When and why do I need life insurance?


Understanding what life insurance protects, when you can use it and how much it might cost can be confusing. Vitality Magazine breaks down everything you need to know


We all take out insurance on things that matter to us, like our homes, cars and mobile phones. But many of us forget to financially protect the most important thing of all – ourselves.

Scarily more people protect their pets than themselves. But imagine you had a cash machine in your living room that paid out whenever you needed it to. Would you insure that?

The same should probably apply to our health, given that we are generally dependent on ourselves not breaking down to earn an income.

For some, however, life insurance is seen as another outgoing direct debit they can live without, while for others it offers priceless peace of mind that their loved ones will be supported should something bad happen.

And there is much more to life insurance than you might think.

Life insurance, in its varying forms, can be used to protect you and your family financially from a wide range of scenarios. Be it illness or injury, it’s there to give you much needed support at a time of financial difficulty – something many Brits have felt during the cost-of-living crisis.

So, who needs life insurance?

There are a number of situations where having some form of protection in place is particularly vital. For example, If someone is financially dependent on you - such as your partner or children - or if your loved one would be unable to afford the monthly rent or mortgage payments and any other household bills without your income.

Others can include cover for the loss of a co-parent, who - even if they are not earning an income - are providing childcare support, which also comes at a cost. Simply, anyone could have a need for life insurance in some form, says Vitality financial protection expert, Rob Harvey.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have a huge amount in savings to rely on and state benefits, if eligible for them, usually aren’t sufficient to cover all outgoing costs.

Life insurance with Vitality helps you prepare for the unexpected with a selection of products to suit all family’s needs.

Our Income Protection cover pays you a monthly income if you can’t work due to sickness or injury; meanwhile, Serious Illness Cover pays a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a particular medical condition.

This money can be used for anything, like paying off your mortgage, funeral costs or going on your dream holiday with the family. With Vitality, we can help you protect your loved ones and live a longer, healthier life.

To find out more about a life insurance plan with Vitality visit vitality.co.uk.

“There are a couple of times when taking out a life protection policy is a very good idea,” adds Juliette Meads, insurance expert. “When you buy a house is the obvious one, but also when you have children.”

This will help provide a sense of comfort that your family’s financial future is protected if you are not there to support them – or unable to work due to illness or injury.

Life insurance can also help any bigger costs down the line, such as providing funds towards your children’s education, paying taxes or caring for someone you love.

Finding a plan that ticks all your boxes, in terms of the coverage and payout, can take time and patience, but it’s worth the effort. Talking to a financial adviser can be extremely helpful, as you can discuss your needs and will help direct you to the right place.


How much does it cost?

The question most people are asking these days... “Times are tough at moment with the cost-of-living at an all-time high,” says Juliette.

“But if you were to go without insurance and something were to happen, then those tough times would be made 10 times worse. We just don’t know what’s around the corner – who could’ve predicted the pandemic?”

It’s important that whatever cover you buy it is affordable for you. However, your premium is based on a range of varying factors, such as:

  • Age – cover is cheaper when you’re younger. As we age, we are more likely to experience health problems
  • Health – you may have to pay more, or may get rejected, should you have a high BMI or a pre-existing condition.
  • Lifestyle – smoking and drinking alcohol regularly may affect the amount you pay
  • Amount of cover – the higher the payout, the higher your premiums
  • Length of policy – term life insurance is set for a certain period of time; and whole of life insurance is in place for your entire life
  • Medical history – if you have any pre-existing conditions, the type of condition may change the price of your policy
If you feel like you need more guidance, financial advisers are a safe bet to answer any questions you might have. Or you can speak to a Vitality adviser here.

At Vitality, our life cover can cost as little as £5 per month (that’s less than your average weekly coffee order), with an average monthly cost of £55 per plan[1].

Plus, members who add Optimiser to their life policy, can save up to 40% on their premiums when they look after their health. Vitality life insurance holders saved on average £114 each year through lower premiums[2].

To find out more about a life insurance plan with Vitality visit vitality.co.uk.

Bringing more to everyday life

But it’s not just money for when things go wrong that life insurance - and its varying forms – has to offer. The rewards offered through the Vitality Programme not only encourages people to live healthier lifestyles through getting active, they also help them save on a range of partner brands too.

From day one, long before a claim is needed, engaged Vitality members with a Life plan receive value (a total of £60m across all members 2022)  through the rewards and partners available, such as discounts on Caffè Nero, Runners Need and gym memberships[3].

In the long-term these benefits are also proven to help create healthier habits, with members who are physically active, when engaging in the Vitality Programme, seeing a reduced risk of death of up to 41%(4).

“Given the challenges we face in society with regards to money and health, providing people with a protection product that becomes part of their daily life has never been more vital,” says Justin Taurog, Managing Director of VitalityLife.

“Not only does this ensure our members are protected financially, but it can also help them improve their health, pay lower premiums (for eligible plans) and save hundreds of pounds each year. It is also there to provide financial support when it is needed most. These days, this is likely to be more important than ever.”  

[1] Vitality data, 2023
[2] Vitality Life Claims and Benefits Report, 2022
[3] Vitality Life Claims and Benefits Report, 2023
[4] Vitality Life Claims and Benefits Report, 2023
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Vitality rewards

At Vitality, we encourage our members to make small positive lifestyle choices that make a big impact. That’s why we offer partner benefits and rewards through the Vitality Programme.

Find out more by downloading the Vitality app or visit vitality.co.uk.