The Exeter life insurance review

In this review of The Exeter life insurance, we discuss in detail their two life insurance products:

  • Managed Life
  • Real Life

Both these policy options are available through us here at Reassured.

The Exeter, life insurance logo

Their policies have been created specifically for those with certain chronic or serious pre-existing conditions, who find it difficult to secure standard cover.

This type of applicant is known by insurers as an impaired life insurance or impaired risk applicant.

Reassured have a dedicated impaired team who work with The Exeter; helping 45% of customers secure cover, having previously been declined.

Who are The Exeter?

The Exeter Friendly Society Limited (EFS Ltd) was established in 2008 after the merge of two friendly societies, the Exeter Friendly Society and Pioneer Friendly Society.

Since the 1880’s these societies have provided private medical insurance and income protection cover.

They have now added a unique form of life insurance to their portfolio; cover specifically designed for impaired applicants.

With no shareholders to pay, they're able to offer a high standard of service, low premiums and consistent pay out rates.

As a mutual friendly society, The Exeter is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

The Exeter also benefits from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so your money is further protected.

The Exeter hold four core values:

  1. Respect
  2. Clarity
  3. Excellence
  4. Speed

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of cover you require.


£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.


According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.


The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.


You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.


According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.


If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

£ -

Your total cover estimate

£ 0

Let us find your best quote.

Managed Life insurance

Many people who are overweight can still acquire affordable life insurance under standard terms, however, if your BMI is over 45 then you're likely to be declined.

Approximately 26% of UK adults are considered obese; that's having a BMI of over 30[1].

A Managed Life policy has been specially designed by The Exeter for people with a BMI of up to 48, and/or have type 2 diabetes.

It pays out a lump sum when the policyholder passes away or is diagnosed with a terminal illness, (with a life expectancy of fewer than 12 months) during the policy term.

Managed Life can be chosen with either a level or decreasing term.

Decreasing term

A decreasing term life insurance offers a sum assured that decreases over time (until the policy ends), usually in line with the remaining balance of a repayment mortgage.

This type of cover is usually the most affordable, as the risk to the insurer decreases over time.

Level term

A level term life insurance offers a sum assured that stays fixed throughout the policy term and is commonly used to cover an interest-only mortgage.

Key features of a Managed Life policy:

  • Available to residents in the UK, aged 18 - 80
  • Cover from 5 to 50 years
  • Policy must end before policyholder reaches 90
  • Cover from £20,000 to £3,000,000
  • Minimum monthly premium of £15
  • Terminal illness cover included as standard
  • Maximum BMI of 48

One of the key benefits of Managed Life is that during the period you're waiting for confirmation of your application, you’ll be covered free of charge by two temporary forms of cover.

Accidental death benefit

  • A lump sum of either the sum assured or £250,000, paid out for accident death

Mortgage free cover benefit

  • For policies taken out to cover the mortgage
  • Will pay out the approved mortgage amount or £500,000

It's important to note that applicants over the age of 55 won't be eligible for this cover.

There are also certain circumstances in which the cover won't be valid. For example, if the claim is caused by self-inflicted means, such as suicide.

How does Managed Life work?

A Managed Life policy provides an incentive for policyholders who wish to lose weight and improve their health.

If you're overweight it’s possible to reduce your monthly life insurance premiums by achieving a weight loss goal set by the insurer.

If you've type 2 diabetes it’s possible to reduce your premiums by reducing your blood sugar levels (HbA1c) to below a positive target again set by the insurer.

Your health would be assessed on each anniversary of the policy. If you're able to stay below the target weight or HbA1c level, your premiums will continue to reduce each year.

However, this also means monthly premiums are able to rise and fall depending on whether you’re able to meet your goals.

Increasing weight or HbA1c level can mean increased premiums, especially if you go above a specified negative target.

Consequently, premiums will remain at the increased rate until you have reached a positive target weight or HbA1c level again.

