The definitions below are provided for guidance purposes. Many insurance specific
terms are used on this website and this glossary of those terms will help you in
understanding them. However, these definitions are not insurer definitions and you should make sure that you read your policy terms and conditions fully before committing to anything.
As always, If you are in any doubt, speak to your adviser.
Critical Illness Cover
This is not offered as a standard part of a life insurance policy. Cover for a
range of critical illnesses covered by your policy which may or may not be
fatal. These include many cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart attack or stroke.
This cover provides tax-free replacement income in the event of ill health until you either return
to work, retire, the policy term expires, or death.
Level Term Assurance
Being ‘level’ your premiums will not change during the lifetime of the policy and
neither will the sum assured (the amount paid out if you die). You will specify
how much cover you want and for how long. The premiums are set for the lifetime
of the policy.
Increasing Term Assurance
With these policies, the sums insured are lower when you are younger, but rise
over time. Premiums ‘escalate’ in line with the sum insured increases.
Mortgage Protection Assurance
This is life cover where the lump sum reduces in line with the outstanding mortgage balance
Decreasing Term Assurance
Also known as mortgage protection insurance, with decreasing terms, the premiums
you pay remain the same, but the cover reduces slowly during the term of your
policy, dropping off steeply at the end. You specify how long you want the life
insurance policy for and the starting sum assured (the amount your dependants
receive if you die).
Renewable Term Assurance
This is typically short term cover that can be renewed, without medical underwriting, every
5 - 10 years.
Convertible Term Assurance
A Level Term life cover policy with the built in option to convert the policy into something
different, such as a Whole of life policy, at a later stage.
Whole of Life
This is an open ended life cover policy. It is available either with an investment element or as a
more expensive guaranteed rate, non-investment contract.
Terminal Illness Benefit
Not to be confused with Critical Illness, this benefit simply allows those who are diagnosed with
less than 12 months to live to claim early on a life insurance policy. The benefit is often included
with life cover at no extra cost.
The amount you pay monthly for your life insurance e.g. a “£5 monthly premium” is guaranteed never to increase for the full term of your policy. Guaranteed premiums may be higher than reviewable premiums but are very popular because they allow an individual to budget accurately for their life cover.
Often cheaper initially than guaranteed premiums, reviewable premiums are reviewed regularly by the life insurance company every few years and can be reduced or increased depending upon any claims you make or changes to your circumstances or other factors.