What to expect when applying for life insurance?

When applying for life insurance you can expect to answer questions about the following:

  • Personal circumstances (such as your age, medical history, smoking status)
  • Policy factors (such as policy type, length of cover and level of cover)

This allows insurers to calculate the level of risk you pose and, therefore, the premium price and terms you’ll be offered.

Reassured can help walk you through this process.

Whether you complete your application online, or through one of our agents, our friendly team are on hand to help you through your application.

Simply get in touch for your fee-free, personalised and no-obligation quotes.

Eligibility for life insurance

There are a few things to bear in mind when applying for life insurance:

  1. You must be at least 18 to obtain a life insurance policy. The maximum age for life insurance policies can vary. However, you can secure cover up to age 85 with our over 50’s life insurance
  2. You must also be a UK resident and live either in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar
  3. Those with poor medical health or certain medical conditions may not be eligible for life insurance. However, for mild conditions, it’s more likely that your premiums will be higher than average to compensate for this
  4. Alcohol and drug addiction can leave you unable to obtain life insurance

What is life insurance and how does life insurance work?

Life insurance is a product designed to pay out a sum of money to your loved ones if you pass away.

In return for paying a fixed amount every month, known as a premium, you’ll be covered for an agreed amount of time.

If you pass away during this period, your family or chosen beneficiaries will be able to make a claim for the sum assured (the amount of money you’re insured for).

There are a range of life insurance products, which can make the process of applying for life insurance seem daunting.

How much life insurance is needed will also depend on your personal circumstances and situation.

At Reassured, we can cut through all the technical jargon to make things easier to understand. We can also provide fee-free, no-obligation quotes for your personal circumstances. Simply get in touch.

Questions asked when applying for life insurance

You’ll be asked a series of questions during the life insurance application process.

This will help insurers assess the level of risk you pose to help calculate the price you pay for your cover.

The questions asked on a life insurance application will be about:

  • Your age - On average, the younger you are, the cheaper your premiums will be
  • Smoking status - Smokers pay more than non-smokers and this price can become substantially more as you get older. If you vape, use a nicotine substitute, or have smoked in the last 12 months, you’ll still be classified as a smoker
  • Occupation - If your occupation is hazardous or has an element of risk to your health and wellbeing, then your premiums will reflect this
  • Your hobbies - Insurers want to know if you have any dangerous hobbies. Any which could impact your health and wellbeing will require a higher life insurance premium
  • Cover length and amount - The longer your cover and the higher your sum assured, the more you’ll pay

You’ll also be asked for medical information to determine the state of your current health and wellbeing.

Information required about your health includes:

  • Medical history - This includes any medical conditions you have, any prescription medication you take or any surgeries you’ve had
  • Family medical history - This applies to your immediate family and helps insurers determine the risk of cancers, strokes or any other illnesses which can be hereditary, or you have a genetic predisposition to
  • Height and weight - To check the health of your body. If you’re overweight or your BMI is not in a healthy range, your premiums will be more expensive
  • Lifestyle habits - This can range from recreational alcohol and drug use, to exercise habits, to if you travel frequently to dangerous places (such as those with outbreaks of disease)

While it’s rare, if high-risk factors are flagged while providing medical information to an insurer, they have the right to request a medical exam.

Medical exams are arranged and paid for by the insurer. Typically, you’ll undergo a series of tests such as blood pressure checks, taking a blood sample and sometimes a urine sample.

Alternatively, insurers may request a medical report from your GP (although this can only happen with your permission).

The exception to this is an over 50s plan, where you’ll simply need to provide details on your age, your chosen level of cover, and (sometimes) your smoking status.

Failure to provide the correct information, or withholding details, can mean your policy is classified as invalid when you come to make a claim.

This is known as 'non-disclosure' and is a type of insurance fraud. Providers have the right to refuse a pay out if non-disclosure is discovered.

Our friendly team can help you complete your application to ensure you don’t inadvertently miss any relevant information.

Why do I need life insurance?

The reasons you’ll need life insurance will be dependent on your personal situation.

No two people will get life insurance for the exact same reason. However, there are often common scenarios and milestones which trigger the need to take out cover.

A life insurance pay out could help to cover:


Mortgage - Your home is, on average, one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. Those with families or with large instalment loans may wish to consider life insurance to help loved ones keep up with payments if you pass away. Otherwise, an unpaid mortgage could result in your family losing their home. A life insurance pay out could also help to cover ongoing rent.


