Best & cheapest life insurance in the UK

We reviewed the latest independent research to create our list of the best life insurance policies in the UK, and provide simple explanations of how different types of life insurance work.

With hundreds of different insurers to choose from, finding the best life insurance provider can be a difficult task. That’s why we’ve come up with easy lists of the best policies for every type of life insurance right here.

1. Aegon

Aegon’s Scotland-based UK operations are wholly owned and operated by Dutch insurer Aegon N.V.

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 89
  • Minimum term: 1 year
  • Maximum term: 50 years (cover must end before an individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Maximum cover: Unlimited

2. AIG

US insurance giant American International Group, Inc. (AIG) was first founded in 1919 and since then has grown to operate on a global scale. It provides a range of protection products for both individuals and businesses.

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 88
  • Minimum term: 2 years
  • Maximum term: 70 years (cover must end before an individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Maximum cover: Unlimited
aviva

3. Aviva

Aviva was founded in 1797, but the Aviva brand as it is today was formed in 2000 by the merger of Norwich Union and CGU PLC.

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 89
  • Minimum term: 1 year
  • Maximum term: 50 years (cover must end before an individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Maximum cover: Unlimited
guardian

4. Guardian

Guardian is a relaunched protection brand with a number of unique features to its policies.

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 65
  • Minimum term: 1 year (Level and Increasing Cover) / 5 years (Decreasing cover)
  • Maximum term: 72 years (cover must end before an individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Maximum cover: £15 million
legal & general

Legal & General

L&G was formed as an insurance company for lawyers, by lawyers in 1836. It has since grown to become one of the country’s best-known financial services companies

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 77
  • Minimum term: 1 year (Level Cover) / 5 years (Decreasing cover)
  • Maximum term: 50 years (cover must end before an individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Maximum cover: Unlimited
liverpool victoria

Liverpool Victoria

LV is the UK’s largest friendly society, with more than 5.8 million customers, 1.1 million of whom are members.

  • Minimum entry age: 17
  • Maximum entry age: 79 (Level or Decreasing cover) / 59 (inflation-linked cover)
  • Minimum term: 5 years
  • Maximum term: 45 years
  • Maximum cover: Unlimited
royal london

Royal London

Royal London previously operated Scottish Provident and Bright Grey as separated brands providing Critical Illness Insurance under the Royal London umbrella. From 2016, both were merged into the main Royal London brand.

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 70
  • Minimum term: 1 year
  • Maximum term: 72 years
  • Maximum cover: Unlimited
scottish widows

Scottish Widows

Founded in 1812, Scottish Widows is today part of Lloyds Banking Group.

  • Minimum entry age: 18
  • Maximum entry age: 79 (must end before individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Minimum term: 1 year (Level and Increasing) / 3 years (Decreasing)
  • Maximum term: 72 years
  • Maximum cover: £25,000,000 (Level and Decreasing) / £15,000,000 (Increasing)
vitality

Vitality

Vitality entered the UK market in 2007 with a joint venture with PruHealth and PruProtect, part of the Prudential Group. It has since bought out Prudential and is now branded solely as Vitality.

  • Minimum entry age: 16
  • Maximum entry age: 74 (cover must end before age 90)
  • Minimum term: 5 years
  • Maximum term: No maximum (cover must end before age 90)
  • Maximum cover: £20,000,000
zurich

Zurich

Zurich is a Swiss-based global insurance giant, operating in more than 170 countries. It employs around 55,000 employees worldwide, including 4,500 in the UK.

  • Minimum entry age: 16
  • Maximum entry age: 83 (must end before individual’s 90th birthday)
  • Minimum term: 1 year
  • Maximum term: 50 years
  • Maximum cover: £40 million

What types of life insurance are available?

  • Level term insurance – where the amount of life insurance cover provided remains level throughout the term of the policy, at the end of which the life cover will cease. This type of policy is ideal for paying off an interest-only mortgage in the event of death
  • Decreasing term insurance – also referred to as mortgage protection insurance where the level of life insurance reduces over the term of the policy at the end of which life cover will cease. This type of insurance is ideal for covering the outstanding debt on a repayment mortgage
  • Increasing term insurance – where the life insurance provided and premiums increase annually over the term of the policy to keep the cover in line with inflation
  • Convertible term insurance – a term insurance policy that can be converted to a whole life policy, if required, during the term
  • Critical illness insurance – a term insurance policy where a lump sum is payable on the diagnosis of a critical illness. The insurance policy will cover a specified list of critical illnesses such as bowel cancer etc
  • Serious illness cover – this is like critical illness cover but where the size of the lump sum paid in the event of a claim will vary depending on the severity of the illness. Often serious illness insurance will cover more critical illnesses than ordinary critical illness cover
  • Joint life insurance – most life insurance policies can be arranged on a joint life basis where a lump sum is payable in the event of the death of one life insured. This type of life insurance is usually (but not always) cheaper than two individual policies as there is only ever one lump sum payable
  • Renewable term insurance – a term insurance policy with an option to renew the policy at the end of the term without the need for a health review
  • Whole of life insurance – where life insurance is provided for the whole of a person’s life and will pay out in the event of death whenever that occurs. Often there is an investment element to a whole of life policy
  • Family income benefit – a term insurance policy where a monthly amount is paid instead of a lump sum in the event of death.  As the total payment would be less than with a term insurance policy the premiums will usually be less