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Life insurance for families explained

Find out how you can protect your family with family life insurance.

What is life insurance for families?

Life insurance for families provides financial protection to your loved ones in the event of your death. This insurance is not a unique type of policy but rather a life insurance plan taken out specifically to safeguard your family.

With a family life insurance plan, your spouse and children get financial support if you pass away.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about life insurance for families. 

Why is life insurance important for families and children?

Life insurance for families means that if you died your family would receive a payout to help with their finances. You can also combine life insurance with other cover which protects them if you're unable to work. The payout means you can keep supporting your family financially.

Family life insurance can be used to pay off debts such as mortgages or loans. And it can also help pay for living expenses, hobbies, education and other outgoings.

What does family life insurance cover?

Every family life insurance policy is unique so you should always read the small print. But most policies protect your loved ones. Ensuring they will receive money to cover living costs and other expenses if you die. The insurance money can be used to pay for things like:

  • Funeral costs
  • Taxes
  • Debts
  • Mortgage payments
  • Household bills
  • School fees
  • Holidays
  • Education costs

Do I need life insurance for my family?

If you don't have any savings, you're repaying a mortgage, or have other outstanding debts or loans, then getting life insurance to leave to your family may be a good idea. Life insurance can provide financial security for your loved ones when you pass away.

Which life insurance is best for families and children?

When it comes to taking out life insurance to protect your family, there are a few options available to you. You can get life insurance on its own, which covers you or your partner in the case of death.

Or you can combine different types of insurance to protect your family if you are unable to work. Taking out multiple policies means your family are protected from a range of eventualities.

Different types of family life insurance:

  • Whole of life insurance

This kind of insurance means your children and partner receive a pay out whenever you die. As the name suggests, this type of life insurance lasts your entire life and does not expire (unless you cancel the policy). Learn more about whole of life insurance

  • Term life insurance

Term life insurance for families covers you for a fixed period of time. It means the insurance will pay out if you die in that period, but not after. For example, you might choose term life insurance to cover the period of your mortgage. Learn more about term life insurance

  • Income protection insurance

If you get sick and cannot work, income protection insurance pays you part of your monthly income. The income may be tax free and helps you protect your finances while you recover. It can pay out up to 80% of your salary, but as the payout is tax-free it should replace most of it. Learn more about income protection insurance

  • Serious and critical illness cover

With some providers you can add serious or critical illness cover to a life insurance plan or buy it as a standalone plan. If you're diagnosed with a serious illness, you'll receive a lump sum payout. You can use the money for things like medical treatments or paying the household bills. There's also serious illness cover for children which you can add to your plan. Learn more about serious and critical illness cover

  • Mortgage protection insurance

Mortgage protection pays off the rest of your loan if you become ill or die during the policy. This means your family could keep their home. Learn more about mortgage protection insurance

Life insurance for young families

Starting a new family is a very exciting time. If you have recently started a family, or a little one is on the way, now is a good time to think about how you can protect your family.

Having family life insurance will give you the peace of mind that your children and partner will be covered if you died or were unable to work. Knowing that the insurer will pay out means having less to worry about.

Starting a new family comes with plenty of extra costs that you may never have thought about before. A family life insurance policy will mean that your family would continue to afford those things if anything happened to you.

Here are some of the most popular kinds of life insurance for young families:

  • Decreasing term life insurance
    This covers payments for things like mortgages that decrease over time. Because your mortgage decreases in size, the payout will get smaller too.

  • Term life insurance
    A term life insurance pays out if you die within a specific period. If you die after the end of the term, they will not receive a payout.

You can find out more about decreasing and term life insurance in our helpful guide.

Life insurance for when you get older or have grandchildren

Few things are more joyful than welcoming grandchildren into your family. You may also want to think about taking out life insurance as a grandparent too.

Life insurance when you have grandchildren means that your family will receive a lump sum when you die. Your children and grandchildren may want to use the money to:

  • Pay off debts
    If you have a mortgage or any other debts, these may pass on to your children when you die. Having life insurance means that this debt would be taken care of.

  • Funerals
    A funeral can be expensive. Life insurance later in life means your children and grandchildren do not have the financial costs to personally cover the costs of your funeral. If you want to know more about how life insurance can help with funeral costs, our in-depth guide has got you covered.

  • A gift
    You may have left money for your loved ones in your will, but it could take months or years for your family to receive the money. A life insurance payment will provide them with a sum of money shortly after you die.

Plus, you might want to leave your family with a little extra to cover rising costs or inflation. Taking out family life insurance offers a relatively safe way to leave your loved ones with some extra money after your death.

Choose Vitality to protect your family

Thinking about taking out life insurance? Here are just some of the reasons why Vitality offers the best life insurance for families:

  • A brand you can trust - In 2023, we paid out 99.7% of life insurance claims*
  • Get a discount on your monthly premiums when you add Optimiser to your plan. Receive up to 30% off when you choose term life insurance, and up 40% off when you choose whole of life insurance
  • Access to Vitality partner discounts and rewards
  • Free no-obligation advice - our advisers offer expert advice
  • Add children to your plan - add your children to your plan without further underwriting

Get your life insurance quote today.

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Relevant guides and articles 

  • Life insurance for parents guide

    Life insurance for parents includes a variety of plans that mean your children will be covered if you pass away. Read our guide for new parents.

  • Income protection guide  

    Income protection insurance pays out a tax-free monthly income if you can't work. Find out all the key information about income protection in our guide.

  • Mortgage protection insurance guide 

    Thinking about mortgage protection cover? Find out all you need to know ahead of decision-making by reading our comprehensive guide, including answers to some of the most important questions.

*Vitality Claims and Benefits Report, 2024