Why do we need life insurance?

Life insurance policy lengths can vary. The type of life insurance, your personal circumstances, the amount of cover you require and the provider’s terms and conditions all play a part in determining your term length.

Many people may wonder, why get life insurance? The answer is most people who have a policy will be preparing their loved ones for a future if they’re not around.

It’s important to pick a life insurance policy that meets your needs to ensure your beneficiaries receive a suitable pay out should the worst happen.

You can use Reassured to compare life insurance quotes from leading providers.

Reassured is a FCA-regulated service which offer fee-free, no-obligation quotes that are personalised. Quotes start from just 20p-a-day.

How long should I get life insurance for?

There’s no one size fits all answer when it comes to life insurance. What to consider when buying life insurance is dependent on a person’s unique circumstances.

This means the life insurance you require, and its length, could vary wildly from another applicant’s.

Most people will express their concerns about the future when questioned ‘why buy life insurance?

Circumstances that your loved ones couldn’t control if you were no longer around to provide financially are usually the primary reason for life insurance. Maybe, you're worried about your children’s future without you. Or maybe you want to make sure your partner can pay the remainder of a shared mortgage.

The reasoning behind life insurance is personal to the policyholder. However, most stem from an anxiety about how those left behind will cope financially when you’re gone.

Therefore, a policy should be long enough to protect what you need it to.

If you’re not sure how long your life insurance should last, here are some common commitments to bear in mind:

List icon Mortgage / Rental payments for family

The average outstanding mortgage debt in the UK is £137,934[1].

However, you'll want to ensure your chosen life insurance term can fully cover your mortgage amount and length.

List icon Household costs

Utility bills, council tax and home repairs are all things which need to be taken care of.

It’s worthwhile calculating a realistic yearly amount in household costs and the length of time these will need to be covered for.

List icon Debts

The average total debt per adult in the UK is £32,053[2].

If you've debts which will impact your family, ensure that your term can cover paying these off.

List icon Day-to-day family living costs, including food and transportation

From being able to get to work, to making sure you family can eat 3 meals a day. 

You'll need to make sure the term length covers your family until they can support themselves financially

List icon Childcare and education costs

According to the Child Poverty Action Group, in 2021, the total cost of raising a child to the age of 18 stood at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent[3].

It's worth considering your term is long enough for your children to reach adulthood or until they’re financially stable.

List icon Funeral costs

The average basic funeral cost in the UK is £4,056[4].

List icon To help a partner financially or to retire in later years

This can supplement the lost income they may have benefitted from before you passed away.

By checking your savings and/or retirement fund, you'll be able to work out how close a partner is to retiring and cover that period accordingly.

List icon To leave an inheritance

To help your loved ones financially in an uncertain future without you.

If your children are under 18, you need to ensure they have enough funds to be supported through childhood into early adulthood

List icon To donate to charity

Charitable donations can be made from a life insurance pay out to causes which have a lot of meaning to you in life.

List icon How much in savings / financial cover you have

The average savings in the UK is £76,301 per household[5].

If you’re family can't survive off your savings, ensure your chosen term mitigates the financial period if you pass away.

However, there are other reasons life insurance could be a benefit to you.

Once you have an idea of what future events need to be covered, you can pick the type of life insurance and term length best suited to what you want to protect and then begin comparing quotes.

The minimum age for life insurance is 18, while the maximum age for life insurance will vary between policies.

At Reassured we'll only provide you with quotes for policies where you meet the eligibility criteria.

Different types of life insurance

Many people will ask themselves: what type of life insurance do I need?

There are multiple types of life insurance which all vary in length. Each policy is tailored to meet different needs and what you’d like to protect.

