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Scottish Widows Life Insurance Review
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Scottish Widows Insurance Review MSE

Is Scottish Widows Life Insurance good? (2024 Update)

What's Scottish Widows Life Insurance like in 2024? Competitive UK Insurer ticks 7 boxes in 'Scottish Widows life insurance reviews'. (PROS) 1: Financial Strength 2: Reliable Reputable 3: Claims Payout 4: Family & Business Plans 5: Defaqto Rated 6: Rider Benefits 7: Broker Only Deals. (CONS) Customer Services?

Scottish Widows Insurance Claims:

Scottish Widows Insurance state that their Top 3 reasons for life insurance claims were for Cancer, Heart Disease & Respiratory. Their Top 4 reasons for their critical illness claims were for Cancer, Heart, Stroke & MS.


Defaqto: 5 stars

Financial Adviser: 5 stars

Money Marketing: Award

Background - Scottish Widow

Reviews: Scottish Widows life insurance story started back in 1815 around the Napoleonic Wars. Their founders met up at the famous Royal Exchange Coffee Rooms in Edinburgh.

Their objective was to help set up 'a general fund to secure provisions to widows, sisters and other female relatives of fund-holders plunging into poverty on the loss of the male breadwinner during the Napoleonic wars'. It was deemed a noble and ambitious undertaking.

The brand name Scottish Widows over the next 200 years became synonymous with UK financial services. Part of the original 9 Scottish life offices, members of an organisation called the Associated Scottish Life Offices

In 1986, Scottish Widows re-launched its new brand logo. They advertised originally using Miss Deborah Moore (the daughter of Sir Roger Moore) as their new face of a 'Scottish Widow' then later used Miss Amanda Lamb.

In 2000, Scottish Widows de-mutualised to become integrated into the newly formed Lloyds TSB Group. It gave access to their products via the Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows Bank, Lloyds Bank, Halifax and also Intermediaries.

From 2009, Scottish Widows then became part of their parent Lloyds Banking Group, with reportedly now around 6 million customers.

Scottish widows life insurance iconic brand image
Iconic Scottish Widow Brand Advert - Looking Good for Your Money
Reviews on Scottish Widows 2024

Scottish Widow Insurance Review 2024

For this Scottish Widow Life Insurance review below, we will look at some broker only plans, key features and FAQ. All Scottish Widow protection products gives free access to these benefits...

  • Scottish Widows Care provided in partnership with RedArc
  • It gives long-term practical advice and emotional support to policyholders and their families
  • Funeral payments pledge


*What's MSE Martin Lewis Scottish Widows Insurance Review?

Martin Lewis recommend Scottish Widows Insurance?

In terms of the range of Scottish Widows Insurance products, MoneySavingExpert (MSE) are fully impartial with all their best buy reviews. As you maybe aware neither Martin nor MSE never endorse products.

Yes, they mention individual products & services on MSE site, but they make it very clear don't 'support' them.

What does Martin Lewis say on Scottish Widows?

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has often used Scottish Widows surveys in their range of various news & articles to help them stack up.

For example, they wrote a few years ago that the number of people paying into personal pensions had dropped sharply in the wake of economic turbulence, official figures suggested.

They said that only half of those aged between 30 & their state pension age were saving enough for their retirements. Also, that 1 in 5 were failing to save anything at all according to a survey by insurers * Scottish Widows.

Martin Lewis hasn't specifically commented on any other particular Scottish Widows Life Insurance policies & how it stacks up against the competition. But Scottish Widows Life Insurance plans are a discussed MSE forum topic.

The MoneySavingExpert however says that he does '100% recommend Life Insurance', especially if you have any dependants. MSE says YES it's a cheap financial lifeline but the ultimate monthly costs monthly costs choice is always yours.

MSE 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.

He also discusses the value in other insurance plans if you were off sick, like income protection or critical illness.

The Money Expert Martin Lewis for a good rule of thumb in 2024, his Best Life Insurance formula is 'THE 10 x RULE' ie; aim to cover 10 x the Annual income of the highest earner & the main breadwinner until at least any kids have finished their full-time education or other dependants.

To help you calculate a figure that works for you, Martin Lewis on Life Insurance says it's worth ensuring any policy covers:

  • Outstanding Debts: that need to be paid off eg; mortgage unless covered by a separate plan
  • Immediate Outgoings: regular bills dependants would need to pay
  • Future Spending: you may have wished to make eg; university fees
  • Additional Expenses: a death may trigger eg; funeral costs


Martin Lewis also suggests being the Money Expert - that you "NEVER BLINDLY BUY DIRECT" expensive policy offers either via your Bank or One Insurer ie; Shop around or use a Broker.

