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Reviewing Your Life Insurance Policy

What is life insurance?

A life insurance policy is a guarantee that your loved ones will be provided with a financial cushion after your death, so long as certain criteria are met. Broadly, there are two kinds of life insurance policies:

• A term life insurance policy
Whole of life policy

Whole of life cover, as the name suggests, is an ongoing policy and runs for the whole of your life. You choose the amount you want to pay each month in return for the amount of cover you’re insured for. When you die, the policy pays out to your beneficiaries. Term life insurance is different in that you set the term of the policy (a point in the future where it expires). If you die within that term, the policy pays out. If you don’t, it doesn’t. Since it’s a given that you will eventually pass away, whole of life policies are more expensive.


Source – @craftedbygc

Whatever kind of policy you choose to purchase, several factors should be kept in mind before making a final decision, and these factors should be reviewed even after you’ve bought the policy to make sure that it continues to align with changes in your lifestyle and your long-term goals.

A simple example could be when you want to change your beneficiaries, or your policy is there to protect your family and you have another child.

This article will discuss events that you should consider when reviewing your life insurance policy.

What could cause me to change my policy?

It is recommended that you review your life insurance policy on an annual basis to account for major life changes. However, there are certain events that should also cause you to review your policy.

1. A change in family size
2. A change in property value (Paying off a chunk of your mortgage or buying/selling your house)
3. Debt (loan, car payments)
4. Change in health condition
5. A change in income
6. A change in beneficiaries

Change in family size

The most common reason to have life insurance is to protect your family’s financial situation after you’re gone. However if your family changes then so should your policy. Family size can often change under these circumstances:

• Getting married
• Getting divorced
• Becoming a parent
• Adopting a child
• Elderly parents moving in
• Children moving in after graduation
• Death of a family member

Not only will the level/type of cover need assessing, but you may wish to change the named beneficiaries on the policy as well.

Changes in property value

When you take out a mortgage you will be strongly encouraged to take out a policy that covers that mortgage in the event of your passing.

Therefore, if the mortgage balance you owe significantly changes i.e. you pay a chunk of it off early, you should adapt your policy accordingly – the chances are you’ll be able to decrease your monthly payments as a result of the lower amount you need to insure.

Similarly, if you buy a second home, move into a bigger property or your property simply increased in value over time; you should ensure your policy matches these new circumstances.


Leaving behind money for your loved ones is the reason you got life insurance. If you’ve taken on any debts then reviewing your policy to ensure it covers those debts is common sense.

Types of debts to think about are personal loans, credit cards, car finances and anything else your loved ones could be liable for when you pass.

Have you got critical illness cover?

Your insurance provider always reviews your medical history before providing you life insurance. When there is a change these are some of the factors that can affect the insurer’s view on the terms of the policy.

Smoking: If you are a regular smoker, or have taken up smoking after getting a life insurance policy, you might need to review it. Since, as a smoker, you are considered a higher risk when compared to non-smokers, you might be charged a higher premium for a life insurance policy.

A change in health condition: This includes developing long-term illnesses such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, or Cancer.

Disability: A sudden accident rendering you unable to work properly.
Critical illness cover supports you financially in case you are diagnosed with specific medical conditions such as a heart attack, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. Think of critical illness as a bolt-on to your life insurance policy. It’s there to offer you financial support if you’re diagnosed with an illness.

Has your income gone up?

A high income might come from an incremental pay rise, a promotion, taking a position with a higher salary package or earning more from freelancing, part-time positions. However your income has increased, you may wish to review your policy and increase the level of cover you have to reflect your higher earnings.

Income Protection

But what if you are unable to do your job because of an illness or injury? That’s where income protection comes in. This cover offers you financial support if an injury or illness renders you unable to work. This is different from life insurance as that specifically pays out to your beneficiaries after you pass away. Income protection is there to replace your income whilst you’re unable to work. Whilst income protection has previously been sold as a stand-alone product, many consumers now have it alongside their life cover giving them more rounded protection.

Has there been a change to your beneficiaries?

This can include the death of a loved one, a divorce/ marriage, adopting a child, adding/ subtracting a friend from the list. You may be considering adding a charity or organisation as your beneficiary or you simply wish to change who the money is left to. The options are limitless, and that’s exactly why you should review your policy from time to time by speaking with a qualified advisor.

How often should I renew my life insurance policy?

The non-exhaustive list of factors we have discussed in this article should make it clear that there are many things that can influence your policy. Although most advisors will recommend that you review your policy once a year, you should also review it after every change in your circumstance that could affect your premiums.

Regular reviews of your life insurance policy will ensure that you have exactly the right amount of cover, your beneficiaries are reflected correctly, your premiums are affordable, and most importantly, you have peace of mind.

Why use an experienced advisor for a change in life insurance policy?

The main reasons you’re better off using an experienced advisor when considering a change in your life insurance policy, are the same reasons you would use an expert for anything else; their knowledge gained over time and therefore the experience they have.

You can certainly go to your current provider and discuss with them about the change in your circumstance that warrants a change in your policy. But why limit yourself to one provider?

Consulting with a professional will open up many options for life insurance providers. As the premiums you might end up paying after a change can go up as well as down, it makes equal sense to seek advice in both cases.

If your premiums have a high chance of increasing, an experienced advisor will have the best chance of finding you a provider that is competitively priced.

Likewise, if a change in your circumstance warrants a decrease in your premiums, you need to ensure your new policy is at the best price. An expert consultant will work to get you the best deal possible.

Was your policy sold correctly?

In some cases, although not very common, you might have been sold an incorrect life insurance policy. This might have been due to an omission of information from your end or you may not have opted for policies that cover you correctly. In some cases, the company you dealt with may have sold you a policy that doesn’t match your life and requirements. If it’s the former case, you may be left with a voided policy and no payout in the event of your passing.

By reviewing your policy you’ll gain peace of mind that the cover you have is right for you and the life you have today.

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Because we play by the book we want to tell you that...

1. We understand equity release isn’t for everyone, and we’ll never say it’s the right option for you, that’s why we pass you onto an Expert.

2. A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your property. With a lifetime mortgage there are typically no monthly repayments to make as the loan, plus roll up interest, is repaid when the plan comes to an end. Usually, that’s when you, or the last remaining applicant, either passes away or moves into long-term care.

3. With a lifetime mortgage you’ll still retain full ownership of your home.

4. Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means tested benefits.

5. Mortgage Advice Bureau Later Life offer lifetime mortgage products from a carefully selected panel of providers.

6. Unless you decide to go ahead, Mortgage Advice Bureau Later Life’s service is completely free of charge as their fixed advice fee of £1,295 would only be payable in completion of a plan.

7. ClearKey is an independent marketing website which only acts as an introducer to companies who offer advice on various financial plans, products and services.

8. Our partners are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

9. are not authorised to give any advice and we are not liable for any financial advice provided by or obtained through a third party.

10. Life insurance products attract terms and conditions. Price information contained within this website are for illustration purposes only. You will receive a full policy document upon application which will set out the terms, conditions and limitations of cover provided under the plan.

11. Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments. Think carefully about securing debt against your home. When consolidating existing borrowing be aware that extending the term could increase the amount repaid.