Scottish Widows life insurance: A 2024 review

The reviews for Scottish Widows as a company are mixed, however their life insurance tends to be rated well by customers.

In this article, we’ll explore aspects of Scottish Widows to see if they offer the right life insurance policy for you and your family, as well as what key benefits they offer.

Scottish Widows life insurance key facts

  • Scottish Widows life insurance pay out rate was 98% in 2022[1]
  • Life insurance and critical illness policies are rated 5 out of 5 stars by Defaqto[2]
  • Scottish Widows is scored 78% overall on Fairer Finance based on customer experience ratings[3]
  • Customers and their families receive free access to a range of support services
  • Quotes and policies are only available via independent brokers or financial advisors
  • Customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Is Scottish widows a good life insurance company?

Continue reading to find out all about the insurer and decide for yourself…

Please note, Scottish Widows life insurance is not available through Reassured. However, we can compare quotes from other major insurers, which could help you to save money on your premiums.

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.

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£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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Your total cover estimate

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Who is Scottish Widows?

Scottish Widows was set up back in 1815 and the concept was to take care of women and children who lost their husbands, fathers and brothers in the Napoleonic Wars (the symbolic reason for the name of the insurer).

They confronted all the negative associations with the word 'widow' and presented its positive values on: ‘strength, reliability, integrity, innovation and heritage’.

Since 2009 the company has been part of the Lloyds Banking Group and has more than 6 million customers.

You may recognise the brand from their TV advertising. The iconic Scottish Widow has been in use since 1986.

Scottish Widows is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to give you that extra peace of mind on your security.

Do they only offer life insurance?

Not only do they offer life insurance policies, here are some other services you can get through Scottish Widows:

  • Individual pensions
  • Workplace pensions
  • Annuities
  • Critical illness cover
  • Investment products

You can access their products and services through Independent Financial Advisers, directly or through all Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax branches.

Scottish Widows life insurance reviews

When investigating customer reviews and star ratings for Scottish Widows life insurance, there weren’t many available.

On the main review platform, Trustpilot, most of the reviews are focussed on their pension products.

Alternatively, we have looked at results from expert reviewers, such as Fairer Finance, to help you with the decision process.

Below is the percentage rating from Fairer Finance created by them to rank insurers, based on claims that have been paid out, how well they deal with complaints, how informative and accommodating they are to customers and finally how customers, overall, have rated them[2].

Fairer Finance claims scoreComplaints performanceTransparency ratingCustomer experience rating
Scottish Widows logo 91%

86%

57%78%


In 2023, Fairer Finance ranked Scottish Widows 8th of 25 providers reviewed.

Scottish Widows life insurance is also rated 5 out of 5 stars by Defaqto, another expert review site[3].

What policies do Scottish Widows offer?

Unlike most big insurers, Scottish Widows only provide term life insurance policies and critical illness policies.


Term life insurance policies at Scottish Widows

Term life insurance is one of the most popular options. It is where loved ones will receive a fixed lump sum pay out (sum assured) if you pass away during a policy term.

There are 3 types of term life insurance covers offered:

  • Level - Available as a lump sum or monthly family income benefit
  • Increasing - Available as a lump sum or monthly family income benefit. The sum assured will increase each year in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). The increases will be at least 2% up to a maximum of 10%
  • Decreasing - Available as a lump sum. You can select an interest rate between 0% and 18%

Policy key features:

  • Choose between level, decreasing and increasing term
  • Minimum sum assured of £10,000
  • Maximum sum assured of £25,000,000 for level and decreasing term
  • Maximum sum assured of £15,000,000 for increasing term (annual increases are allowed up to a total of £30,000,000)
  • Guaranteed fixed premiums
  • Choose between a single lump sum pay out or monthly payments
  • Minimum term is 1 year for level and increasing, and minimum term is 3 years for decreasing (starting from a minimum age of 18)
  • Maximum age your cover must start is 79, with your policy to end on your 90th birthday
  • Critical illness cover can be added to a life policy for an additional cost

Critical illness cover at Scottish Widows

Critical illness cover is a policy that provides a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a life-changing (but not terminal) illness, covered by your policy.

