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Full Life Insurance Review MSE

WHOLE OF LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES

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Ongoing “Full Life Insurance Cover”

Whole Life Insurance = Cover At Need. Broker Help.

What is Whole Life Policy?

A Whole life policy (also known as whole life insurance, or whole of life insurance). Or, for the UK market more correctly worded ‘whole of life assurance’.

It is unique within the protection insurance marketplace, as it is a complete life insurance so offering ongoing full life insurance cover.

Whole Life Assurance UK policy means = 100% guarantees it will pay out a lump sum on death ‘whenever you die’ or diagnosed terminally ill.

what is whole life policy

‘Whole life insurance policies’ have no set or fixed time frame, unlike ‘whole life vs term insurance’.

You are covered with a whole life policy, even if you lived to 250 years old (which is unlikely, but as long as you pay your premiums) !

Check your ‘Whole of Life Assurance’ plan T&C’s as many schemes do vary here re premium payments time frame, which we will discuss further.

‘Is Whole Life Insurance worth it’?

Some may then ask, is whole of life insurance worth it? Let’s have a look at 5 reasons why you may wish to consider taking it out ie to then answer, is whole life insurance a good idea.

Whole of Life Insurance UK *5 Reasons Whole of Life Life Insurance 2024

  1. Final Expenses help toward end of life costs
  2. Inheritance Tax IHT insure against possible liability
  3. Leave a Legacy & so provide for the future
  4. Life Assurance to always payout whenever that maybe
  5. No Future Health Issues continuous whole life coverage

Let’s now have a look at the main ‘best whole of life insurance uk’ plan types available. From this, you can better understand if you want full life insurance UK coverage with or without medical questions.

Or ‘whole of life insurance policies’ with or without guaranteed or reviewable premiums. Or perhaps cover with or without an investment element ie; the pros and cons of whole life insurance.

From this you may decide when is whole life insurance worth it for yourself & why is whole life insurance good in certain situations & maybe not others, all dependant on the types chosen.

So ‘What is Full Life Insurance’?

Some people also then ask what is Full Life Insurance? Is this exactly the same as whole life insurance or whole life assurance?

YES, it is protection insurance policy that will last for the policyholder’s full & entire lifetime ie; an all of life insurance or full life life insurance.

So dependant on where you are in the world marketplace, if requesting a full life insurance quote cover, this could also sometimes be called either Universal Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, Entire Life Insurance, End of Life Insurance policy or a Full Life Insurance UK.

Each scheme maybe setup slightly differently & this can be confusing also if trying to compare and get covered.

Some may have an investment value, which can effect the amount of payout & others won’t. Some may include a long term care element also eg; the Insurers may pay 75% of the sum assured to help cover any of the bills for their long term care if required.

However, the bottom line is full life insurance cover is a lifetime life insurance policy providing continuous ongoing coverage until your life may end & you die ie; life insurance for life term.

3 Main Types of Full Life Insurance UK Plans

  • Over 50’s: no medical questions, fixed premiums & no investment element
  • Guaranteed: medical questions, non-reviewable premiums & no investment elements
  • Reviewable: medical questions, reviewable premiums or an investment element *

CONCLUSION: 3 Different Full Life Insurance UK Plans – for 3 Different Types of Customer doing a Full Life Insurance Quote.

What’s Full Life Insurance?

What’s ‘Life Insurance for Life Term’ vs Term Insurance?

As explained, Whole ‘Life Insurance for Life Term’ usually means the policy offers ongoing protection cover for the whole of your life term = until whenever you die. In other words, you want a ‘end of life insurance’ cover.

So for clarity, a basic Term life insurance cover will just run for a fixed term time frame. It then ends, with no insurance life cover at all thereafter.

Given average life expectancy in the uk is around age 80, a term life insurance could be a cheaper option than the more expensive continuous whole of life assurance.

However, this is all dependant on what & how long you need the cover for eg; covering an interest only mortgage but intend selling the property before say age 80.

In the UK, this also means if comparing various Insurers who may offer their term life insurance plans, their many broker term life deals may usually run upto a maximum age 90.

So for some, this could mean they only just wanted a backup lifecover plan to run well into their retirements…But on the understanding it will then end, with no cover values there afterwards?

Whole Life Insurance Plans
Whole-Life-Cover-AssuranceYou may not want to think of ‘End of Life Insurance
…But Peace of Mind Protection often Doesn’t End

What does Life Term Life Insurance mean?

As brokers, we may sometimes get people who are totally confused of the usage of the word ‘Term’ when explaining these different life insurance types.

