want to think about your annual salary multiplied by the number of years you wish to cover your dependants. Consider things like the cover your family needs to maintain lifestyle and everyday living expenses.
If you'd like more help, you might find our life insurance calculator useful. Alternatively, you could speak to your financial adviser if you have one, or get a life cover quote today.
Can I put my life insurance policy in Trust?
Yes, your Life Insurance policy can be placed in trust. Writing life insurance in trust is one of the best ways to protect your family’s future in the event of your death. Your life insurance policy is a significant asset, and by putting life insurance in trust you can manage the way your beneficiaries receive their inheritance.
Trusts are a straightforward legal arrangement that let you leave assets to friends, relatives or whoever you pick to be your beneficiaries. A trust is managed by one or more trustees – family members, friends, or a legal professional – until the trust pays out to your beneficiaries, which can either happen upon your death, or on a specified date such as when a child turns 18.
One of the main benefits of this approach is that the value of your policy is generally not considered part of your estate.
Use our Online Trust Hub to help you choose the right type of Trust for you. You can even enter your details online so the Trust form is ready to be printed and sent back to us.
What if I need to make a change to my life insurance policy?
You can make changes to your life insurance policy, please call us so we can consider your request.
In terms of changing your life insurance policy, we recognise that sometimes your protection needs change so you can request any of the following changes to the policy:
- extend or reduce the period of cover
- increase or decrease the amount of cover
- remove a life from a joint policy
- change the frequency of your premium between annually and monthly
We also offer 'joint life policy separation'. This allows a joint policy to be split into two new single policies if a couple divorce, dissolve their registered civil partnership or change a joint mortgage into one name or take out a new mortgage in one name. Request must be made within 6 months of the event being finalised and is not available if either of the lives insured has had a valid claim for either carcinoma in situ of the breast or low grade prostate cancer.
The changes could affect the premiums that you pay and we would have to assess any change requested to your life insurance based on your circumstances at the time.
Terms and conditions apply. Please read the Policy Booklet PDF for full details.
What's the difference between Life Insurance vs Over 50s Life Insurance?
If you’re looking to protect your loved ones later in life, you may be torn between getting standard Life Insurance and Over 50s Life Insurance. Let’s take a look at the differences.
Life Insurance is designed to pay out a cash sum if you die during your chosen period of cover, which is a maximum of 50 years, but the policy must end before your 90th birthday. When assessing your Life Insurance application, we'll ask you questions about your medical history, occupation and lifestyle.
Over 50s Life Insurance is designed for people aged 50 to 80 who want a fixed cash sum to give to their loved ones when they die. It's for people who want guaranteed acceptance with a simple application process and who don't want to answer medical or lifestyle questions. Your premiums won’t go up with our Over 50s Life Insurance plan. Please be aware that if you stop paying premiums following the due date, your plan will be cancelled and you won't get any money back. You must be a UK resident to apply for over 50 life insurance or standard life insurance.
There are other important factors that you need to be aware of when deciding on life insurance vs 50s life insurance, so please read all the information available, and contact Legal & General for more information.
What's the difference between Terminal Illness Cover and Critical Illness Cover?
Terminal Illness Cover is included on our policies at no extra cost (minimum term of two years). It could pay out your chosen amount of cover if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of 12 months or less, rather than on death. Our Terminal Illness Cover provides financial support at a time when it could be needed most. Find out more about the difference between terminal and critical illness cover.
Critical Illness Cover is available to add to your Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance at an additional cost. It's designed to pay out your chosen amount of cover if you're diagnosed with or undergo a medical procedure for one of our specified critical illnesses during the length of your policy and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis.
Read more about Terminal Illness Cover
Read more about Critical Illness Cover
Can I add Critical Illness Cover?
Yes, you can add Critical Illness Cover at an additional cost when you take out Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance. We’ll run you through some of the eligibility criteria below.
You will be covered if you are diagnosed with a critical illness or undergo a medical procedure as defined in our 'Critical Illness Definitions', and consequently, survive for 14 days following a diagnosis.
Some of the conditions for which you can claim Critical Illness Cover include various cancers, cardiac arrest and kidney failure. If you have a critical illness it must be verified by a medical specialist; they must be a consultant at a hospital in the UK and we must reasonably consider their specialism to be appropriate to the critical illness.
With a joint life policy, the amount of cover is paid when either of the insured people is diagnosed with an illness or undergoes a medical procedure as per our definitions.
Your Critical Illness Cover will apply from the start of the policy until the day it expires, unless the policy is cancelled by either party – you or us – or the cover amount is paid out. Your cover will stop when the policy comes to an end and no further premiums will be payable.
What does life insurance not cover?
You won’t be covered if you die within the first year of your policy as a result of suicide, death caused by intentional and serious self-injury, or an event where in our reasonable opinion, the insured person took their own life.
We won't pay out if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness which doesn't meet our definition. Terminal Illness cover can't be claimed:
- after your death
- if the length of the policy is less than two years
See the Policy Summary PDF for the full list of exclusions.
Do I legally need life insurance for a mortgage?
There is no legal requirement for you to take out life insurance when you get a mortgage, however it can make sense to have financial protection in place. If you are a homeowner, a mortgage is likely to be the biggest debt you leave behind should the worst happen, so having a policy in place can help give you peace of mind.
Life insurance can help protect the family home by paying out a cash sum if you die during the length of the policy. This could be used by your family to help clear the outstanding mortgage debt. Your loved ones could then continue living in your family home without worrying about the mortgage.
Find out more about the types of life insurance we offer.
Can you get life insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition?
Yes, you can get life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition, depending on how severe your health problem is, and the outcome of your medical assessment.
You’ll need to complete a life insurance application and answer the medical questions you’re asked, which will help us decide your premiums and whether you’re entitled to life insurance. Examples of pre-existing medical conditions which you’ll need to disclose include diabetes, heart conditions and kidney illnesses.
You would also need to declare a pre-existing medical event, such as a heart attack. Read more on how your medical history can affect your life insurance.
How long should I get life insurance for?
You should think carefully about how long you need cover for. Some people decide to get life insurance to cover the length of a mortgage term; say, 25 years, while others think about protecting their children until they reach a certain age.
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision and you should factor in your family’s unique circumstances.
Can I have multiple life insurance policies at the same time?
Yes, there is nothing to stop you having more than one life insurance policy. In fact, you can have as many policies as you want. However, if you find your situation changes in the future its sometimes possible to adapt your existing policy. For example, you may be able to alter your policy – such as switching from joint to single, or changing the premium payments from monthly to annually – without having to provide further medical information. So there is nothing to stop you from taking out more than one life insurance policy, but given our flexible approach, it’s by no means necessary.