Compare The Policies ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ / FAQ’s
Are you Regulated?
Yes, Compare The Policies Limited are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number: 759663). These details can be checked on the FCA’s register by visiting their website http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.
Do you give any Advice?
No. We can’t ‘advise’ you as to what policy you should take out through us, as this is a decision that requires a deep understanding of your personal and financial circumstances and we work on an information only basis as we are not financial advisers. However, what we can do, is use our extensive knowledge of the life insurance industry and our providers to find you the very best price for the policy you require. We can give you plenty of information about the policy you’re looking at, to allow you to make your own decision as to whether or not the policy is suitable for your needs.
Life insurance is a way to ensure that your family and loved ones will be taken care of if you are no longer around. It is a cost effective, simple way of offering your family the financial protection they need - and most importantly giving you peace of mind that they will be provided for. If you pass away whilst you have an active life insurance policy in place, your family will receive a sum of money as specified by your cover.
“It’s in the name”… When you come to Compare The Policies, we do exactly that for you. We deal with some of the UK’s leading insurers to find you the best price for your needs. We are not often beaten on price, and will always do our very best to find you the cheapest possible policy available to you.
How do I pay Compare The Policies for the work you do for me?
We do not charge any fees or admin charges to you as a customer. We get paid by the insurers on a ‘commission’ basis, when you sign up for a policy. This is always disclosed in your policy documents.
What is the ‘Policy Term’ - and how long can I be insured for?
The phrase ‘policy term’ or ‘term length’ refers to the number of years you’ll be insured for. Most insurers will allow you to pick from terms as short as 5 years, right up to 50 years or more. There are policies, known as ‘Whole of Life’, which insure you forever, but are often much more expensive – as they are guaranteed to pay out one day, as long as you keep up with your premiums.
This refers to the amount of cover you have taken out with your policy. If you have insurance cover of £200,000, then your Guaranteed Sum Assured pay-out will be £200,000.
With Level Term insurance, the amount you’re insured for remains the same throughout the ‘term’ of the policy. If you die in the first year or the 31st year of the policy, the amount your family receive will always remain the same.
With Decreasing Term life insurance (also known as Mortgage Life Insurance), the amount paid out on your policy will reduce over time. This type of policy is usually taken out by homeowners to cover a ‘repayment mortgage’ or decreasing loan in the event that one or both of them passes away. As the amount owed on the mortgage decreases, so will the amount paid out by the insurance policy.
How much life insurance cover should I get?
You can pick the amount of cover you require, known as your Guaranteed Sum Assured. The more cover you would like, the costlier your policy will be. You’ll need to ensure that all the things you want to be protected are, such as your mortgage, outstanding loans/credit cards, even funeral expenses or legacy payments and income replacement.
Your premiums depend on your age, smoker status, medical history, occupation and pastimes. The type of policy, level of cover and term length you’re looking for will also affect your premiums.
What does putting a policy in ‘Trust’ mean?
Putting a policy in trust can mean that your family get more of the money you wanted them to get and you can nominate multiple beneficiaries. It can also mean that they get the money faster by avoiding probate and can avoid paying high levels of inheritance tax. We are happy to discuss basic information on Trusts and inheritance tax (IHT), but are not qualified to advise you in detail. For more in depth advice, we would always recommend that you consult a professional Financial Adviser.
What qualifies me as a smoker?
‘Smokers’ are not just people who are still smoking cigarettes or cigars. In life insurance terms, smokers are people who have used any products containing nicotine within the last 12 months. This can include e-cigarettes, nicotine patches and gums, as well as traditional smoking products.
Can I increase my life cover at a later date?
When life circumstances change, you may wish to change the amount of life cover you have in place. Events such as getting married, buying or moving house, having children, even a big promotion at work can all affect the amount of cover you need, and many insurers will allow you to make this change without asking for additional medicals or tests. You can talk to one of our friendly consultants about your individual circumstances to find out which policies can offer this sort of flexibility.
Most insurers give you a 30 day cooling off period from the date you receive your policy documents, which means that should you wish to cancel your policy within this time, you’ll receive a full refund of any premiums you’ve paid, unless a claim is made.
What is Medical Underwriting?
