What questions do they ask when taking out life insurance?

The questions you’ll be asked when taking out life insurance will typically require you to provide information about:

  • Your age
  • Your current health and wellbeing
  • Your medical history (including family medical history)
  • Your smoking status
  • Your occupation
  • Your hobbies
  • Your alcohol consumption

The above isn’t an exhaustive list, as the underwriting process can vary between providers, and the number of questions you’ll be asked can differ.

Life insurance is a policy that can pay out to your loved ones upon your passing, providing them with financial support to help continue their current lifestyle.

The price you pay for your cover and the options available to you will be based on how risky insurers perceive you to be.

Insurers base risk on how likely it is for a claim to be made and they do this by asking certain questions during the application process.

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

At Reassured we can remove any hassle by helping you through each step of the application.

We can take your personal circumstances into consideration and provide you with your most suitable quotes, free of charge, from our panel of top UK insurers. Simply get in touch to get started.

Keep reading to find out typical life insurance questions that you’ll be asked…

Questions to ask before buying life insurance

Before securing cover there are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure that life insurance is the right option for you:

  • What aspects of your life do you need to cover? (Perhaps your mortgage, other large debts, family living costs, an inheritance and/or funeral costs)
  • Roughly how much do you need to cover all aspects? (By adding the sum of your financial commitments, you can estimate how much cover you’re likely to require)
  • Do you have dependents (if you have children, how long will it be until they reach adulthood and financial independence)?
  • How much can you afford to pay in premiums each month? (Your available budget may influence the policy type you opt for)
  • Are your needs likely to change overtime (do you plan on moving house, growing your family or retiring in the near future)?
  • Do you receive any benefits from your employer (like death in service)?
  • Are you likely to need additional forms of cover (such as terminal illness cover or critical illness cover)?

Alternatively, when contacting a life insurance broker (like Reassured), a friendly member of the team can go through these questions with you and provide you with all the information you need to know to make an informed decision.

Why not get started by using our handy life insurance calculator? By adding up your financial commitments you can get an idea of how much cover you’re likely to require.

Life Insurance Calculator

Calculate how much life insurance you may need by filling in the costs you’d like your policy to cover.


£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


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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How many questions are on the life insurance application?

The number of questions you’ll be asked during a life insurance application can vary.

This is because each provider will have a different underwriting process (underwriting refers to when insurers look at different factors to assess the level of risk you pose).

The common life insurance questions you’ll be asked can be broken down into six different categories:

1. Basic information

You’ll be asked for your:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Weight

2. Health and wellbeing

You’ll be asked about:

3. Occupation

You’ll be asked whether you:

4. Lifestyle

You’ll be asked whether you:

5. Smoking, alcohol and drugs

You’ll be asked if you:

  • Smoke (if yes, how long have you been smoking and how many cigarettes do you smoke)
  • Use nicotine replacements (including vapes and e-cigarettes)
  • Drink alcohol (if yes, you’ll need to state how many units you drink per week)
  • Use or (have used) any recreational drugs

6. Covid-19

You’ll be asked if you’ve:

  • Had any symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 30 days
  • Tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 30 days

If your answers flag anything which could be considered high-risk (such as a pre-existing medical condition, high-risk occupation, high-risk hobby, smoking or previous drug use) you’ll likely need to undergo some additional questions.

For example, if disclosing a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll likely be asked when you were diagnosed, how frequent and severe your symptoms/flare ups are and if you’re on any medication.

You may wonder why insurers need all this information, it’s simply so they can get to know your personal circumstances and assess your risk level accurately.

Having all the correct information ensures that your policy is valid when you come to making a claim.

For help and support through the life insurance application process, why not contact Reassured?

We’ve got over 14 years of experience and have helped over 1,000,000 families find the right cover.

Life insurance with no health questions

It can be possible to secure life insurance without answering any health or medical questions.

Most commonly this is through an over 50s plan, which guarantees acceptance to all UK residents aged 50 - 85.

As acceptance is guaranteed you aren’t required to answer any questions about your health during the application.

Instead, your level of risk will be based on your age and sum assured. Some providers will also require you to provide your smoking status.

For this reason, an over 50s plan is an ideal option for those within this age range who have previously struggled to secure life insurance due to poor health.

To compensate for the unknown risk you pose, insurers tend to offer a lower sum assured, usually a maximum of £20,000 (depending on your personal circumstances and budget), compared to £1,000,000 with traditional life insurance).

There will also likely be a waiting period added to your policy. This refers to the first 12 or 24 months of your policy where, if you pass away due to natural causes, no pay out will be made.

However, any premiums you’ve paid during this time will be refunded to your loved ones and most insurers will offer full accidental death cover during this time.

Over 50 life insurance through Reassured starts from just 20p-a-day + . Why not get in touch for your free quotes?

What happens if I answer life insurance questions incorrectly?

Providing incorrect details or withholding information on a life insurance application is known as non-disclosure.

It’s a form of insurance fraud and, if discovered, can lead to a pay out being denied to your loved ones.

Completing a life insurance application accurately is crucial in ensuring that your loved ones receive a pay out when the time comes (and your selfless investment doesn’t go to waste).

Insurers are here to help so, if you’re worried about disclosing a certain medical condition or lifestyle choice, rest assured there will be no judgement.

At Reassured, our friendly and professional team can support you through the application step by step.

Simply get in touch to start your journey.