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

SCOTTISH WIDOW MORTGAGE PROTECTION Review

Designed to help cover a repayment mortgage on death or terminal illness (with optional earlier critical illness at extra cost). As the mortgage balance slowly decreases during its repayment mortgage term, the Scottish Widow mortgages insurance term policy is designed to help mirror that of the mortgage. It is protecting what is for the majority of us, our biggest debt & to remain in their family home, our biggest asset.

Key Features

  • Guaranteed fixed level premiums [ no cash value ]
  • Decreasing loan interest rate flexibility
  • Optional critical illness cover
  • Terminal Illness means less than 12 months to live
  • Waiver of premium option with fixed deferred period
  • Free Accidental Death Cover and Free Mortgage Cover while processing your application

Summary

Scottish Widow mortgages decreasing life insurance is part of their Protect Plan range. It is usually cheaper then their mortgage level term insurance (which is used to insure interest only style mortgages). If you were to sadly die during its term, your family would be able to protect the mortgage to help stay in the family home.

SCOTTISH WIDOW LIFE INSURANCE Review

Offering family protection if the policy holder dies or is diagnosed with a terminal illness during its term. Also with optional earlier critical illness at extra cost. The Scottish Widow level term life insurance plan is available on either on single or joint life 1’st death basis.

Key Features

  • Lump Sums or Family Income Benefits options
  • Guaranteed premiums [ no cash value ]
  • Terminal Illness means less than 12 months to live
  • Cover upto age 90
  • Level or Increasing cover
  • Guaranteed Insurability Options so cover can increase without further medical underwriting
  • Waiver of premium option with fixed deferred period

Summary

The Scottish Widow term life insurance is part of their Protect Plan range. Designed with many useful features to help protect your family & loved ones if you were to sadly die during its term. Range of complimentary Scottish Widow protection online trusts to help ensure the proceeds go efficiently to the correct beneficiaries. Note: Currently, they are no longer offering their whole of life insurance plan Scottish Widows Protection for Life.

Scottish Widows Life Insurance Quote

SCOTTISH WIDOWS CRITICAL ILLNESS Cover Review 

Helps ease financial worries if you or one of your children are diagnosed with various listed critical illness, as specified by Scottish Widows Critical Illness cover. This critical illness term plan is paid tax free and available on either on single or joint life 1’st claim basis.

Key Features

  • Level, decreasing, increasing cover ( all available optional lifecover and critical illness. )
  • Guaranteed via Broker deals. Reviewable premiums via Bank [ no cash in value ]
  • Waiver of premium option with fixed deferred period
  • Total permanent disability
  • Guaranteed Insurability Options so cover can increase without further medical underwriting.  
  • Booster payment under 45, Lifecover Buyback, replacement options
  • Additional critical illness benefit covers further payment conditions & enhanced payments
  • Life change and separation benefits

Summary

The Scottish Widow Critical Illness comparison offering, is also part of their Protect Plan range. It is usually highly competitive in the UK critical illness market with useful option for some being the ability to include child cover. Like most UK Insurers Scottish Widow critical illness terms & conditions often change regularly, so please call us for latest advice or check these updates out when doing your critical illness comparison quotes.

SCOTTISH WIDOW BUSINESS PROTECTION Review

Offering company protection for a variety of reasons (with optional earlier critical illness at extra cost). Key person cover, loan or share protection or an employee dies, is diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness during the term.

Key Features

  • Lump sum cover, relevant life or business loan cover options
  • Scottish Widows relevant lifecover has tax benefits
  • Guaranteed premiums [ no cash value ]
  • Lump sum level, Decreasing or Increasing cover
  • Waiver of premium option with fixed deferred period

Summary

Scottish Widow business protection is competitive and helps insure your business life & employees against life’s challenges during its policy term. Range of complimentary Scottish Widow business protection trusts to help ensure the proceeds go efficiently to the correct beneficiaries.

scottish widows life insurance SCOTTISH WIDOWS LIFE INSURANCE Review - Broker FAQ

Can you make changes to your Scottish Widows life insurance policy?

In terms of changing your Scottish Widows life cover policy, often you can request some of the following & talk to a Scottish Widows protection adviser:

  • reduce or perhaps extend the period of cover
  • decrease or increase the amount of lifecover
  • remove indexation option or any specific paid for policy features
  • change the collection date of your usual premiums
  • remove a life assured from a joint policy eg; if a unmarried couple or new parents sadly split up

The changes could be subject to medical underwriting based on your circumstances at the time & may well affect your premiums.

How do I cancel my Scottish Widows Life Insurance Policy?

You may cancel your Scottish Widows Life Insurance plan at any time, if your circumstances change. Like all life insurance, you do have the right to change your mind within 30 days of your policy starting. The Insurers will then refund any premiums taken and your Life insurance policy would then end. 

