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Whole of Life Insurance

With whole of life insurance, you have guaranteed cover, giving you peace of mind that your loved ones will be protected if the worst should happen. Unlike some other types of life insurance, whole life insurance does not expire with time, so it provides peace of mind for you and security for your dependents.

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a form of insurance policy that does not expire but continues to provide cover throughout your whole life and pays out a sum of money on your death.The sum your loved ones will receive when you pass on is guaranteed and will not decrease or expire over time.

What’s the difference between whole life insurance and term life insurance?

  • With term life insurance, you are covered for a specific period – for example, over the lifetime of a mortgage – and the policy only pays out if you should die during the period of cover. With a whole life policy, you are covered for as long as you continue to pay the premiums.
  • Because it is more valuable, whole life insurance is usually more expensive than a term life insurance policy. Premiums may be fixed or may vary throughout the life of the policy: this will depend on the specifics of the individual quote.
  • The younger you are when you take out the policy the more affordable it is likely to be. Premiums will be considerably higher for older customers, people requiring high levels of cover and those with health problems.

Do you have to make payments for the rest of your life?

Again, the answer depends on the individual quote: for some policies, you will have to continue making payments for the rest of your life while others may require you to make payments over a certain period of time, for example up to age 60. The premiums for this second type of policy are more costly.

Premiums are usually fixed over the period of the policy so that your payments remain the same but insurers sometimes offer reviewable plans; in this case, the insurer will review the premiums after a set period and offer a renewed quote.

The cost of whole life insurance varies enormously from quote to quote, depending on how much cover you require and a host of other factors that are taken into consideration by the insurers.

If you are over the age of 18 and be a UK citizen, this type of cover may well be appropriate. There are no health requirements for applicants except that they must not have been diagnosed with a terminal illness; however, chronic health conditions may make the premiums more expensive. The younger you are when you apply, the cheaper the premiums are likely to be.

The final decision depends on your individual circumstances: if you have dependents who may not be financially independent after your death, the guaranteed death benefit with this type of insurance will help to make their future more secure.

How long does life insurance last?

The answer isn’t as obvious as it seems, as not all life insurance runs until the death of the policy holder. Life insurance can broadly be separated into two types: whole life insurance and term life insurance. Whole life insurance provides a lifelong policy, as long as the premiums – monthly payments – continue to be paid, resulting in a payout on the death of the policy holder. Term insurance describes policies which run for a fixed length of time. Examples of this kind of insurance include policies linked to a mortgage, those covering a parent until their children are no longer dependent on them, and insurance lasting until retirement when there is no further need to cover the loss of an income.

There are some restrictions on term life insurance:

  • Policy holders must be within a given age range, varying between providers. For example, most companies cover adults under the age of 70 to 80 years old, so would be unlikely to sell a 20-year policy to anyone older than 50 to 60.
  • You will not be sold a policy if you already suffer from a terminal illness.
  • Only permanent residents of the UK and British citizens may take out UK policies.
  • Policies tend to be sold in lengths of years that are multiples of five, up to as long as 30 years.

Term life insurance is cheaper than whole life insurance, making it an economic option for anyone not envisioning needing to provide for dependents beyond a certain point.

Short term life insurance is set up to last for 12 months or less. This type of cover can be useful for a variety of situations:

  • To provide cover while arranging a more complicated whole life or longer term policy.
  • Before travelling, particularly if the region or activity is high risk enough to be excluded from your existing policy.
  • Upon taking out a loan, to ensure the outstanding repayments would be covered if you were to die before completion.

Short term policies can run for as little as a day and are relatively inexpensive and simple to set up.


Within each kind of life insurance, there is a huge variation in the finer details, which is why it’s crucial to compare life insurance policies. Provision can be made for many circumstances, such as frequent international travel, suffering from diabetes, sharing cover with a partner or being above a certain age, and much more. Death benefits vary widely and are linked to the cost of premiums; they can also be paid as a lump sum or in instalments to the next of kin or any nominated benefactor.

Life insurance serves a purpose and the exact purpose depends on your needs. By giving your insurance provider a complete picture of what coverage you want and for whom, they will be able to tailor the ideal package for your circumstances. Knowing that your death is provided for lets you get on with living your life.

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Compare Life Insurance Quotes

UKLifeCover helps you to find life cover appropriate for your circumstances at a price you’re happy with. Our experts can obtain quotes from leading UK life insurance companies. Our quotes are free of charge and you are under no obligation to accept any of our quotes. 

Our quotes are free of charge and you are under no obligation to accept any of our quotes.

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