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30 Apr 2022

A third of parents don't have life insurance: should you take out cover?

Policyholders pay an average of £44 a month for their policy 
Pointing at legal document

More than a third of parents in the UK don't have any form of life insurance, according to a new report.

Research by Money Supermarket found that the percentage of people with life cover and the average amount they pay varies significantly around the country. 

Here, Which? explains how much a life insurance policy might cost and offers advice on the most common types of cover. 

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A third of parents don't have life insurance

New research by Money Supermarket has found that 36% of adults with dependents don't have any form of life insurance.

The price comparison site says a lack of cover could leave some families vulnerable if the worst happened. It claims homeowners with dependents have outstanding mortgages averaging £133,000, while renters pay an average of £666 a month for housing. 

Neal Cross of Money Supermarket says: 'Life insurance can provide some peace of mind by covering major outgoings like mortgages and rent, meaning that your dependents aren’t left struggling to pay the bills.

'However, over a third of Brits with dependents still don’t have any protection in place. There’s a common misconception that life insurance is expensive but, with policies starting from as little as £4.74 per month, the reality is that it’s much more affordable than many first think.'

Looking to buy life insurance?

Our partner LifeSearch has over 20 years’ experience of helping consumers find the right life insurance policy.

Arrange a call to discuss your options. 

How protection varies around the UK

The percentage of people without life insurance varies around the UK.

In the East Midlands, 44% of people don't have cover, nearly double the 24% recorded in Northern Ireland. 

Money Supermarket says people aged 31-40 are most likely to have protection, while those aged 61 and above are least likely to. 

London dwellers face the highest life insurance premiums

Average life insurance premiums also vary, with prices in some areas triple those in others. 

Money Supermarket says people pay an average of £44.10 a month for their cover.

Those in London face significantly higher average premiums of nearly £70 a month, while those in the North East of England and Yorkshire pay the least. 

RegionAverage monthly premium
West Midlands£49.50
Northern Ireland£43.10
South East£41.90
North West£38.80

What is life insurance?

Life insurance enables you to leave money behind to support your family if you die. It can be used to replace lost income or pay off debts such as mortgages.

Life insurance comes in a range of shapes and sizes. The level of cover you'll need and the amount you'll pay will depend on your age, health and lifestyle. 

The most common types of life insurance are as follows:

  • Term assurance: you choose the sum you want to be insured for and the period for which you want cover. If you die within the term, the policy will pay out. If you die outside of the term, it won't pay out and no money will be returned. There are three main types of term insurance - level term, decreasing term and increasing term. Find out how they differ in our full guide.
  • Whole-of-life: these policies pay out whenever you die, so they tend to be more expensive than term insurance policies. The two main types of whole-of-life insurance are balanced cover (where your premiums stay the same indefinitely) and maximum cover (where your premiums are periodically reviewed). You can learn more in our guide to whole-of-life insurance.
  • Family income benefit: these policies pay a regular monthly income to your family until their agreed expiry date. Family income benefit is generally the most budget-friendly form of life insurance.

Do I need life insurance?

If you have people who are financially dependent on you - such as children or a partner with whom you own a property - it's important to have some form of life insurance. 

The level of insurance you need will depend on your own circumstances - if you have adult children, for example, childcare costs won't be relevant. 

You can take out life insurance from banks, building societies, specialist insurers and even high-street supermarkets. 

It's important to shop around, as some deals may not be as attractive as they first appear. For example, some policies will only guarantee your premium for the first few years rather than the whole term. Our guide on finding life insurance explains the key things to look out for.

It can also be useful to take advice from a specialist broker, who should be able to find you suitable cover tailored to your circumstances. 

Which? Limited is registered in England and Wales to 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF, company number 00677665 and is an Introducer Appointed Representative of LifeSearch Partners Limited (FRN 656479), for the introduction of Pure Protection Contracts, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide advice and arrange Pure Protection Contracts. LifeSearch Partners Ltd is registered in England and Wales to 3000a Parkway, Whiteley, Hampshire, PO15 7FX, company number 03412386.