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 LIFE INSURANCE - Frequently Asked Questions

Single v Joint life Insurance ?

A single life insurance for a single woman means it covers just that 1 person only. It then pays out the chosen amount of cover if the person dies during the term of the policy or whenever it occurs if whole life. The benefit of having 2 seperate plans if in a relationship & one partner dies, then the surviving partner still has their own seperate policy. 

A 'joint' life insurance policy means it jointly covers 2 lives but then pays out on '1st death' 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 once ) but conversely leaving the surviving partner without any cover.

Can you make changes to your life insurance policy ?

In terms of changing your life insurance policy, often you can request some of the following:

  • 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
  • joint life policy separation, allowing a joint policy to be split into 2 new single policies if a couple divorce, split up or say change a joint mortgage into a sole name. 

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

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

Life Insurance cover is based on full disclosure at the time you took the policy out ie; being 100% as honest & accurate as possible. So any health or lifestyle changes since usually does not void your existing policy, as it wasn't relevant at that time of initial application. Please check your original T&C's 

How do I make a Death Claim ?

Check firstly if premiums are still being paid or alternatively is the policy perhaps "paid up" meaning no further premiums were needed. 

Then contact the Insurers claims line to inform them. They will provide you with their claim form for completion. You will need to send in a number of documents, most importantly being the death certificate proving the cause of death.

Insurers ( as well as other Providers ) will need the original death certificate, so ideally ask for several certified copies. Enclose your policy document, if you can find it and then send by recorded delivery or registered post to Insurers. 

Once received, the Insurers usually cross check all information before processing and settling a valid claim ie; was the medical & lifestyle information correct at the time of original application

If everything is hopefully in order, the Insurer may pay out a claim & usually in a matter of days or weeks.

Death Claims, Life Insurance Trusts & Life of Another

Who the 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.

London Life Insurance ( Phoenix Life ) Free Insurance Quotes

So should I put my Life Insurance policy into Trust ?

If the life insurance wasn’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 policy proceeds go to the correct beneficiaries you decide to nominate at that stage & help avoid possible probate delays & IHT costs. Ask the Insurers if they provide any standard trust form wordings & seek legal advice if unsure.

What is the Best Life Insurance Policy for people in London ?

There are many different types of schemes available ( see below products review ). Please get a no obligation quote from our website first to get an idea of both cost & terms available; it is best to speak to one of our Professional Advisers before buying.

Will I be tested by the Life Insurance Company - To proove I am a non-smoker ?

How do Insurance Companies know if you smoke ? If you declare yourself a non-smoker on the life insurance application, there is a possibility you will maybe also asked to undergo a cotinine test to prove you have quit smoking ie; ex smoking status. This test checks your nicotine levels & reads how long absent this is from your body. No point in lying when you apply, as your policy may not payout & you could waste the premiums and leave your family devastated.

Is e-cigarettes (Vaping) or Gum or Patches - classed as Smoker or Ex Smoker for Life Insurance ?

These newer alternative liquid form vaping smoker products may state they reduce the risk on your health, but many Insurers can still classify this as smoking ( but some may apply better terms...please ask us for advice here.) ie; No nicotine based products for at least 12 months.

If I started smoking after taking out Life Insurance - Do I need to now tell them ?

If you had legitimately stopped smoking for over 12 months at that time of original application, you may wish to advise the Insurers you have started smoking again - but this should not affect the original policy terms which should still stand - you were being honest. Also maybe suggest letting your GP know if this is the case. 

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