Looking online, they’re after a cheap full term life insurance or full life term insurance. They are also okay that their life policy premiums will go upto the term of age 90.

For example, they say they have seen no medical Over 50’s whole life cover plans advertised on TV or online via a celebrity promising help to cover for funeral costs & leaving legacies.

Some of these Insurers plans state in the small print, that you don’t have to pay any premiums beyond age 90 term period, but still maintain full life insurance cost coverage.

We explain that this is still a whole of life assurance cover, but these Insurers perhaps to avoid bad publicity values of you maybe paying in more than its lifecover is worth, will now cease taking their premiums at age 90.

Also because they ask no medical lifestyle questions, it’s often poorer value. Martin Lewis is not a big fan of Over 50’s no medical style schemes – if in average to good health.

It’s also perhaps marketed that based on average UK life expectancy being around 80, many Insurers will confidently know that ceasing taking premiums 10 years later on, then still makes good business sense.

In other words therefore, we need to clarify carefully is the life insurance they are actually looking for running just for a fixed term say upto age 90. Then everything 100% ends ie; often their cheapest long term deal.

Or they say it must always cover them, even if they live on past 150 years old, so then ask for their ideal whole life insurance term life policy?

It can all get abit confusing here over that insurance word ‘term’ use. Unsure about your ideal whole life cover, please contact us for Professional Broker Advice>>

Life Insurance for Life Term|Life Term Life Insurance?


*Does Martin Lewis recommend Whole of Life Life Insurance?

Does Martin Lewis recommend Full Life Insurance?

Martin Lewis says whole life Insurance plans are often investment-linked whole of life insurance policies. This means that their premiums can be variable or reviewable.

He then caveats that by saying that they are not always ie; there are guaranteed full life insurance plans available also, which do offer fixed premiums.

The whole life insurance policy MSE points out means it runs indefinitely until you pass away ie; a Full Life Insurance UK cover, instead of ends after any fixed time periods.

Martin Lewis: What is Whole of Life Assurance?

MSE Martin explains that they are unlike level-term, which runs for a set length of time and usually alongside a mortgage. Instead, this type of cover runs until you die, when a death claim can then be made.

Money Saving Expert Martin says that whole life policy are mainly used to mitigate inheritance tax (or in other words a much larger payout amount) which should help cover the inheritance tax bill on death.

Martin Lewis comments that whole of life insurance are usually a more expensive option, when compared to other policies like types of term insurance.

The reason being here MSE points out that… it’s also worth knowing you could still be paying for this whole life policy, even after your mortgage (or other) debt has cleared.

So in other words we would add, you then lived until you were the ripe old age of over 100. You got your birthday card from the King or Queen. But had cleared your mortgage off 40/50 years ago.

We say as brokers, don’t forget Over-50’s plans are also a type of whole life insurance full life cover. However, asking no medical questions here means they will usually payout much smaller amounts.

But as Martin Lewis says these no medical schemes maybe ideal if in poorer health & lower life expectancy. So instead, are promoted mainly for help towards funeral costs ie; you want a guaranteed payout at time of need.

The key difference between ‘No’ medical questions Over 50’s plans & other whole life policies, is that the Life Insurers do ask you health & life style questions ie; are fully underwritten. So ‘Yes’, they may ask you for more medical information from your GP.

However we would add, as long as you are in average to good health, and don’t mind answering their questions, then underwritten full life insurance cover maybe a much better value bet.

Martin says ‘Thinking about how your family may cope financially if you were to die isn’t a very cheerful topic, BUT it is an Important One’. 

So Martin Lewis agrees life insurance is important if anyone is reliant on your Income & would struggle financially without you around ie; an insurable interest.

MSE says life insurance is a cheap financial lifeline but the ultimate choice is always yours, if the cost’s worth it.



Martin Lewis suggests being the Money Expert “NEVER BLINDLY BUY DIRECT” expensive offers either via a Bank or One Insurer ie; Shop around or use a Broker.

Lastly, MoneySavingExpert also said generally remember, not all insurers plans like whole of life insurance policies are featured on insurance comparison sites. As brokers, we would also agree here – so let us help you shop around for your best broker whole life policy deals.