Life insurance covid questions

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, insurers have added some Covid-19 specific questions to the application process.

At the height of the pandemic there was a more extensive questionnaire. Now, although it can vary between providers, it’s more likely you’ll simply be asked:

  • Have you experienced symptoms of Covid-19 within the last 30 days?
  • Have you tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 30 days?

This is to ensure that Covid-19 is not present at the time of taking out cover.

If you’ve experienced symptoms of, or have tested positive for, Covid-19 within the 30 days prior to applying, rest assured you won’t be declined.

What’s likely to happen is that your application will be postponed until you’ve made a full recovery and insurers are certain that Covid-19 is no longer present.

It’s a common misconception that life insurance won’t pay out for Coronavirus, but this isn’t true.

In fact, in 2021, Covid-19 was Aviva’s third most common reason for a life insurance claim (with around 2,000 claims) - totalling £68.5 million[1].

Frequently asked questions about life insurance

What are the four life types of life insurance?

There are four common types of life insurance, these include:

  1. Level term life insurance - Provides cover for specified period time (often up to 40 years) and will provide a pay out if you pass away during this time. Your sum assured will remain fixed throughout the policy term. This allows you to help protect large assets such as an interest only mortgage, other debts or family living costs
  2. Decreasing term life insurance - Provides cover for a specified period of time (often up to 40 years) and will provide a pay out if you pass away during this time. Your sum assured will reduce throughout the policy term. An ideal option for helping to protect a repayment mortgage as your sum assured can decrease in line with your remaining mortgage balance
  3. Whole of life insurance - Provides lifetime cover and guarantees a fixed pay out to loved ones when you pass away. For this reason, whole of life insurance can allow you to provide a guaranteed inheritance to your loved ones
  4. Over 50 life insurance - Provides lifetime cover to UK residents aged 50 - 85 and guarantees a fixed pay out to your loved ones when you pass away. The sum assured secured with an over 50s plan is often much smaller than other forms of life insurance. For this reason, funds are typically used to help cover funeral costs.

Reassured can help you compare all of the above policy types, allowing you to find cover that really meets your needs.

Can I have two life insurance policies?

Yes, it’s possible to have multiple life insurance policies.

However, please note, you’ll be required to pay separate premiums for each policy.

Can I get money back if I cancel my life insurance?

It can be possible to get money back when cancelling a life insurance policy.

Most providers have what’s known as a ‘cooling off’ period. Typically, this is 30 days from the start date of your policy or when you received your policy documents.

If you cancel within the 30 day cooling off period, you can receive a refund of the premiums you’ve paid.

However, if you decide to cancel at any point after this time, you’ll no longer be eligible for a refund.

What happens if I outlive my term life insurance?

If you outlive your term life insurance policy, the cover will simply expire.

Once your policy has expired any claims made on the policy won’t be successful.

If your policy has expired, it’s wise to take out a new policy to ensure your loved ones are still protected.

Contacting a broker, like Reassured, can allow you to find the most suitable policy for your new circumstances.

Can you be turned down for life insurance?

Although it’s rare, occasionally insurers will need to deny a life insurance application.

Being denied for life insurance typically occurs when the risk is too great to the insurer. For example:

  • If you have a severe medical condition - Some medical conditions can pose too much of a risk for insurers and therefore, insurers won’t accept an application (unless taking out an over 50s plan where no medical information is required). For example, if you’re living with cancer, insurers are unlikely to accept an application. However, as a cancer survivor you can secure cover once you’ve reached a certain period of recovery
  • If you’re actively taking drugs - Due to the associated risks, insurers won’t be able to accept an application if you’re actively taking recreational drugs
  • If you have a high-risk occupation/lifestyle - If you have an occupation or have hobbies which could be considered extremely dangerous it may be that insurers deem you too high-risk and won’t be able to accept an application
  • If you’re over the insurers maximum age threshold - Most insurers have an upper age limit at which they stop providing cover so, if applying for cover after this age, insurers won’t be able to accept an application
  • If multiple high-risk factors are identified - Typically just one high-risk factor won’t result in an application being denied. However, it may be that multiple factors are flagged during the application, which may lead to a denial

Being denied life insurance is uncommon and, even if high-risk factors are flagged on your application, it can still be possible to secure cover.

Reassured have a dedicated impaired life insurance team who are on hand to help non-standard applicants secure some form of cover.

Do I really need life insurance?

Whether you need life insurance or not is ultimately a personal decision.

If you have anyone that depends on you financially, or any assets you wish to protect, then life insurance could be beneficial in securing the financial future of your loved ones.

The questions outlined in this article can help you to make a decision as to whether life insurance is right for you.

Alternatively, why not contact Reassured? We can provide you with all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.

Compare life insurance quotes through Reassured

Comparing life insurance quotes is essential in finding the right life insurance policy to meet your needs, at the right price.

Reassured can help you compare quotes from some of the UK’s best life insurers.

A friendly member of our team can help you through each step of the application and guide you through the life insurance questionnaire.

If you have any questions about life insurance, our friendly team will also be more than happy to help.

Simply get in touch to find out what options are most suitable for your circumstances. All quotes are personalised, fee-free and no-obligation.

The best part is that life insurance through Reassured starts from just 20p-a-day. So why not get in touch?


[1] https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2022/05/over-1-bn-in-individual-protection-claims-helped-more-than-53700-customers-and-families-in-2021/

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