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Life Insurance Explained

The cost of life insurance or life assurance (they’re the same thing) can vary greatly depending on your circumstances. If you’re a young, fit, non-smoker then it can be relatively cheap however for an older person the costs can be a lot greater. There are some general things to look out for however, which should keep the costs of your life insurance low regardless of your social and personal lifestyle or indeed your age.

Firstly, it’s always a good idea to keep on reviewing your policy every couple of years. As a rule people tend to take out life insurance, often in conjunction with a mortgage when it sometimes becomes a requirement of the home loan, and then they forget about it. Job done, nothing to worry about, I’m covered! Whilst this is true, as with anything there are normally cheaper and better options available so it really can pay to keep on shopping around. Under certain market conditions the cost of life insurance can fall significantly meaning there is no excuse to let your policy stagnate when much cheaper cover can be found. This is particularly relevant if your first life insurance policy was taken out in conjunction with your mortgage as in all probability you would have taken the easiest option at that time, often without looking at the market as a whole.  So, rule one is shop around and keep shopping around every couple of years and if you find a better deal then switch!

The next thing to consider is that as we go through life our circumstances tend to change and therefore so might our requirements with regards to our life insurance policy. People’s overall level of debt can change radically over time and a policy taken out five years ago when your debt was greater may not now be appropriate if your financial position is a lot stronger and you no longer require cover that relates to your circumstances many years ago.

Consider carefully whether you need cover for the whole if your life or just for a fixed term.  For example, if the primary reason for taking out a life insurance policy is to cover the cost of your mortgage then it will be cheaper (and usually with the added bonus of fixed costs) to take out a policy for the duration of the home loan rather than your entire life (which will hopefully be much longer)!

Finally, back to the original point we raised with regards to whether to opt for life assurance or life insurance.  No need to make the choice as they really are the same thing! Assurance is just another way of referring to the same product although sometimes the terminology changes when something is guaranteed or ‘assured’ to happen (such as death!) as opposed to ‘insuring’ against something  that we hope doesn’t – such as a car crash, a burglary or a fire.

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