Essential bills - Similarly, your utilities, council tax and family’s day-to-day expenses (like food and travel) would need to be covered if you were to pass away. If you’re the main or sole breadwinner for your household, life insurance can help to prevent your family falling into debt after your passing.

Couples Protection

To help your partner - Life insurance could help your partner by providing a replacement income, a fund for retirement, or covering the mortgage and bills.

Family Protection

A new child - Whether it’s your first born or one of several, life insurance can help ensure your children have the necessities required to succeed in life if you pass away. This could be anything, from a roof over their head, to food, to their future education costs.


Funeral costs - Life insurance can help to cover your funeral costs, alleviating your loved ones of this large expense.


An inheritance/charitable donation - You can either leave a chosen amount of money to your loved ones or donate it to an important charitable cause.

By determining why you need life insurance, you can begin to decide upon a rough estimation of the length and amount required.

You’ll also have to consider whether it’s worth paying for a longer policy to guarantee cover or whether the premiums you’ll pay will be more than the sum assured.

The easiest way, if you’re unsure, is to talk to a life insurance broker like Reassured. Our friendly team will be able to personalise quotes for your situation and provide information to help you work out which policy is best for you.

How much life insurance do you need?

Work out how much life insurance you may need based on your current financial commitments and what you want your policy to cover. Simply fill in the fields which apply to you for an instant calculation.


£137,934 is the estimated mortgage debt per household in the UK.

The purchase of a home is likely to be the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lifetime. Your life insurance should cover your remaining mortgage balance to allow your loved ones to stay in the family home should anything happen to you.

Source: Moneynerd.co.uk


The average monthly household budget in the UK is £2,548 (that’s £30,576 per year), which is spent on transport, food & drink, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc), clothing, council tax and leisure activities.

With energy prices hitting a record high and the cost of living rising sharply in the UK, you may wish to factor in utility bills and family living expenses into your cover.

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk


The average personal debt of UK adults has risen to £34,566 (not including mortgage debt), with credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts being the most common forms of debt.

Factoring in any debts into your life insurance cover means that, if they need to be paid back from your estate after your passing, your loved ones won’t miss out financially.

Source: Money.co.uk


According to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,953 (with the overall cost of dying at £9,200).

Funeral costs have increased by 116% since 2004 and are a significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

Source: SunLife.co.uk


When factoring in cover for your children, you may wish to calculate the amount based on how long it is until they reach financial independence.

This could include childcare (£7,000 per year for part-time care), school expenses (£1,519 per school year for uniforms, lunches, stationary etc), as well as an additional sum for further education (this could be a contribution of up to £5,000 per year).

Sources: Daynurseries.co.uk, Primarytimes.co.uk & Savethestudent.org


2 in 5 adults say they are relying on an inheritance to fund their retirement.

Factoring in an inheritance to your sum assured could allow loved ones to live a more financially comfortable life. Alternatively, you could leave a cash gift to a charity of your choosing.

Source: Moneyage.co.uk

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own savings or are part of the 30% of UK residents who already have a life insurance policy in place, this can provide financial protection for loved ones.

By entering your current cover, savings or death in service amount you can reduce the sum assured you require.

Source: Scottishbusinessnews.net

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Applying for a life insurance policy

When applying for a life insurance policy, there are four policies to choose from:

Applying for level term life insurance
  • Level term life insurance can cover you up to a maximum of 40 years
  • The sum assured (pay out amount) is fixed
  • Sum assured can be up to £1,000,000
  • Premiums (monthly payments) are fixed
  • Critical illness cover can be added for an additional cost
  • Terminal illness cover is included on all term policies through Reassured
  • Offered through Reassured from as little as 20p-a-day

Level term life insurance can help to cover an interest only mortgage, or other large expenses, due to a fixed sum assured.

This means that if you pass away during the term, the remaining mortgage payments can be covered.

Level term life insurance can expire, which means that if you were to pass away after the policy ends, your loved ones won’t be able to make a claim.

Applying for decreasing term life insurance
  • Decreasing term life insurance can cover you up to a maximum of 40 years
  • The sum assured decreases over time
  • Sum assured can be up to £1,000,000
  • Premiums are fixed
  • Critical illness cover can be added for an additional cost
  • Terminal illness cover is included on all term policies through Reassured
  • Offered through Reassured from as little as 20p-a-day ¥

Decreasing term life insurance can help to cover a repayment mortgage, due to the decreasing sum assured.