There are 3 types of critical illness covers offered:

  • Level - Available as a lump sum or monthly family income benefit
  • Increasing - Available as a lump sum or monthly family income benefit. The sum assured will increase each year in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). The increases will be at least 2% up to a maximum of 10%
  • Decreasing - Available as a lump sum. You can select an interest rate between 0% and 18%

Policy key features

  • 30 full critical illness conditions and 10 additional conditions covered
  • Choose between level, decreasing and increasing term
  • Minimum sum assured of £10,000 and maximum of £3,000,000
  • Guaranteed fixed premiums
  • Choose between a single lump sum pay out or monthly payments
  • Minimum term is 5 years (starting from a minimum age of 18)
  • Maximum age your cover must start is 64, with your policy to end on your 70th birthday
  • Critical illness cover can be added to a life policy for an additional cost

What can Scottish Widow life insurance cover?

As a business originating from covering wives and children, Scottish Widows prioritises being able to offer support and cover for your loved ones.

A policy can be used to help to protect:

Family Protection

Your family & loved ones - If the worst happened to you, life insurance can be used to help cover household bills, family living expenses, childcare and funeral costs, or could provide an inheritance. With the average UK family spending £32,655 a year on everyday living expenses[4], life insurance could provide a vital financial safety net.

Debts

Mortgage & financial debts - The average mortgage debt in the UK is £142,755[5]. You could take out decreasing cover, to help with a repayment mortgage, or level cover, to help with an interest-only mortgage. Scottish Widows also offer free mortgage cover while your application is in process.

How much is a policy?

The main factor that most people consider when looking for a life insurance policy, is affordability.

Below are some examples of how much a policy could cost (on average) through Scottish Widows. Although it is important to remember certain factors will be considered during the application process that can affect your policy price such as:

The pricing table below shows cover for a non-smoker in good health for a level term life insurance policy with a 25 year term and £200,000 of cover:

AgeScottish Widows premiumsLowest premiumsHighest premiums
30 year old
(non-smoker)
£8.71£7.28£8.71
40 year old
(non-smoker)
£15.33£14.36£15.33
50 year old
(non-smoker)
£33.20£33.20£35.22


The pricing table below shows cover for a smoker in a level term life insurance policy with a 25 year term and £200,000 of cover:

AgeScottish Widows premiumsLowest premiumsHighest premiums
30 year old
(smoker)
£14.40£12.58£14.40
40 year old
(smoker)
£35.80£31.48£35.80
50 year old
(smoker)
£92.33£78.57£92.33

Source: https://iaminsured.co.uk/providers/scottish-widows-life-insurance/. All pricing examples are correct as of 14/04/2023 (for an applicant who wants level term cover and no has no pre-existing medical conditions)

Reassured provides life insurance starting from just 20p-a-day from leading insurers, why not get in touch for your free quotes?

Is Scottish Widows life insurance good?

Whether Scottish Widows life insurance is any good for you will depend on a number of factors, such as what you’re looking to protect.

If you’re considering a Scottish Widows policy, here are some key points to bear in mind:

  • If you are looking for a quick, simple process then it is useful to know that you can't set up a policy directly through Scottish Widows
  • Scottish Widows only offer term life insurance (a policy which will end after a set term), which is the most popular policy type. However, most life insurers will also offer policies that will run for the rest of your life (for example an over 50s policy). Whilst being the most popular, it may not be the option best suited to you
  • If you are looking for flexibility and you are worried it won’t be easy to make changes to your policy, Scottish Widows are confident in offering flexible protection policies. It’s possible to make changes to your cover as your protection needs change without having to cancel the existing cover first. One example of this is ‘the guaranteed insurability option’ which allows you to increase your cover amount at any point during the policy term without providing new medical information
  • Their protection policies are also portable, meaning if two people have policies within the same plan, they have the option to split the plan and move policies into a new plan should they wish

In fact, flexibility is included in some of the benefits that Scottish Widows has to offer (see below).

Scottish Widows life insurance benefits

  • FREE terminal illness cover - A pay out when diagnosed with an illness giving you a life expectancy of 12 months or less
  • Scottish Widows Care - An optional support service with provided counselling from qualified nurses (Scottish Widows are partners with RedArc and Clinic in a Pocket)
  • FREE accidental death & mortgage cover - This covers you for 90 days while your life insurance or critical illness application is being processed
  • SPLIT joint policies into two policies - This option can be helpful following a divorce
  • Premium protection - At an extra cost, you can protect your policy premiums; if you get diagnosed/ suffer with an illness or disability or are involved in an accident, your premiums will be covered
  • If you take out critical illness cover with Scottish Widows, you get free life cover and critical illness cover for your children automatically

While Scottish Widows offer plenty of good benefits, it’s still important to compare other insurers to see what else is offered. All insurers will have different benefits and they should be explored before settling for the first option.