How long does life insurance last term life insurance
  • Can be level or decreasing term and last for a fixed amount of time
  • Has fixed premiums that stay the same throughout the lifetime of the policy
  • Level term life insurance provides a fixed lump sum on a successful claim
  • The sum assured reduces throughout the term of decreasing term cover
  • Once the term of the policy has been reached the policy will expire
  • Level term cover can suit interest-only mortgages whereas decreasing term can be more suitable for repayment mortgages
How long does life insurance last whole of life insurance
  • Features fixed premiums and sum assured
  • Whole of life insurance has no term and instead the cover remains in place for life
  • Pay out guaranteed regardless when you pass away
  • Tend to be more expensive to reflect guaranteed pay outs
  • Possible that more can be paid into the policy than the sum assured, especially if taken early in life
  • More suited to people in later life, who are in good health
How long does life insurance last over 50s life cover
  • Pay outs are guaranteed when you pass away
  • Designed solely for UK residents aged between 50 and 85 years old
  • No medical information required
  • Lower maximum assured sum than other policies
  • Ideal for those later in life with health issues
How long does life insurance last family income benefit
  • Life insurance which provides tax free monthly sums rather than a lump sum
  • A term based policy
  • Once the term has been reached the policy will expire
  • Good choice for those wanting to cover their families day-to-day living costs

It is important to note that all premium payments must be maintained for all policy types in order to keep your life insurance policy valid.

The table below shows the differences between the policies at a glance:

Level termDecreasing termWhole of life insuranceOver 50’s life coverFamily income benefit
Maximum term length40 years40 yearsUntil policy holders’ deathUntil policy holders’ death40 years
Exempt from inheritance tax?No, (but can be written in trust to avoid / minimise 40% inheritance tax)No, (but can be written in trust to avoid / minimise 40% inheritance tax)No, (but can be written in trust to avoid / minimise 40% inheritance tax)No, (but can be written in trust to avoid / minimise 40% inheritance tax)Yes
Medical QuestionsYesYesYesNoYes
Fixed premiums (providing no change to coverage)YesYesYesYesYes
Critical illness coverCan be added for an additional costCan be added for an additional costCan’t be addedCan’t be addedCan be added for an additional cost
Terminal illness coverYesYesAvailable with certain companies (check terms and conditions)Available with certain companies (check terms and conditions)Yes
Max sum assured£1,000,000£1,000,000£1,000,000£20,000Varies depending on provider
Premium priceAffordable cover from 20p-a-dayAffordable cover from 20p-a-day ¥ Affordable cover from 27p-a-day ± Affordable cover from 20p-a-day + Only available through Reassured Advice, contact us for further information

How long does term life insurance last?

Term life insurance through Reassured can last for up to 40 years. This allows you to choose a term length that meets your specific needs.

Many things can influence how long your term should be, such as:

  • Your financial commitments - When taking out both level and decreasing term life insurance you’ll need to consider what financial comments you have and how long they’re likely to last. For example, how long is left of your mortgage term and how long will it be until your children reach financial independence?
  • Your age - Your age is another key factor that should be considered as most providers will require your cover to have ceased by an upper age limit, this means your policy will need to have come to an end by this time. The upper age limit is usually around 80, but this can vary depending on the provider.

Compare term life insurance through Reassured to find the right cover to meet your needs at the best available price.

We can help you to conduct a full level term vs decreasing term quote comparison.

How long does whole of life insurance last?

Whole of life insurance is a form of life assurance, meaning cover lasts for life.

This guarantees a pay out to your loved ones no matter when you pass away.

Why not compare whole of life insurance using our award-winning broker service?

What age should you get life insurance?

In general, there’s no correct age to secure cover and everyone who’s eligible can benefit from having life insurance.

However, taking out life insurance while you’re young and in good health allows you to benefit from the most favourable premiums throughout the entire lifetime of your policy.

Many people decide to take out life insurance once they have reached certain milestones in their life. These include getting married, having children, and getting their first mortgage.

However, even if you've surpassed these, it’s not too late to take out life insurance.

Based upon our award-winning broker service, you can see below an example of the difference in cover between level term, decreasing term and whole of life insurance*:

AgeLevel term (30-year term)Decreasing term (30-year term)Whole of life insurance

*Quotes are based on a non-smoker, in good health, for £100,000 of cover

What age should life insurance end?