‘Whole of Life Life Insurance’…means it’s ‘Entire Life Insurance’

Whole of Life Insurance Quotes UK | Full Life Cover Calculator
* source thesaurus plus

Over 50’s No Medical Plans

  • What is whole life policy here is there’s usually no medical & lifestyle questions to qualify
  • Smoking & vaper status affects cover costs for this Over 50’s life cover
  • Initial 1 or 2 years exclusion period before any natural causes death claims
  • Insurers may stop taking premiums from age 90/95 but maintain your lifecover until death
  • Providers may limit £100pm per plan or a total amount of Lifecover per person
  • Lower life insurance cover levels generally offered for a fixed monthly cost
  • Many use Over 50’s plans | Over 60’s plans toward Funeral funding than a prepay funeral plan
  • Over 50s plans no medical are often sold with a free gift
  • Martin Lewis is a fan of Over 50’s no medical style schemes if in poorer health

CONCLUSION: Best Life Cover for the Over 50’s | If generally in Poor Health

Guaranteed Policies

  • These guaranteed life assurance plans have no investment element
  • Premiums on whole life life insurance policy are guaranteed & non reviewable
  • Underwritten insurance so Insurers ask medical & lifestyle questions before offering terms
  • eg; Do you have raised or familial history of blood pressure or cholesterol 
  • May involve medical tests or GP reports as the underwriting could be stricter
  • Option of own life, joint life 1’st death assurance or joint life 2’nd death
  • Premiums do have to be paid for rest of life ie; until a claim

CONCLUSION: Once fully underwritten & insured you are onto risk asap

Investment-Backed Plans

  • Investment backed Plans are more complex. It can be setup on ‘Standard’ or ‘Maximum’ cover
  • Insurers can review premiums annually or 5|10 yearly assessing both age & fund value etc;
  • Premiums are invested into a Life Insurers investment funds, which can go up or down
  • It can acquire a savings investment fund value. This is used to navigate the plan through its life
  • This plan may also require you to carry on paying premiums until claim to get the full payout

CONCLUSION: For any investment backed plans we may refer you to a qualified IFA*

whole life insurance quotes

Reviewable & Age Costed Policies

  • The older you get, the higher the Insurers mortality death risk
  • Age costed whole of life cost insurance plans premiums rise annually as you get older
  • Standard / Balanced cover has more expensive premiums & to be less likely to future cost rises
  • ‘Maximum’ cover conversely is cheaper initially but then more likely to future review increases
  • At reviews, Insurers may either reduce lifecover or request regular premium rises

CONCLUSION: Reviewable Life Assurance policy may work out expensive longterm

Endowment on Life Insurance

  • An endowment on life insurance what is whole life policy that’s investment backed
  • Can be setup if the plan specifically to not take out future lump sums
  • Or just run instead for a term maybe 10, 15, 20 or 25 years
  • The policy will then pay out a lump sum at the end of that term
  • There maybe tax implications with any full or part encashment

CONCLUSION: Once popular as a Mortgage repayment vehicle until hit by Mis-selling Saga

Encashment of Investment Life Policies

  • The investment fund drives an ‘investment backed’ life policy onwards
  • However, this full life insurance is also dependant on how it was setup initially
  • Minimum Lifecover & Maximum Investment Or Maximum Lifecover & Minimum Investment.
  • This could mean premiums increase at regular review or the lifecover reduces
  • There maybe tax implications with any full or part encashment

CONCLUSION: Taking funds will impact a negative review if on Maximum Lifecover

whole of life insurance | broker quotes for whole life insurance | full life insurance uk
Freddie Mercury asks….

‘Whole of Life vs Term Insurance’

  • Term Life Insurance policy offers cover for a fixed ‘term’ eg; upto age 90
  • Rather than Full life term insurance maybe more affordable family lifecover as you may live out the term
  • Option of taking family income benefits rather than lump sum
  • So ‘whole of life vs term insurance’ means Whole Life ‘will payout’ & Term Life ‘may payout’
  • Whole of Life Assurance usually has more expensive premiums, as you cannot outlive the plan
  • Full life insurance vs term maybe ideal if you need ongoing interest only mortgage protection

CONCLUSION: How much is full life insurance vs term costs more as ongoing cover

Life Insurance for Inheritance Tax

  • Recommend a professional estate valuation before any Life Insurance Quotes decisions
  • ‘Whole of life insurance uk’ can help cover an Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill as it has no set term
  • Options to setup on single life or paid 2’nd death (but not usually 1’st death)
  • Must be setup in a suitable life insurance trust at outset to ensure it falls outside the estate
  • People generally look for this IHT life insurance later in life & when health issues may arise

CONCLUSION: Let’s help arrange your best full life insurance policy from leading UK Insurers

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What does putting a Life Policy Into Trust mean?