In certain circumstances, your chosen insurer may ask you to complete a medical underwriting questionnaire before agreeing to put your policy in force. This usually only happens if you have an adverse medical history yourself or family history of issues. It usually simply involves obtaining a medical report from your Doctor (you will have to sign an Access to Medical Records Declaration), or going to an independent assessment with a nurse, with the cost of this covered by the insurer.
What is a Premium Rating?
A premium rating is the amount you pay for your life insurance, based on your own personal circumstances. Some individuals may pay more due to medical history - or because they work in a dangerous occupation or take part in hazardous pastimes.
No. A joint policy covers both of you, but only pays out on the first death. If you both die at the same time, the policy will only pay out once. If one person dies, the other will be left with no cover. If you both require cover, it may be worth looking at two ‘single’ policies.
Terminal illness cover is provided by the insurer ‘Free of charge’ on every policy we quote you for. This free cover means that you could get your lump sum payment early, if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness as defined in the plan. If a medical professional determines that you are likely to pass away from the terminal illness within the next 12 months, you and your family can access your Guaranteed Sum Assured at that point. It is different to ‘Critical Illness Cover’…
Critical illness cover is an add-on to your life insurance policy which protects your family in the event of a major, life changing illness, such as certain types of Cancer, Heart Attack or Stroke, plus many more conditions. It can be used to provide a welcome pay-out to cover outgoings if you are no longer able to work, which could pay for medical bills and much more as you begin to cope with your illness.
If you stop paying for your life insurance, your policy will be cancelled. However, if you are concerned about having difficulty paying your premium, for example in the event of an accident or illness, you can consider taking out a ‘Waiver of Premium’ when you set up your policy. This feature means your premiums are waived usually after a period of 26 weeks if you are struggling to pay due to accident or illness. Talk to one of our friendly experts to find out more about this option.
To ensure that your policy keeps its over time, you can opt to add ‘indexation’ to your policy each year. This means that both your Guaranteed Sum Assured and your premium payments will increase in line with inflation, usually determined by the Retail Price Index (RPI). Be aware that if you decide one year to decline the indexation option, you will not be able to opt for this again and you cannot add this after taking out your policy.
I already have a life insurance policy in place (or death in service benefits); can I take out another policy to give me more cover?
Yes. You are allowed to have as many life insurance policies as you wish, and are welcome to take out additional cover even if your employer is already providing you with some protection. However, insurers may start to ask questions if you wish to insure yourself for a large sum of money, usually anything in excess of £300,000 per policy. If you wish to have a higher level of insurance, you may need to prove your specific need for this amount of cover.
What does Non-disclosure mean?
Non-disclosure refers to withholding information that could be required to make a decision by your chosen insurance company. It can also refer to the provision of false information disclosed to your insurer, or to not being entirely truthful with the answers you give them on your application. If you deliberately give false information, or don’t disclose something that could affect your insurers decision or insurance premium, your life insurance could be declined or cancelled. Even worse, if non-disclosure is found out after you have been accepted on your policy, the insurer may not pay out in the event of a claim.
No. Most insurance companies will allow you to cancel your policy at any time without any penalties or fees. However, you will not get any money back if you decide to do this as the money has no cash value and is not a savings policy.
Some mortgage providers will stipulate at the point of application that you need to take out a life insurance policy in order to obtain your mortgage, but some others will not. Either way, having a life insurance policy in place to protect your family home might be a good idea.
The main reason that an insurer will refuse to pay out on your policy is if they think you have not disclosed something at the point of application that is important. This could be to do with your occupation, your medical history, your pastimes or whether you smoke or not. If you are one hundred percent truthful in your application to the insurer at the point of application - and if you make sure you keep them informed throughout the term of any major change in your circumstances, there should be no problem if the time comes to claim.
No. Life insurance will only pay out in the event of your death, so if you don’t die within the agreed term of the policy, you will not get anything back. However, in some cases you can extend your policy for a further period of time, which may lead to further medical questions at that point.
Sometimes certain life events might mean that your policy is no longer suitable for you. Things such as the arrival of a baby, buying a bigger house, divorce or increase in salary can mean that your cover may be less effective than required. Some insurers will allow you to make changes throughout the term of your policy to increase your cover/benefit amount, but in some cases you may need to cancel your policy and take out a new one with the insurer. Our experts can discuss this with you to help you make the right decision for you.
Will you share my information with anybody else?
We’ll share your information with the insurer you choose to set up your policy up with, but will never pass your details on to anybody else!