Choosing the right length of time for your life insurance cover

Life insurance is designed to provide some financial security for your loved ones if you were to die. Before you take out any kind of life insurance there are a number of questions you’ll need to ask yourself. How much do you need? How much can you afford to pay each month? Who will the beneficiaries of the policy be? And what length of time do you need the policy to cover?

How long should I get life insurance for?

In general, the duration of your life insurance will be dictated by what you want it to cover. For most people, there are two main reasons you might want to take out a life insurance policy:

  • To help protect a mortgage.
  • To provide financial protection for those closest to you in the event of your death.

Another factor to consider is age. In general, the younger you are when you take out a policy, the lower the premiums will be. If you have an immediate need for life insurance, delaying your application may mean that premiums are more expensive in the future.

There are other restrictions on life insurance cover that could influence the minimum and maximum length of your policy. For example, the minimum age you can take out a policy with us is 18, and the policy must not end before your 29th birthday. There are other restrictions, both on the length of your policy, and the age by which your cover must end, details of which can be found in the Policy Summary PDF.

You also need to decide which type of life insurance cover would best suit your needs.

Product Maximum age for buying a policy Minimum length of the policy Maximum length of the policy Your policy must end before age
Life Insurance 77 1 year 50 years 90
Decreasing Life Insurance 74 5 years 50 years 90

Critical Illness Cover

67 2 years 50 years 75

Choosing between Life Insurance & Decreasing Life Insurance

Life Insurance - Your chosen cash sum could be paid out if you die during the length of the policy. It could be used to help protect the family's lifestyle and everyday living expenses or help to pay the mortgage.

Decreasing Life Insurance - Designed to help protect a repayment mortgage so the amount of cover reduces roughly in line with the way a repayment mortgage decreases. Meaning your loved ones could continue to live in the family home without worrying about the mortgage.

Critical Illness Cover - Can be added for an extra cost when taking out your life insurance policy. Critical Illness Cover can help minimise the financial impact on you and your family if you become critically ill with one of our specified critical illnesses.

Please remember that life insurance is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.

How long should you protect your mortgage for?

If you're taking out life insurance to specifically cover your mortgage, it makes sense to take it over the same period of time. For example, if you intend to pay your mortgage off over 25 years, your life insurance should match this. But always remember to review your policy if you make any changes to your mortgage.

How long do you need to provide financial support for your family?

If you’re taking out life insurance to help make sure your family will be taken care of financially after your death, you should consider aligning the term with the point at which you believe your family will be able to manage the household budget without you. For example, you might want cover to last long enough to help your children complete full time education.

If you expect your partner to remain financially dependent for longer than this, you might also want to build that into your calculations.

Find out more about the life cover policies we offer