A whole of life policy is designed to provide a death benefit for the policyholder’s life. Whole of life policies are commonly taken out to cover funeral costs, to mitigate against an inheritance tax bill or to provide dependents with a lump sum in the event of the policy holder's death.

As whole of market advisers, Endsleigh will research the market to recommend the most suitable whole of life policy for your individual needs.

How does whole of life insurance work?

Provided you keep paying premiums into your whole of life insurance plan you remain insured until the day you die.

Whole of life insurance premiums can be either guaranteed or reviewable.

Reviewable premiums work on the basis of the policy holder paying premiums into their own 'fund' with the insurance company, and each month deductions are made from this fund to pay for the cost of the life insurance provided. Any surplus will remain 'invested' in the plan.

As you would expect the younger the policy holder the less they need to charge the fund for life insurance so your fund can grow. As the policy holder ages, however, the cost of providing life insurance will increase and eventually the insurer may need to take more out of the fund than is being paid in and therefore the fund will reduce.

Insurers will review the value of your plan on a regular basis to make sure that you are paying enough in to the plan. If there is insufficient investment in the plan to cover the cost of your life insurance the insurer will usually give you two options 1) to increase your monthly premium and maintain your level of cover or 2) to maintain your current premium level and reduce your life insurance cover.

Guaranteed premium whole of life policies are more expensive than reviewable premium plans as they guarantee your premium and sum assured will remain unchanged throughout the policy.

Some companies advertise whole of life policies with guaranteed acceptance and no medical questions, however the catch is that they tend to be more expensive to start with and some do not pay the whole death benefit should death occur in the first two years.

Top tips when taking out whole of life insurance

  • Read the small print

    Before taking out a policy it is important to understand all the exclusions and limitations of the policy

  • Check whether premiums are guaranteed or reviewable

    as most policies have reviewable premiums it is important to understand when these reviews will take place and to consider whether you will be able to afford these increased premiums.

  • Disclose all your medical information

    when you apply for a whole of life insurance policy your insurer will ask for details of your family and medical history. It is important to disclose everything as failure to do this could invalidate your policy.

  • Speak to an adviser to help you to get the best policy for your needs and budget

  • Review your existing life insurance provision to make sure you aren't overinsuring

By selecting ‘Get a quote’ you will be taken to a site hosted by Zurich Insurance plc and will no longer be viewing offers from the whole of the market.

A guide to Whole of Life Insurance

Read our helpful guides to find out more about whole of life insurance.

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