If maintaining a weight or HbA1c level between the positive and negative target, you’d continue to pay the cost of the premium as set by the insurer at the start of the policy.

Monthly premiums can only reduce by 35% throughout the term of the policy.

It seems a lot to take on board, but it's actually quite a simple model created by The Exeter for people who want greater control over the cost of their life insurance.

Particularly for their customers who have been stung by expensive fixed premiums with other insurers due to their poor health.

Managed Life cost

As with other policies, the cost of a Managed Life policy will be affected by your smoking status, medical history, term length and sum assured.

But mostly, it'll depend on the individual circumstances of your medical condition(s) and/or your weight.

The Exeter will need to know specific details of your condition, for example how long since diagnosis, current symptoms and any treatment received.

They will take into account your BMI and/or your most recent HbA1c level in correlation to your age.

For example, if you're 50 and have a BMI of 42, then you're likely to pay a 100% loading on top of the standard premium.

Anyone at any age with a BMI of between 18 - 30 is considered a healthy weight and would expect to pay a standard premium.

The Exeter offers policyholders the opportunity to reduce their premiums over time (up to 35%) by improving their health and reaching specific health goals.

It's expected that you’ll pay elevated premiums for an impaired policy, however, you may not fall into the impaired category for every insurer.

Different insurers employ a different underwriting process and this, therefore, results in varying quotes for the same cover.

Contact Reassured today and one of our knowledgeable advisors can help you understand your available options.

Real Life Insurance

The Real Life policy has been designed for people who have struggled to achieve affordable cover, or have been declined in the past, due to having a health condition.

Medical conditions covered include:

Real Life pays a lump sum when the policyholder passes away or is diagnosed with a terminal illness (with a life expectancy of less than 12 months).

The cover is similar to Managed Life, however, you're not able to have any influence on the cost of your premiums.

The policy is also available as either level or decreasing term.

Real Life also includes accidental death benefit free of charge, but not mortgage-free cover benefit.

Key features of a Real Life policy:

  • Available to residents in the UK, aged 18 - 80
  • Cover from 5 to 50 years
  • Policy must end before policyholder reaches 90
  • Cover from £20,000 to £3,000,000
  • Minimum monthly premium of £15
  • Terminal illness cover included as standard
  • Not available as a joint policy
  • Maximum BMI of 55

Real Life cost

As with Managed Life, the cost of a Real Life policy will be affected by your smoking status, medical history, term length and sum assured.

The cost will also depend on the individual circumstances of your medical condition(s) and/or your weight.

The insurer will request specific details in regards to your medical condition(s) such as how long since diagnosis, current symptoms and treatment received.

You'll not be able to manage your premiums with a Real Life policy; the premium will remain fixed throughout the term.

Joint life insurance

Joint life insurance is when two people take out one life insurance policy to cover both lives simultaneously.

The policy is valid until the term ends or when the first policyholder passes away.

Due to the nature of their products, The Exeter don't offer either Managed Life or Real Life as a joint policy.

Alternatively, they offer a discount when two Managed Life policies are taken out with them at the same time using the same direct debit.

The Exeter life insurance benefits

The Exeter has partnered with Square Health to create their member benefits service, HealthWise.

Members (or policyholders) can access the service by downloading the HealthWise app free of charge.

HealthWise services can be used even without ever making a claim on your policy.

If you have a life insurance policy with The Exeter, you and your family would be eligible for the following benefits (separate to your policy):

  • GP on-demand and prescription service - Receive up to 4 phone or video consultations per year from a UK based GP
  • Second medical opinion service - Receive up to 2 consultations per year for a second medical opinion from a different GP
  • Lifestyle coaching - Receive up to 6 consultations per year for lifestyle coaching that targets areas of your life you wish to improve
  • Nutritional advice - Receive up to 6 consultations per year with a nutritionist who can help you with diet and overall health

Terminal illness cover

Like most other insurers, The Exeter includes terminal illness cover as standard with both Real Life and Managed Life policies.

