What is life insurance?
Life insurance helps to protect your loved ones financially if you die in the policy term – aka, while you’re paying for life insurance. You’ll leave behind money that’ll help them maintain their standard of living or pay off your mortgage.
What age should you get life insurance?
There’s no hard and fast rule for when you should get life insurance. It’s best to think about who’d be left short financially if you died. If there are kids, a partner, or a home that need you financially, you might want to think about taking out a policy.
Plus, life insurance is normally cheaper the younger you are. You’re charged more the older you get because you’re more likely to die during the policy term. What you pay monthly or annually doesn’t increase with age either.
How much does it cost?
It depends what kind of cover you get, how old you are when you take it out, and what you get up to on the day to day. For example, if you’re a smoker, even just occasionally, you can expect to pay more in premiums. Premiums are just your payments for your life insurance.
Some life insurance providers may even want to know how much you weigh, or if you drink a lot of alcohol regularly, and the provider can increase your premiums based on this. The idea is that these things could lead to an earlier death if they’re very high, so you’ll be charged a higher premium each month.
What kind of life insurance shall I get?
Think about what you want it for. If you die, do you want to help support your family with a cash lump sum? Or do you want to help the person you live with pay the mortgage? It all depends on your circumstances.
- Choose an amount to leave behind for your family
- It’ll help your loved ones cover living costs, monthly rental, or mortgage repayments if you die
- It’s also called level cover – the amount you’ll get stays the same, so do your payments
- Specifically to help your family pay off a repayment mortgage if you die
- You’ll pay the same amount each month, but cover gradually decreases in line with your repayment mortgage or loan
- This is also called decreasing cover – the amount it’ll pay out goes down over time, but your payments stay the same
There are other things you may want to think about too, such as critical illness cover.
You can find out about each type of life insurance cover in more detail on our life insurance homepage.
How long do I need cover for?
If you’re getting mortgage protection, you’ll need it for however long your mortgage is. If you’re taking family cover, think about how long it’ll be until your kids won’t need financial support or until your partner will retire.
What kind of policy shall I get?
You can get a joint or separate life insurance policy.
A joint policy is combined cover. It pays out once and won’t cover the second person after the first dies.
Separate policies means just that – your policies are separate. If one of you dies and your provider pays out, that policy will end, but the second person’s will carry on.
It seems like an unnecessary expense
The truth is far from this. You’re paying to help protect your loved ones in the event of your death – it’s a little unsettling to think about, but it’s really important to make sure your loved ones don’t have to deal with financial pressures on top of emotional ones when you die.
And of course, life insurance is normally cheaper the younger you get it. If you get it when you’re 26 instead of leaving it even a few years until you’re 30, you can expect to pay less. You might feel like it’s an expense you could do without, but it’s cheaper now than it will be later, and your loved ones could be left with nothing unless you take some cover.
Some life insurance policies also offer more than financial protection. For example, with us you have access to annual health checks, mental health counselling, grief support, nutritional support and more, through our smartphone app powered by Square Health, Aviva DigiCare+. Just be aware that the benefits of Aviva DigiCare+ do not form part of your cover and they could change or be removed in the future – and it's important any policy you choose has the right cover for you.