Essentially, life insurance should end when the reasons you took out life insurance are no longer an issue.

For example, if you've a 25-year mortgage, you may consider taking out term-based life insurance until it’s paid off. Therefore, you can ensure your loved ones won’t lose their home after your passing.

Alternatively, you may consider taking out a whole of life insurance policy if you’re worried about young children / dependents managing when you’re gone.

For those asking when do you no longer need life insurance? There’s no universal answer for when life insurance should end.

Each policyholder has their own reasons for taking out life insurance. Therefore, the length and age you are when your policy finishes will vary significantly from person to person.

At Reassured we can talk through all your needs to help you find your ideal policy. Simply get in touch.

Who needs life insurance the most?

While everyone who’s eligible can benefit from having life insurance, below are a few groups who may benefit from life insurance the most:

Parents - Any parent or grandparent will feel obliged to prepare for the worst. Life insurance can ensure that your young children or dependents are looked after financially if you were to pass away. It can also be beneficial if you would like to cover further educational expenses or to leave an inheritance for adult children to spend as they wish. Life insurance can shield your children from additional costs which could arise upon your death or pay any outstanding debts owed by your estate.

Spouses who provide most of the income - If you are married or cohabiting with a partner who either earns less or doesn’t work, it’s important to make sure they can cover the day-to-day cost of living if you pass away. This can help cover rent or mortgage payments to hep them remain in the home, or can create a supplemental source of income through the bereavement period, safeguarding their financial security.

Older adults without savings - By having life insurance in your later years, you could cover the expenses necessary for your funeral, saving your family or loved ones from having to pay out of their own pocket. The average cost of a basic funeral in the UK is £4,056, with additional send off and cost of professional fees raising that average to £8,864(4).

Those in high-risk occupations / have high-risk hobbies - While the cost of your life insurance would be higher, due to the risk you pose on the insurer, you would require the cover more than most. It’s recommended that you confirm your occupation or hobby is covered under the terms and conditions of whichever policy you choose.

Supporting ageing parents / relatives - This is a similar scenario to those with children or grandchildren. While most people never assume they will pass before their older relatives, it is important to consider their financial security if they require additional care. If you supplement care home costs, carer costs or other medical bills for a relative’s frail health, you will want to ensure they are covered if you were to pass suddenly.

How much life insurance should I get?

How much life insurance you should take out will be based on your reasons for taking out cover.

For example, if you are taking out a policy to cover your mortgage, you need to ensure that there’s enough coverage for the remaining payments. If you want to cover your funeral costs, make sure there’s enough to cover these rising expenses.

Essentially, it depends on what and who you’re looking to protect.

It can be trickier to determine if you have dependents, as the amount of money that may be required to support them can fluctuate and can be affected by inflation.

If your circumstances change with your dependents or if you reach a new milestone, including having another child or obtaining a mortgage, it might be possible to invoke a special events clause to change your coverage, if your policy includes this and you meet the eligibility criteria. Your premiums can be increased or decreased depending on a new level of coverage.

Not everyone will be eligible for this option and it is not offered by all providers, so if this is something you would like make sure to read the terms and conditions of the policy before purchasing or ask one of our friendly team about this option.

You can enter your financial commitments below to understand the level of coverage you require:

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.

If you’re still unsure of how much coverage is required, it’s worth talking it through with a with a broker to get a better idea of what you could cover. Why not do this by comparing quotes with Reassured?

If you already have life insurance in place, you may wish to review your current policy to ensure it still meets all your needs and compare new quotes to see whether you’re getting the best possible deal.

How much is life insurance?

There are multiple factors considered by insurers which impact the cost of your life insurance premium. These typically include:

  • The type and length of coverage
  • The sum assured
  • Your age
  • Your smoking status
  • Your health (and sometimes, the health of your immediate family)
  • Your weight/BMI
  • Your lifestyle and occasionally your occupation

The price you pay per month will reflect your individual circumstances. This may be higher or lower than the average or the examples we've provided.