Terminal illness cover allows you to make an early claim on your policy if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and are predicted to pass away within 12 months.

Once the funds from the policy have been paid out for the claim, the policy will come to an end, and you will not be covered for life.

Though this early pay out will allow you to live comfortably for your last few months, for example, to pay for a carer or to make adaptations to your home if needed.

Over 50s plan, (no medical exam)

The Exeter doesn't offer over 50s insurance, however, this may be a good option for applicants over 50 who have a poor medical history.

An over 50s plan can be secured without disclosing any medical information; guaranteeing acceptance for UK residents aged 50-85.

Reassured can compare over 50s plans from a variety of leading insurers, just contact us today to get started.

Writing your policy in trust

The Exeter offer all life insurance applicants the option to write their policy in trust.

This means placing someone you trust (a trustee) in charge of your policy after you pass away.

The trustee would manage the pay out and ensure the funds are distributed as per your wishes.

The benefits of writing life insurance in trust include:

  1. Avoid (or minimise) 40% inheritance tax (IHT)
  2. Avoid the probate process
  3. More control of your policy

At Reassured we're able to offer a free trust service on the majority of the policies we arrange.

We can guide you through the trust application process, explaining any complex life insurance jargon and answering any of your questions.

The Exeter income protection

The Exeter offers award-winning income protection and boasts to have paid out an average of 95% of their claims in the last 10 years[2].

Income protection is a financial safety net if you become ill or injured and are unable to work.

The Exeter offers two different types of protection:

  • Pure Protection Plus for those in high-risk jobs
  • Income One Plus for those in low-risk jobs

If you take out income protection with The Exeter you would also have access to the HealthWise online service and be entitled to a number of benefits.

The Exeter health insurance

Health insurance, also known as private medical insurance, provides quick access to private healthcare in the UK for the cost of a monthly premium.

Award-winning health insurance with the Exeter is called Health Plus and is available to UK customers only.

Like many health insurance policies, Health Plus provides cover only for short-term conditions that are likely to respond to treatment.

The Exeter offer some flexibility to their health insurance, in which you can tailor a policy slightly to suit your personal needs.

Health insurance policyholders will also have access to the HealthWise online service and will be entitled to a number of benefits including physiotherapy.

Exeter life insurance claims

To make a claim on an Exeter life insurance policy you'll need to provide them with the death certificate or an official diagnosis of a terminal illness.

Also, ensure you have the relevant information, such as the policy number, the date of death or diagnosis and details of the policyholder.

To begin a claim you can contact The Exeter in the following ways:

  • By telephone: 0300 123 3201 (Monday - Friday)
  • By email:
  • Online: Claim notification form
  • By letter: The Exeter, Lakeside House, Emperor Way, Exeter, EX1 3FD

Exeter Life insurance summary

It's clear that The Exeter offer simple life insurance options and their underwriting process seems pretty straight-forward.

That also goes for their member benefits package of which members can access via a convenient online portal, HealthWise.

Most importantly, The Exeter provides many people with a second chance to protect their loved ones financially.

As an individual, it’s not possible to apply for life insurance through The Exeter directly.

However, you can contact your financial or mortgage advisor to help you with the process.

Alternatively, to compare multiple life quotes from The Exeter and a variety of other leading insurers, you can use a broker such as Reassured.

Compare The Exeter life insurance quotes

At Reassured, we have helped 45% of customers secure life insurance, having previously been declined cover elsewhere.

We have a dedicated impaired team who understand all the different underwriting processes and criteria insurers employ, including those of The Exeter.

If you think you may be classed as impaired, then it's even more important to compare quotes from a variety of insurers.

At Reassured we'll compare policies on your behalf, finding the best possible quote; saving you time and money.

Our award-winning, FCA registered broker service is fee-free; why not compare quotes completely free of charge?

Contact us today to get started on your life insurance journey.




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