  • Putting your life policy into ‘trust’ ensures it should go direct to you nominated beneficiaries via the trustees
  • It may also help to avoid probate delays & inheritance tax – by falling outside your estate
  • This applies even if you have made a valid up to date uk will
  • Without a suitable trust, the policy could fall back into your estate
  • Inheritance tax is currently 40%. So it could be for larger estates, the insurance payout is then reduced by this amount
  • Most Insurers do supply free a good range of generic life protection trusts, ideal for many client situations

Insurance & Covid 19

  • You are covered is the answer re Coronavirus / Covid 19 for most Insurers in the 2020’s
  • ‘No medical’ plans usually have initial 1 or 2 years exclusion period anyway before death claims
  • Check each Insurers process waiting periods on plans taken out re Covid 19
  • Underwritten plans will ask specific Coronavirus related questions to proceed
  • Valid as long as you honestly answered the Insurers questions at the time of initial application
  • The policy must not have lapsed & the premiums must be up to date

Single v Joint Cover?

A single life policy means it covers just that 1 person only. It then pays out the chosen amount of life cover & whenever the event occurs. Alternatively, 2 x seperate plans means if one partner claims, then the surviving partner still has their own policy life cover. 

A ‘joint’ policy means it jointly covers 2 x lives but then usually pays out on ‘1st death or claim’ basis. This means once the chosen amount of life cover is paid, the policy benefits would then end. This is usually the cheaper option for Insurers (as it only pays benefits once) but conversely then leaving the surviving partner without any cover.

Or for mainly UK Inheritance Tax IHT purposes, a joint life 2nd death ‘whole of life assurance policy’, whereby the benefits only payout upon the death of the last survivor. These funds are then usually used to help cover a potential IHT bill

Full Life Insurance Quotes

Full life insurance quotes | Whole of Life Insurance for death

Importance of Disclosure for Full Life Insurance UK Claims?

Whether buying your cover for any life insurance, it is always based upon your honest disclosures at the time.

So Life insurance agents are sometimes asked….How will the Insurers know if I just occasionally socially smoke when applying for say full life insurance cover?

The Insurers ‘whole of life cover’ costing smoking rate premiums are that much more expensive – so what if I didn’t tell them anyway?

What happens if I didn’t tell the Insurer about having any history of familial diseases (what ever that means)?

The ‘whole life insurance companies’ may not necessarily request any medical nurse tests or even write to your GP upfront, to query your underwritten insurance application when you apply.

However, they will probably do so if & when a claim comes in, to fully assess the validity of your situation re any life claim.

Note; Most Insurers should always send you a copy application (by hard copy or e-mail) of what you initially disclosed, for you to then carefully recheck. If you think anything is wrong, then you need to advise them asap.

The original death certificate once requested by the Insurers may then highlight that it was caused by ‘smoking related factors.’ Alternatively, it may point to the fact that a heart attack from someone at such an early age in their early 40’s was likely due to their ‘hereditary health history’ issue of familial heart disease.

The last thing your family & dependants would ever want, at their worst moments, is to have to be told by the Insurer the your death claim is now sadly invalid.unhappy face That the information you gave at the time was then found inaccurate & so sadly was in fact now classed as misrepresentation.

No: Most Insurers do not have a 100% claims payout because unfortunately some people think they can try & beat the system like bogus Canoe Man John Darwin.

Remember, if you were paying say £75pm for ‘correctly’ or just £50pm ‘maybe incorrectly’ for £100,000 life insurance. Who has the GREATER RISK ?

The Life Insurance Company who may re assure your Family at their worst time and pay out a £100,000 death claim …..or your Family because they unfortunately didn’t !!!

Conclusion: Insurance ‘Whole of Life Costmore?

Comparing whole of life vs term insurance as they often say, you get what you pay for, if looking at what is whole life policy for both schemes.

So as ‘whole of life life insurance’ is continuous ongoing cover, how much does full insurance cost? Well it may often be double than a term life policy, that ends at say the age of 90.

Finally therefore, you need to way up the benefit financial costs of whether or not you need that any life assurance policy will always payout…. or just cover a certain time frame.

If for example, you are just covering a repayment mortgage over 30 years then NO, there maybe no need for ongoing cover. However, if you are wishing to leave a legacy on death whenever, then YES there will be a need for ongoing full life cover insurance.

Are whole life insurance worth it? Yes, if you wish the Insurers to always commit to pay out at some stage for your full Life Insurance UK cover.

Article on Whole of Life Insurance Policies UK by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)

For reassurance re health for men & women – we review many of the best Life Insurers selling Full Life Insurance UK (inc NI)

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*For ‘full life insurance uk’ whole life products with any investment element we may introduce you to an FCA authorised adviser after any further review. We may also introduce you to other selected professional partners for other protection, finance (such as a whole of market mortgage broker) or legal products as deemed appropriate. By completing our enquiry form you ‘may be introduced to another lender/provider’.