As your risk to the insurer reduces, premiums can be lower than with level term life insurance.

As the sum assured decreases, it could mean that those taking this type of policy may end up leaving their loved ones less than they wanted to.

Applying for whole of life insurance
  • Cover is guaranteed for the rest of your life
  • The sum assured is fixed
  • Sum assured can be up to £1,000,000
  • Premiums are fixed
  • Critical illness cover can’t be added
  • Terminal illness cover isn’t included
  • Offered through Reassured from 27p-a-day ±

Whole of life insurance is a good option to pick for those who want to guarantee a pay out to their loved ones when they pass away.

Whole of life insurance can help to cover funeral costs or an inheritance but can be used in other scenarios due to the large pay out potential.

Whole of life insurance is well suited to those who are later in life but still in good health. Taking this policy out at a young age means you could pay more into the policy then you receive.

Applying for over 50 life insurance
  • Cover is guaranteed for the rest of your life
  • The sum assured is fixed
  • Sum assured can be up to £20,000
  • Premiums are fixed
  • Critical illness cover can’t be added
  • Terminal illness cover is available with certain insurers
  • Offered through Reassured from 20p-a-day +

Over 50 life insurance can be a great option for UK residents between 50 - 85 years old. Those who have poor health would benefit from this type of policy as no medical information is required.

Over 50 life insurance only assures up to £20,000, compared to other products, due to the additional risk to the insurer.

As a result, those who require a larger sum assured may want to consider other products if they are eligible. However, this may not be an option for those who are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions.

It is also worth noting about critical illness cover and terminal illness cover, which provide additional levels of cover.

Critical illness cover - Can be added to term-based life insurance for an additional cost.

This cover is designed to pay a lump sum to those diagnosed with a life changing illness which isn’t terminal. Typically, 30 common conditions are covered within critical illness cover. However, this can be more or less comprehensive depending on the provider.

You may face some exclusions based on your, medical history if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Providing you survive 14 days from diagnosis, you’ll receive a pay-out which can be used to help pay for additional care costs, required adaptions to your home or anything else that may make your life easier.

Terminal illness cover - This is a policy feature which is included with all term life insurances at Reassured, as standard.

This cover allows you to make an early claim on your life insurance, providing you have been diagnosed with an illness which leaves you with 12 or less months to live. Once a successful claim is made, the policy is then terminated.

This pay out can be used to help cover end-of-life care costs, or in any way the policy holder chooses.

Both critical illness cover, and terminal illness cover can't be bought as standalone policies at Reassured.

However, life insurance with critical illness cover can be arranged from just £10 a month through Reassured º .

Applying for life insurance online

It’s now possible to buy life insurance online, meaning you can complete an application at your own pace.

It’s the same process as purchasing life insurance over the phone. The only difference is you’ll input the information yourself, instead of one of our team members.

However, not everyone will be eligible to buy life insurance online and you don’t have to if you would prefer to talk to a person.

However, if you know exactly what policy you want, you can fill in your application via our buy life insurance online page.

If you haven’t found the right policy yet, contact Reassured for a fee-free life insurance quote comparison.

How much is life insurance?

There’s no universal answer for ‘how much is life insurance per month?

Instead, the price you pay is dependent on your personal circumstances and the terms of your chosen policy.

When applying for life insurance, you’ll find that premiums tend to be cheaper for young adults who are in good health.

The table below depicts examples of the difference in price between life insurance policies. These quotes are based on non-smokers, in good health, for £100,000 of cover:

AgeLevel term (30-year term)Decreasing term (30-year term)

Whole of life insurance


Whole of life insurance is significantly more expensive. However, this is due to cover lasting for life and having a guaranteed pay out when the policy holder passes away.

Over 50’s life insurance is only available to those aged 50 - 85. The table below shows quotes for a non-smoker for £10,000 of cover.

As the level of cover you can secure with an over 50’s plan is dependent on your age, not all ages are able to secure the max sum assured:


Monthly premiumSum assured

Some over 50 life insurance providers also offer a maximum premium, meaning once you reach a certain age the same premium will be charged regardless of your level of cover. In this instance, the maximum premium is £75 per month.