However, if you should cancel the Scottish Widow life cover at any other time or it ends, you won't get anything back because your policy usually has no cash in values at anytime ie; I paid into my Scottish Widows life insurance for 20 years, and now I will get nothing.

This also means if your health changed adversely afterwards & you then tried to request your Scottish Widow  life insurance policy is put back onto cover again, this maybe declined. 

We suggest you seek professional advice before taking this course of action.

Scottish Widows Olympics 2012

Scottish Widows & Olympics 2012 sponsors

Can I cash in my Scottish Widows Life Insurance?

Unless otherwise specified, Scottish Widow Protect life insurance cover usually has no cash in values at anytime. 

We suggest you always seek professional advice before taking this course of action.

Single v Scottish Widows Joint life Insurance?

A single life insurance means it covers just that 1 person only. It then pays out the chosen amount of cover if the person dies, or is terminally or critically ill during the term of the policy or whenever the event occurs it occurs if whole life. The benefit of having 2 seperate plans (known as dual life insurance) if in a relationship & one partner claims, then the surviving partner still has their own seperate policy. 

Scottish Widow 'joint' life insurance policy means it jointly covers 2 lives but then usually pays out on '1st death or claim' basis. This means once the chosen amount of 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 leaving the surviving partner without any cover.

Death Claims, Life Insurance Trusts & Life of Another

Who your scottish widows protect life insurance maybe actually then paid out to can be more complicated & many people wrongly assume it is a simple process.

If it is a joint life 1'st death policy or if it single life policy owned by another person " life of another"  then it will just be paid to the survivor. 

However, if it is a single life policy it can be more complex. Check if the policy was setup & written into a trust. If so the Insurer will pay the life insurance via the trustees named to the nominated beneficiaries directly.

Sometimes there are a named beneficiary & others times a list of potential beneficiaries. The life insurance paid out doesn’t have to be included in the legal documents sent for probate and potentially it won’t be liable for inheritance tax either.

scottish widows life insurance review

Should I put my Scottish Widows Life Insurance policy into Trust?

When a life insurance policy isn’t written into trust, it will be paid to the executors of the deceased’s estate. They will handle the administration, known as probate in N Ireland, England, Wales and confirmation in Scotland. If not, the benefits will fall into your estate if you died prematurely. If you have not made a will this can then cause further complications with the life insurance monies.

Until probate is fully granted, no monies can be paid out to those named in the will. On average, this can take upto 6 months. By not placing the plan into trust may also swell up the total estate values, leading to potentially Inheritance Tax IHT issues.

So placing a policy in trust can help to ensure that the death insurance policy proceeds go to the correct beneficiaries you decide to nominate at that stage. It can also help avoid possible probate delays & IHT costs. Ask the Insurers to kindly provide their available standard trust form wordings & seek legal advice if unsure.

Importance of Disclosure & Claims - Scottish Widow

All Insurers like Scottish Widows are in business to protect, insure & payout. Insurance cover is therefore based on your full disclosure at the time you took the original Scot Widows policy out ie; being 100% as honest & accurate as possible. It is not always easy to remember all your historic health details when applying. The Consumer Insurance Act 2013 says you must not be acting careless, deliberate or reckless when applying. eg; Not disclose if you familial history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol (even if it costs more) If so, it may not payout !

Should you make a claim, your Insurers will send you a claim form for you to complete. Once received back, they will usually contact your GP to confirm any health details. They will then assess if your insurance claim is valid and cross check if you originally disclosed all the correct details. If you look at the Insurers recent claims payout, you will see that it is Good (but when doing life insurance quotes Scottish Widows like most Insurers is - not 100%).

scottish widow review
Old Scottish Widows brand advert

What if my health or lifestyle changes after I have taken the Scottish Widows policy out?

Any health or lifestyle changes since, usually does not void your existing Scottish Widows protection for life or term policy, if it wasn't relevant at that time of initial application. For example, later on diagnosed with a heart condition.

It maybe the Insurers request GP reports when you originally apply, to check any health details disclosed. Likewise they may not.

So take care to doubly re-check on your application what you initially disclosed to the Insurers, as this information then stands now and in the future. Please check your original T&C's.

If I start smoking after taking out Scottish Widows Life Insurance do I tell them?

If you had legitimately quit smoking for over 12 months at that time of original application, you may wish to advise the Insurers you have started smoking again.

This should not affect for example your original Scottish Widows life insurance calculator for plan and protect policy terms which should still stand, as you were being honest. Also maybe suggest letting your GP know if this is the case.

Article on 'Scottish Widow Life Insurance Review' by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)

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