Comparing quotes will allow you to secure our best possible price for a policy that is best suited to you. Get in touch with one of our professionals today to find the perfect policy.

Compare Scottish Widows life insurance

Although life insurance companies will all vary and stand out in different ways, there will be an insurer that is best suited for you.

Firstly, with price being one of the most important comparisons; Aviva start their premiums as low as £3.50 a month, Legal & General and Scottish Widows premiums start from £5 a month.

However, the actual price you’ll pay for life insurance does depend on your personal circumstances. Additionally each insurer has a different way of calculating quotes, which means prices will vary between them.

Scottish Widows offers less policies than the big insurance companies which means it may not be suited to everyone.

As a result, it’s important to shop around and compare policy options from different insurers. For example:

Term life insuranceWhole of life insuranceOver 50 life insuranceCritical illness coverJoint life insurancePremium costs from
Scottish Widows logo Icon green tick Icon ruby cross Icon ruby cross Icon green tick Icon green tick £5
Aviva Icon green tick Icon green tick Icon green tick Icon green tick Icon green tick £3.50
Legal & General Icon green tick Icon green tick Icon green tick Icon green tick Icon green tick £5


At Reassured we can compare quotes from the some of the biggest insurers, including: L&G, Aviva, AIG and more…

Does Scottish Widows life insurance pay out?

Yes, from our research Scottish Widows paid out 98% of claims in 2022, equating to £199 million[1].

In general, 96.9% of life insurance claims are paid out[6] making Scottish Widows pay out rate higher than average.

A question often asked, what is the normal Scottish Widows life insurance pay out time? Most insurers are similar on how it can be as soon as a week or even a few months.

There isn't an exact time frame stated by Scottish Widows and it will depend on how long it takes for the claim to be assessed.

It can also depend on factors like the type of policy and what has been covered.

Scottish Widows life insurance for over 50s

People open life insurance policies at many different ages, it is important to consider financial protection regardless of what point in life you have reached.

Scottish widows don't offer over 50s policies, however their level term life insurance can be taken out up to age 79. Usually, when taking out an over 50s policy, the age bracket is between 50 - 85.

Depending on the type of policy you choose, you can apply up to; 79 for life cover, 64 for critical illness cover or life with critical Illness cover and 60 for premium protection.

Over 50s plans through Reassured start from just 20p-a-day + and guarantee acceptance to UK residents aged 50 - 85, so why not get in touch for your free quotes?

Can I cancel Scottish Widows life insurance?

If you change your mind about taking out a policy and want to cancel it, you can within 30 days of the start date shown on your policy schedule. They state that they will refund any payments you’ve made so far.

You may still cancel your policy at any time after the 30 days, however in that instance you won’t get a refund on any payments you’ve made.

To cancel your policy you will need to give confirmation of cancellation by all policy owners, including trustees, either in writing or over the phone by Scottish Widows life insurance number - 0800 849 6089.

Compare life insurance quotes

Here at Reassured, our main objective is to help you find the right policy to meet your needs at our best price.

We can’t help you compare Scottish Widow life insurance quotes, however we can help compare quotes from other leading insurers, to help you find our best deal.

There are two different ways to get your FREE quotes:

  1. Our online services: fill out a simple application form in minutes to compare quotes and find the best suited policy we offer
  2. Via the phone: speak to one of our professional agents who will compare quotes and discuss options best suited with your personal situation

Don't hesitate to reach out to a professional to take the stress away from looking for a policy.

Securing life insurance, sooner rather than later, can help to provide protection for your loved ones in the future.

We are offer free no-obligation quotes, why not get in touch today to find yours?

Sources:

The information contained in this article is accurate as of 17/07/2023 and is subject to change

[1] https://adviser.scottishwidows.co.uk/assets/literature/docs/56189.pdf

[2] https://www.defaqto.com/star-ratings

[3] https://www.fairerfinance.com/ratings/brands/scottish-widows#showCustomerExperienceRatings

[4] https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-uk-household-budget

[5] https://www.finder.com/uk/life-insurance-statistics

[6] https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2023/5/protection-insurers-pay-out-6.85-billion-to-support-individuals-and-families/

[7] https://www.scottishwidows.co.uk/life-insurance/products/life-cover.html

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