Premiums are higher for over 50’s life insurance for a 50 year old compared to term-based policies, despite over 50’s life insurance having a lower sum assured. This is due to the lack of medical information required on an over 50’s life insurance policy.

Therefore, it’s always beneficial to weigh up all your options to find the best policy at the right price.

Why not use our award-winning broker service to compare multiple policies to find the one with the most favourable terms that’s at a price within your budget?

For more information on the cost of cover, see our dedicated average cost of life insurance UK article »

How to reduce the price you pay for your cover

There are certain steps you can take to ensure you secure the most affordable premium.

Your age will only increase, and occupation is a factor unlikely to be changed just for cheaper life insurance premiums. However, some circumstances can be changed.

For example, one of the best ways to reduce the price of your life insurance premiums is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Eating healthily can reduce your weight and BMI, leaving you with improved options for cover and cheaper premiums.

Quitting smoking for longer than 12 months and keeping in the recommended weekly amount for alcohol units can positively impact premium prices.

Improved health can also reverse certain medical conditions like Type 2 Diabetes to help lower your premiums. While this won’t work for a lot of health conditions, it can prevent additional complications.

How to claim life insurance?

Upon your passing, your loved ones can make a claim on your life insurance policy.

They’ll need to contact your provider in order to start the claims process, so it’s important they know who your policy is with.

The provider will send out claims forms which will need to be completed and sent back. Additional information, such as medical reports and/or a coroner’s report, may be required.

In the event of a successful claim, the funds from the life insurance policy will be paid out to a UK bank account.

There’s no specific time limit for a claim to be made on a life insurance policy.

If you need to make a terminal illness or critical illness claim, you’ll need to contact your insurer who’ll be able to walk you through the process. It’s likely that they’ll require documentation from a medical professional as proof.

Life insurance FAQ’s

What is the difference between life insurance and life assurance?

Life assurance refers to a policy where the pay out is guaranteed (or assured), an example of this is whole of life insurance. Whereas life insurance will only pay out if the policyholder passes away within the specified term of the policy (for example, term life insurance).

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance can refer to level term or decreasing term life insurance. These are policies which last for a fixed amount of time, or a term.

Do you need life insurance when buying a house?

No, it isn’t a legal requirement to buy life insurance when buying a house. However, some mortgage lenders will only release funds if they can have proof there’s life insurance in place. Otherwise, if you have a family, it’s worth considering if they could afford the mortgage repayments without your income.

How many life insurance policies can I have?

You can take out more than one life insurance policy if required. However, you would be required to pay separate premiums on each life insurance policy.

What is the best time to apply for life insurance?

There isn’t a best time when to get life insurance. However, life insurance tends to be cheaper the younger you are. Many people choose to get life insurance after reaching certain life milestones, including marriage, buying their first home, and/or having their first child.

What happens if you outlive your term life insurance?

If you outlive your term life insurance, then you’ll no longer be covered if you pass away and you’ll need to secure a new policy.

When do life insurance policies pay out?

When you pass away, your loved ones will be eligible to make a claim on your policy. On receipt of a successful claim, insurers will pay out the funds.

If you have critical illness cover, the policy will pay out after a diagnosis of an illness which is listed within your policy and which meets the insurers definition.

Similarly, with terminal illness cover, the policy will pay out after the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness which leaves you with less than 12 months to live.

How long does life insurance take to pay out?

The process can take up to 30 days but is also dependent on the insurer and if the policy is contested.

Critical illness and terminal illness claims can be paid out quicker, often paying out within 14 days from proof of a medical diagnosis.

Does applying for life insurance affect credit score?

Life insurance won’t impact your credit score. As you’re not borrowing any money from the insurer, applying, getting life insurance, or missing a payment will not affect your credit.

Applying for life insurance while pregnant?

You can apply for life insurance during any stage of your pregnancy.

Not only is it likely that pregnancy won’t affect your premiums, it may also be beneficial if it has meant you have quit smoking or drinking alcohol. You’ll also be asked your pre-pregnancy weight to circumvent weight and BMI impacting your premiums.

Apply for life insurance through Reassured

Applying for life insurance can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be.

Reassured can secure quotes and help you find a policy which meets your needs and is within your budget.

Reassured are FCA-regulated, and our award-winning team can compare quotes on a fee-free, no obligation basis.

We welcome any questions you may have and will support you through the whole application process.

Why not get in touch as life insurance through Reassured starts from just 20p-a-day?

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