Reassured could offer you cover from as little as £5 per month, equating to approximately 20p-a-day.

Life Insurance FAQ’s

How much should you pay for life insurance?

Ideally you should pay the cheapest monthly sum you can for the level of cover you need. Always make sure that your policy is at a price within your budget, as if the policy is unpaid, you will not be covered.

While the average lift insurance cost per month ranges from £13.24 to £34.10[6], prices can be lower or higher depending on the applicant’s circumstances.

What reason would life insurance not pay out?

Life insurance won’t pay out if there’s incorrect information on the application. This is called a non-disclosure and can prevent a pay out from being made.

If any exclusions have been added to a policy (for example a pre-existing illness) and you pass away due to this reason, a pay out won’t be made.

If you stop paying your premiums or your policy term comes to an end you won’t be covered and no pay out will be made, any claims made will also be unsuccessful.

Do life insurance policies expire?

All term-based life insurance policy will expire after the term has elapsed or if the payments are not maintained. Any whole of life insurance or life assurance policy won’t expire providing the payments are maintained.

What term life insurance is best?

Both level and decreasing term life insurances are suited to different needs. One isn’t better than the other, but one may fulfil your personal needs more effectively.

For instance, if you have large expenses (such as an interest-only mortgage or family living costs) level term life insurance may be more suitable.

However, if you've a repayment mortgage and this is all you wish to cover a decreasing term life insurance can reduce in line with your remaining mortgage balance - making it an ideal option.

What happens if I outlive my term life insurance?

If you outlive term life insurance, the policy expires, and you’ll no longer be covered. Your beneficiaries won’t be able to claim on the expired policy when you pass away.

What happens to the money at the end of term life insurance?

If you reach the end of your term life insurance policy, the policy will simply expire and no pay out will be made. Loved ones won’t be able to claim on the expired policy when you do pass away.

If term life insurance comes to an end as a result of your passing, loved ones will need to make a claim and a pay out will be issued.

Does life insurance cover funeral costs?

All types of life insurance can be used to cover funeral costs, providing the sum assured has enough money remaining to pay these expenses and the coverage doesn’t expire before the policy holder’s death.

Can you have more than one life insurance policy?

Yes, there’s no specified limit on how many life insurance policies you can hold.

However, you won’t be able to take out more financial cover than an insurer deems necessary.

While it’s possible to take out multiple life insurance policies, you should make sure that all the premiums together are still affordable for you, because if you miss payments your cover will cease and you will be left uncovered.

Only take out the level of cover that you need to avoid paying over the odds.

How to choose life insurance

Reassured offer life insurance products from multiple top UK providers. The following providers products are offered at Reassured:

Level term life insuranceDecreasing term life insuranceWhole of life insuranceOver 50’s life cover
Legal & General logo List icon List icon Cross Cross
LV= logo List icon List icon Cross Cross
Aviva logo List icon List icon Cross Cross
AIG logo List icon List icon List icon Cross
Zurich logo Cross Cross List icon List icon
SunLife logo Cross Cross Cross List icon
OneFamily logo Cross Cross Cross List icon

How to buy life insurance?

At Reassured, we can provide you with our award-winning life insurance broker service.

It’s completely fee-free and can help you secure the policy that is right for you at the best price available.

Our service will provide you with all the information about the policies available and help you compare multiple quotes from some of the UK’s leading insurers.

We can save you time and money by comparing these quotes for free.

Our FCA-regulated service helps you make an informed decision, and we can arrange cover that starts from just 20p-a-day.

Simply get in contact to start comparing life insurance quotes.


[1] https://moneynerd.co.uk/average-mortgage-debt/

[2] https://www.uk-debtservice.co.uk/news/uk-debt-statistics-2021/

[3] https://cpag.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/report/cost-child-2021

[4] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/cost-of-dying-report.pdf/

[5] https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/savings-accounts/average-household-savings-uk

[6] https://www.moneysupermarket.com/life-insurance/

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