What is mortgage protection insurance?
Mortgage protection insurance is a type of insurance that covers your mortgage if something unexpected happens. If you become terminally ill, or pass away, it pays off the rest of your mortgage.
Mortgage repayments are a large monthly cost for most people. And without insurance, you run the risk of losing your home if you were unable to make the repayments.
Let us break down what is mortgage protection insurance and how it can help you.
Do you need mortgage protection insurance?
There are a few reasons why you might consider mortgage protection:
Having a partner or getting married
Would your savings or your partner's salary be enough to cover the mortgage? If you have mortgage protection and something happened to you, your partner would be able to continue paying it off.
Becoming a parent
Mortgage insurance ensures that your family keeps the home if something happens to you.
When you don't need mortgage protection
You might not need mortgage protection if you:
- are single
- live alone
- have no dependents
This is because your property could be sold to repay the mortgage if you passed away.
Do you need life insurance for a mortgage?
No, you don’t need life insurance to cover your mortgage. The only insurance needed when buying a house is buildings insurance. But check with your mortgage provider first – they might have their own requirements.
Life insurance can include mortgage protection, and it’s worth thinking about. Especially if you have family or dependents that rely on your income.
How much is mortgage protection insurance?
Mortgage protection is a type of insurance, tailored to those who have a mortgage. The more of your mortgage you pay off, the less amount of cover you need.
The premiums you pay will depend on several factors. These include your:
- Type of job or employment contract
- Monthly mortgage amount
- Lifestyle choices, for example if you smoke
- How much remains on your mortgage repayment.
Insurance companies may ask for other details depending on the type of cover you choose.
Insurers will usually class different jobs within different risk categories. If your job's classed as high risk, for example, your premiums may be more expensive.
The difference between mortgage insurance and other products
Life insurance versus mortgage protection insurance
Life insurance pays out if you die or become ill during the policy term. Mortgage protection is the same, but it only covers your mortgage repayments.
There are two types of life insurance:
- Term life insurance - covers you for a specific amount of time determined by you. Mortgage protection is a type of term life insurance. That’s why it’s also called decreasing term life insurance
- Whole of life insurance - lifelong cover that's guaranteed to pay out at the time of your death.
Mortgage protection insurance versus income protection
If you get sick or injured and can’t work, income protection insurance will pay a part of your salary. These payments can go towards anything like your mortgage, childcare and living costs.
Mortgage protection insurance only covers the costs of your mortgage repayments. For this reason, income protection tends to be more expensive than mortgage protection.
Mortgage protection insurance versus critical illness cover
Serious or critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum to you and your family if you become seriously ill. It usually covers illnesses like heart attacks, strokes and cancers.
Serious or critical illness cover pays out one lump sum. Mortgage protection insurance pays out monthly. Serious or critical illness cover, unlike mortgage protection, doesn’t pay out if you die.
It's possible to combine these insurance options according to your requirements.
Is mortgage protection insurance tax-deductible?
If you purchased insurance on or before 13 March 1984, you should be able to claim tax relief on life insurance. Any insurance bought after this date isn’t tax-deductible.
There are some exceptions:
- If you gain interest on the lump sum between the death of the plan holder and the paying out date
- An estate of which the gross value does not exceed the Inheritance Tax Threshold (IHT) of £1million.
For more on this, go to the Government’s Gains on UK life insurance policies help sheet.
Need-to-know terms when buying mortgage protection insurance
Buying insurance can be confusing. Here are a couple mortgage protection terms explained:
- Exclusion period - this is the time between the start of your policy and when you’re able to make a claim. Different types of cover will have different exclusion periods
- Back-to-day-one policy - this is a policy that will pay out from the first day that you can’t work.
For more help with common insurance terms, read our insurance glossary.
Relevant guides and articles
Income protection insurance
Income protection insurance covers your monthly salary if you get sick and can't work.
Whole of life insurance
Whole of life insurance covers you for your entire life. It guarantees a payout to your loved ones when you pass away or become terminally ill.
Serious and critical illness cover
Serious and critical illness cover pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious condition. The condition may not be life threatening, but it still impacts your life.